Style is knowing who you are, what to say, and not giving a damn.

Gore Vidal

I love sitting at a Parisian cafe and people watching taking special notes on a French woman’s style.  One by one, they walk by, possessing their space with confidence and an ease that says to the world, I am who am I am, and I don’t give a flying hoot whether you like it or not! In France, creativity and femininity are celebrated.  Art just doesn’t hang on the walls: how you live each day is a sign of your creativity .

While they all seem to have a certain beauty; they are all unique.  One woman wears a pair of red stockings with a blue shorts and black leather bomber.  Another one passes by wearing a long chiffon skirt and t-shirt followed by a lady in a man’s dress shirt accessorized with a tiny hot pink belt and combat boots.

French women seem to have perfected making themselves a unique piece of art, from how they dress and walk to how they eat and communicate.  The world is their runway, which is why you’ll rarely see a French woman walking the streets in sweatpants and a t-shirt, unless, of course, that’s her style, and then she’ll most likely throw on some funky shoes, maybe a scarf, and work that look like no other.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that advocates that we should look like everyone else, and even more devastating, being liked by everyone else.  So, the moment a new trend hits the newsstand, we run to the nearest store to conform to the new mold, because God forbid we don’t fit in.  To be unique and stand out from the crowd is social suicide.  In France, the opposite is true.  To not be unique and own who you are is tragique.  And, if everyone likes you, you’re vanilla.

A French woman’s style says “I know who I am and work with what I have.”

French women do this so well.  They don’t try to hide their flaws; they flaunt them.  What many perceive as a defect, the French woman will see as an asset, something that sets her apart from the masses.  This acceptance creates a confidence and sex appeal that perfection would never offer.

I was recently at an event in Aspen where many of the women felt like they were cut from the same mold — same white jeans, same hair style, same affect.  It was if they had received a memo for this season’s hottest trends and were all following it to a T.

But, one woman stood out.  She was rocking a beautiful flowing skirt and had her  hair thrown up in a messy bun.  It was obvious that she had no interest in being a trend follower.  She was a trend setter by following her own style GPS system.

Giving yourself permission to be your own self-made piece of art requires courage and boldness.

After moving to a Colorado town where the dress code seems to be t-shirts, shorts and Vibrams, I’ve had a chance to practice this…a lot.  So, I rock my favorite dresses and 3 inch wedges to the coffee shop, and when someone says, “Hey lady, you must not be from here,” I simply respond, “Oui, monsieur” and they look at me like I’m an alien.

After spending too many of my precious years conforming to expectations that were not my own, I’m no longer interested.

I don’t want to be a water downed version of me. I’m all in in my commitment to being the most artistic, creative and expressed version of me.

Of course, making your life art is about much more than how you dress.  It’s about your passions, desires and how you connect with the world.  It’s stating your opinion, regardless of what others think.  It’s building a business that is a unique reflection of you and your gifts.  It’s about showing up in the world the most expressed and joyful YOU!

However, what the world often sees first is how you dress, so start there and let that give you the courage to show up fully as yourself in all areas of your life.

Tomorrow, when you wake up, look at your closet with fresh eyes — from the perspective of living a creative and passionate life.

What outfit does that woman choose?

3 Days of Extraordinary

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