Everyone has stye. But not everyone has purposeful style. In this episode, I want to share with you the one thing you must know about yourself if you want to live a stylish life and do it with intention. So, let’s dive in.
Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.
Hey, beautiful friends. Welcome back to another episode of the podcast. Today, we are going to talk about one of my favorite topics. I feel like this is an underrated topic, especially in the world of personal development, because it has the ability to change your life. And that topic is your style.
It’s so fascinating that I get asked about style a lot, especially when you consider how I grew up. I didn’t grow up around stylish people. I didn’t grow up in an affluent area where I was exposed to very stylish things.
But ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always been drawn to style. I remember, when I was little, we would go to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store. I’d go with my mom. And she’d be shopping for the week and I would always escape to the magazine section, and I would just peruse through Elle and Vogue and all of the style magazines. I could not get enough.
And I’ve always been curious about why. Why is that? And for me, style is one of the most effective ways to change how you see yourself, to change your self-image.
And yet, if you’re like me, no one taught us how to be stylish. Maybe our moms were not that stylish or we didn’t have sisters or we didn’t live in a stylish part of the world. And so, this can seem like a topic that’s so elusive and so hard to wrap your head around.
But what I want to tell you is this. If I can learn style, anyone can. So, not only does style change how you see yourself. But it also opens you up to self-discovery. Going on a style journey is about you discovering what you love, what turns you on, what resonates with you, what feels aligned with you. And it requires that you stay open and curious about what those things are.
With style, it’s not just about what you wear. It’s how you express yourself in your life. I like to say it’s how you do life. It’s how you take who you are and you infuse it into your communication, into how you carry yourself, into how you decorate your home, into how you sign your name.
Everything you do is done with a style. But a lot of people are not thinking about, is it on purpose? Are you expressing who you truly are? Not who you’ve been told you should be, but who you truly are in everything that you do?
And one of the most effective ways to do this and to do it on purpose is to come up with your style statement.
First heard this term, gosh, 10 years ago when I heard Danielle LaPorte talk about style statement. And it just resonated with me because I realized that that is what I had done without knowing what I had done.
I got very clear on what I wanted to be an expression of, physically, to the visual eye, what I wanted my home to look and feel like, how I wanted to move through the world. And that’s what your style statement allows you to do on purpose.
It really defines your unique expression. It helps you to make powerful decisions in your life. It helps you to design your life on purpose. And when you’re at those crossroads, you can often refer back to your style statement. It’s like having values.
You have values that you base decisions on, but when it comes to what you bring into your life aesthetically, your style statement is that filter of, “Does this belong in my life? Does this match who I am intentionally expressing to the world?
You know, I used to have one of those closets with so many clothes, and yet, I had nothing to wear. I know that I’m not the only one.
And it was so frustrating. It was like, “Why do I have all of these clothes and yet nothing feels right, nothing feels true?”
And I realized, back then, I was just buying things. There was no filter. There was nothing to guide me, to anchor me into my purposeful and intentional expression of myself. But when I started to use a style statement, there are many things that I would see hanging on a mannequin that looked beautiful, but I knew that they didn’t belong in my life. They belonged in some other woman’s life where that outfit matched her style statement.
Once you have your style statement, everything becomes easier in terms of the choices that you make about what you purchase, what you bring into your home, what you wear. It saves you time, but it takes time to figure out what that is.
It is a journey of self-discover, as I said earlier, paying attention to what you love, what you’re visually attracted to. Paying attention to maybe times in the past where you wore something and it felt so good. And then, also paying attention to the times you wore something and it felt so awful. What was that? Because you want to move away from what feels terrible and move towards what feels beautiful and aligned and true for you.
Now, if you’re within the School of Self-Image membership, we have a whole class on how to find your style statement. But in this episode, I wanted to give you some things that you can start to think about, to formulate your own.
So, the first thing that I’m going to challenge you to do is to stay curious about what you are visually attracted to. Now, this isn’t just about what you’re attracted to in clothing. Because again, as I was saying earlier, there have been times I’ve seen beautiful things hanging in a store that were visually attractive, but it didn’t belong in my life.
I want you to pull back for a moment and think about what you’re visually attracted to in the world. What kind of art? What kind of landscapes? What kind of buildings? And notice what the commonality is.
I had this epiphany a while back that my closet really represents what I’m visually attracted to. If you look within my closet, you can literally see Paris. You can see desert landscapes. You can see a lot of muted colors. That’s what I’m visually attracted to in life.
And so, it makes sense why I’m drawn to those things in terms of my clothing. I have a lot of either muted khakis, camels, ivory, cream colors, as well as I have dark rich navies, blacks, golds. If I think about the places, the interiors of the things that I’m attracted to, those are the elements. On one hand, I love soft and muted with splashes of rich colors.
I also recommend that you create a Pinterest board full of inspiration. On one board, it can be those visual attractions to the art, the landscape, the design, but also create a Pinterest board around the clothing and the outfits that you’re attracted to.
Notice the colors. What’s the palette? The shape, is it frilly? Is it structured? Is it lace? Is it leather? And just stay open and be curious. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. You are discovering what you love and what represents you. So, there is no hurry here.
The final tip that I’m going to give you in this episode is for you to think about what you want to be an expression of. What do you want to embody?
And one of the ways you can think about this is to ask yourself the question, when someone meets you, what do you want them to say about your style? Not you as a person, because of course, we want people to say, “She’s loving. She’s powerful. She’s kind.” And powerful could be one of your style words, but loving and kind, that could translate into feminine, soft.
But what do you want them to say about your visual representation? “She’s so…” what? “She’s so edgy. She’s so modern. She’s so sophisticated. She’s so natural. She’s so sensual or sexy or powerful.” Or maybe it’s, “She’s so dramatic. She’s so creative. She’s so current.”
What you’re going to come up with is two to three words that embody your purposeful style statement. And the way you’re going to do this is you’re going to go and you’re going to review what you’re visually attracted to.
You’re going to look at the outfits that you’re drawn to and you’re going to think about what you want to be an expression of visually. What do you want your style to say about you?
And you’re probably going to notice a theme between those three; what you’re visually attracted to, the style you’re attracted to, and what you want to be an expression of.
And from that framework, come up with two to three words that represent your style statement. And you’re going to use that statement as a filter when you go into your closet. You’re going to look at your clothes and say, “Hey, does this shirt represent my style statement?” And if not, it needs to go.
You’re going to start to look around your home, “Does this artwork represent my style statement? Does this book or these books represent my style statement?” And as you let go and you edit your life and you add in those pieces that do, what you’re going to find one day is that you have a curated life that is a true expression of your unique style.
That is the power of having a style statement. That is the power of you taking the time to figure out your style. So, I would love to hear from you. Go through this process and find me on Instagram, @tonyaleigh, and share with me your style statement.
Have a beautiful week, everyone, and I will see you in next week’s episode, which happens to be episode 300. What in the world? 300 episodes. So, be sure to check that one out. I’ll see you next week.
Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to schoolofselfimage.com/manifesto and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.