16 September 2010

Understanding Evolution

Don't forget, my Anthropologie giveaway ends tomorrow night - enter HERE!


Believe it or not, but I'm a fairly recent convert to style. I spent my earlier years and high school being a major tomboy who was into sports more than clothes, and I pretty much wore whatever. I got a little into the whole fashion thing when I went to college and got to spend every day immersed in Manhattan and the diversity of the people I got to meet, but I am pretty sure I was still hopelessly inadequate. I wore jeans most always and only broke out the ill-fitting skirt suits when it was career-planning time.

It wasn't really until my first forays into the working world where I really started caring about what I wore - I borrowed a lot from my big sis and perused the sales racks at Banana Republic like nobody's business.

Through the years my style has changed and I became unafraid to wear skirts or dresses or to look nice - but working in a corporate environment usually means you are left with a very corporate wardrobe - lots of J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Zara. There was a red pump or leopard belt here or there, but on most days, one look at me defined me as a corporate white-collar office kind of gal.

It wasn't really until last year when I moved to Atlanta and got put into a more casual work environment that I started getting more creative with my ensembles and buying casual clothes - ballet flats, fun dresses, kooky belts, chunky necklaces. And then late last year when I discovered fashion blogs - Anthropologie, H&M and Forever 21 became shops I started frequenting, prints and color and pattern mixing became the norm. I became unafraid to experiment and try things I wouldn't normally even consider!

Being a latecomer to the whole style arena, I think of myself as still trying to develop my own sense of style. I don't even know what to consider myself as currently, but would love to evolve into one of those timelessly classic gals who can look chic in a simple tee and jeans (I guess like Molly Sims or a more colorful Caroline Bessette) and who seems to know their own style very well. Gah ... wouldn't it be embarassing to be prancing around a few years from and overhear some gals whispering about how my look is "so 2010."

Dress: Anthropologie Maeve Staysail (worn here and here before in black)
Belt: H&M (worn here before - similar online here)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction Swim n Fool (worn here and here before - similar online here or here)
Necklace: Anthropologie Grandma's Treasure Trove (worn here before)


How has your style changed over the years? Is it still evolving? Where would you like to see yourself style-wise in the next few years?

Thanks to the beautiful Debbie for this great topic!


  1. I own that dress and absolutely love it! It's one of my favorites!


  2. You always look polished and professionally styled! I used to be a major tomboy too who wore ill fitted suits to interviews, lol. I started becoming more interested in style just a few years ago, but I think I'm still miles away from catching up to you ;)

  3. As you've probably seen on my blog, I was a major punk rocker through the 80's and into the mid 90's!
    I feel like my style is constantly evolving, finessing and tweaking.
    But if we didn't evolve, wouldn't we just end up wearing mom jeans and Reeboks????

    This OOTD is really great and totally work appropriate!

  4. first of all, you look wonderful in royal blue!

    secondly, I don't really think my style has changed too much. I just graduated college in '09, though, and went straight from school in to an internship at my current employer, so it's not like I went from a suit and tie to a casual place - I went from yoga pants to pencil skirts. I'm definitely getting more comfortable "relaxing" my clothes a bit - I'm still probably dressed up more than most people on a day to day basis (the other woman in my department (who is in her late 50s) typically wears khakis and a more casual button up untucked)), but I don't mind!

  5. I think you have terrific style, but I also think that one's style will be continuing to evolve...otherwise you'd be left behind, right?

    I am too trying to perfect a simple chic style...I guess it just takes practice :)

  6. I love this outfit! That dress is such a pretty color. Great shoes too! Really cool reading how your style has evolved, and nothing wrong with being a tomboy either! (uh, been there myself I guess?) ;)

  7. Great outfit and I love those shoes!

  8. I love your outfit! The necklace and belt really make a difference! my style is still changing and I'm sure it will change for the rest of my life but I think deep down it's merely an evolution of the same style, if that makes any sense. I like classic, ladylike pieces, simple but elegant. When I think of style icons I think of a mixture of Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon and Catherine Zeta Jones.
    Anthro has definitely filled out the girly side of my closet but gap, american eagle, banana republic, loft, limited, ann taylor, nordstroms, martin + osa, jcrew and lands end canvas all find homes in there too!

  9. My style is always changing! I love that dress!! So fun to read more about you!

  10. I am definitely not a simple tee and jeans gal and won't ever be! hehe

  11. This is such a cute outfit! I love the bright blue dress with the leopard print shoes. So chic.


  12. Love that dress and your cute pose! I really hope I win that necklace! Haha.

    My style's evolved sooo much. High school I wore dresses but they were really floral...I also discovered gap in high school and wore a lot of sweatshirts and jeans from there. College I wore business casual (I worked a lot through college) a lot and a bunch of striped sweaters. But also my color palette tended to veer towards blacks and grays. After college, it was more blacks, browns, grays. A simple BR sweater with slacks. I had, by then, ruled out dresses or skirts for only special occasions. It seriously wasn't until around the time I took my engagement photos (also when I started writing my blog) that I started to self discover my style. I saw Tom Hank's wife on Oprah once and she said every women should know what her style sense is. And as we get older, we should know our bodies and should stop trying to follow trends. I think that speaks true to me and I've since started to develop my style sense. Like you, I still am not sure what truly is "Cindi's look"...but I might be getting there...slowly but surely.

  13. I think you have a very classic and timeless style, Lisa, and I love that you always bring in a little punch!

    As for my style: during college, I was very "girly". Lots of florals, full skirts, flats. And I still think that my style is fairly "feminine" -- whatever that means. But once I started thinking more about gender norms, I wanted to be sure I was very careful about what I thought of as "feminine" (whatever that means) and what sort of beauty standards I buy into. I'm not sure much has changed about my style since then -- I guess I'm still trying to figure out whether I believe there is a conflict between having "feminine" style and being a feminist.

  14. Great idea for belt/shoes with that dress!

  15. perfect! Looks awesome! Love Maeve. Love dresses with pockets

  16. You certainly don't dress like a fashion novice, I think you are so well put together.

    My sense of style has more or less changed over the year...very gradual changes. But I sometimes look at old pictures and wonder what I ever saw in those outfits. I would like to see myself moving toward a wardrobe that has more classic pieces and clothes that will still work on me when I am older.

  17. Great topic! My style is definitely still evolving. I used to be total preppy in high school because we had a strict dress code but didn't have to wear uniforms. Then in college I went the complete opposite wearing jeans and t-shirts almost every day. Only in the last couple years have I learned the value of "remixing" my wardrobe. It's amazing how much more mileage you can get out of your closet when you have pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways.

  18. That blue is amazing against your skin.

  19. Well, you're mixing and matching like a pro now. I gotta tell you, I never would have guessed that you were a late fashionista for sure! ...Love this outfit btw.

  20. You are just adorable in that dress! I've always gravitated towards one style (girly/cutesy) but recently I've decided I don't care if I'm overdressed for 95% of my life - I'm wearing what I love :)

  21. I can really relate to this post - I've only recently started to figure out my personal style myself. I think it all came about when I (like you, Lisa) started receiving a salary, actually had to think more about my fashion choices, and realized that fashion could be an extremely fun part of my life and a unique way to express myself.

    You always look so wonderful, Lisa! I can't believe you're a "new" fashionista ... you have a knack for it, that's for sure! :P

  22. first of all, I love the dress with the leopard heels--note to self, must recreate!!

    My style has totally evolved over the years, although I've totally loved fashion since I was little, I look back and cringe at the way I dressed all the trends all the time!!! yike! now I try and have some trendy pieces, but not dress it head to toe!

  23. This has got to be my absolute favorite OOTD of yours! i'm loving that dress (the blue is just too fabulous!) and those leapord pumps together. I cannot believe you haven't been into fashion for that long because you alays seem so effortlessly stylish to me. I too am still trying to figure out my personal style, but it' a slow process for me - mostly because my kids come first and I have to shop for them before I even think about buying something for myself these days. I too hope that someday my kids won't look at me and say that I dress "old". blah.

  24. Whoa! I'm able to get to your blog again. For awhile, every time I clicked on one of your posts, I would get this warning thing about how if I proceeded then something would be downloaded or some weird thing like that.

    Anyway, loving the sassy shoes.

  25. You always look vibrant. This cobalt blue is a Lisa color for sure. I love the way you add belts with ease. You have a lot more experience than you give yourself credit for.

    I never cared much about what I wore working in the CA Oil Fields. I had several serviceable pants, many T shirts and coordinating sweatshirts to go over top. Then I met a friend that introduced me to Anthro.

    And you wouldn't believe this from my present shoe collection, but I had two pairs of shoes. The same exact style, one black, and one brown.

    That was only a little over 2 years ago.

    So who am I to say I have a certain style or that I know what I am doing. Style in my book is about pleasing me first. If others like it that's great. I have progressed from themed outfits for 2009, into I don't know what for 2010. But I sure am having fun doing this style thing with you.

    Love, Laura

  26. Lisa,

    I blogged about your contest for a second entry. Here is the link.

    More Love, Laura

  27. Just me again... I'm having a Blog Slumber Party, please come join!!

  28. I love this outfit! That blue is so pretty on you, and I love the animal print shoes!

    I found my style when I found Anthropologie years ago. I was always looking for something that was me, and Anthro is. Before that, I never quite knew what my style was. I think I've created a unique style for myself I'm comfortable with.
    In high school, I was a totally hippie, if you can believe it. Sewed my own hippie clothes and wore tie dyes. Haha.

  29. I think style, no matter whose, is always evolving. My style seems to evolve month to month, and even week to week. I find inspiration in so many things.

    Your outfit is great. I especially love those shoes.

    Janice (Couture and Crayons)

  30. eeeekkkk...i LOVE your outfit! the blue just pops, and the leopard print shoes?? Fantastic!
    let me tell you, i used to be a downright DAG with a capital D. Now that ive been reading fash mags, im more in tune with my style.
    I also get influenced quite a bit with TV shows - such as Gossip Girl. The first time i saw Blair Waldorf, i got myself a bow headband!
    I think as i've gotten older, i've learnt to spend my money on things that will last the distance, such as a classic trench coat, or bag. Im nearing my 30s and not really liking it much, but i think my style might change again after that!
    Thanks for your post

  31. I love what the shoes add to the outfit!


  32. Thanks for all your comments, ladies! It's awesome to be able to read about what you gals think of your own styles as well - I'm always interested in hearing what each person finds personally inspiring to them on the fashion-front.

    OneCraftyFox - aw, thanks, but it is almost embarassing some mornings how long it takes for me to get it together and put on something coherent!

    Eleanor - I totally admire you bc you seem to know exactly who you are and wear your style with confidence! I'm still amazed at your punk rock days bc you're so elegant and refined now, but you still sneak in a bit of rocker edge to your outfits which are awesome!

    Jan - I love the way you dress! My big sis also lives by the same mantra - she'd rather be over-dressed than under. Didn't Rachel Zoe say something along the lines of what's the worst that can happen if you're over-dressed, you end being the most fab person in the room?

    Aw Pamela, I'd love to see a "Pamela through the years" fashion medley! ;o)

    Aimee, I admire you and all the other mommies out there who are taking care of kids, especially young ones, and still have to energy to look decent every day. My BF's big sis (who has three little ones) has told me she doesn't even bother getting dressed some days even if she's leaving the house bc her kids just mentally and physically beat the crap out of her - you ladies have it together!

  33. Liz - sorry! I was in blogee purgatory briefly because I had added a "potentially harmful" link in one of my posts accidentally. Thankfully I'm cootie-free now and not-contagious! ;o)

    Laura - Thanks for the shout out! I can't envision you as someone with only two pairs of shoes and barely any clothes at any time in your life considering your enviable closet! You seem to know yourself and know what you like, so it definitely show up in your ensembles - I've said this many times, but I really like how it always feels like each piece you own has a story.

    OneCraftyFox - Blog slumber party?! What an awesome weekend treat!

    Kim - Your style is so put-together that I almost can't imagine you ever as a hippie ... but you seem also like a free spirit with a creative lifestyle so maybe that is where your inner hippie lies now. :o)

  34. Lisa, this is such an interesting topic! I've definitely been thinking about it a lot as I've gotten into the blog world. My answer is so similar to Cindi's that it's funny!! I used to be all over the Gap fleece sweatshirts in middle/high school. Finally in college, I started buying pieces I loved more and felt 'cuter' in. My first job out of college was in a bank, so I had to dress really conservatively - not a suit, but pants and buttonups. My next job was much more business casual, as is my job now. I love the freedom in that! I think I'll always be attracted to (mostly) simple pieces that I can piece together for an outfit. Things I can dress up or down, you know. I'm also totally into big earrings or necklaces. I am finally getting into prints, though, and I love it!! :)

  35. This is an amazing outfit on you. Maybe it's the color. You look fantastic. Love the necklace and shoes, too.

    I have not been interested in clothes/style for very long. I'm surprised how fast my interest and ideas have evolved. My ideas about how I SHOULD dress don't seem to match up with what I really enjoy wearing, so it is an interesting journey. I will never be a style icon, but I hope in a few years I will at least have figured out what looks good on me and where to find things that consistently fit me.

  36. I loooove this dress!

    My personal style has evolved tons over the years, but then it also seems to change everyday to match my mood. In college, I was pretty much a slob since I stayed at my computer and programmed forevs. About six years ago, I was super into punk, handmade, fruitz, and lolita fashion. In graduate school, I've tried to develop a more mature style (ish) even if it's still very out of sync with the academic environment I live in.


  37. That blue looks really pretty on you! I love the way you styled it with your accessories and shoes.
    This was a fun post to read. My style continues to evolve too. I've always loved skirts & dresses ever since I was a kid but I went through a phase in high school and college when I wore a lot of jeans. I still like jeans but I definitely prefer dressing up a little more even if it means I'm a bit "overdressed" according to others. ;-) I've been trying some new things lately though, like longer cardigans and I think I might get a few more pairs of skinny jeans/ legging-type pants to wear with my tall boots (right now I only have one pair that I bought at Target last year).

  38. I absolutely love this blue dress. You styled it up perfectly with the belt and the shoes. I LUV it ! Screams chic !


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