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Finding Your Personal Style, Lesson 1: Fashion Fades, Style is Eternal

Finding Your Personal Style, Lesson 1: Fashion Fades, Style is Eternal

A lot of people (some I know personally, some I have just heard of, and some I know exist out there) define style by what you put on your back, the label of your shoes, or the name of your bag. This is not just thinking for those who know nothing about fashion or style except for being able to read price tags. It’s sad, and this kind of behavior beats the unique fashion world with all its powers and inspirations and possibilities to the ground by simply dismissing the process of getting to know yourself and transporting your inner self to your clothes.
Fashion is the only language that works in a global range without the necessity of using words to transport a message, set a statement or show your colors. Style is a dialect of fashion, and finding your own style is a process that takes time and effort and an open mind — to evolve, to develop, to grow, to change, to find yourself and analyze your true motives and purposes in life.

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Burberry A/W 12/13
    Elie Saab A/W 12/13
      Alexander McQueen S/S 13

        Throughout the history of fashion we meet graceful ladies such as Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Princess Diana, as well as elegant gentlemen like Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, and James Dean and memorable designers like Yves (Henri Donat Mathieu-) Saint Laurent, Christian Dior and Gabrielle “Coco” (Bonheur) Chanel. All those icons taught us one thing above many others—Fashion fades, while true Style remains eternal, AND Style comes from within oneself. It is the essence of who we are, who we want to be and how we want to be seen by others. It is something you either own, or you don’t, obviously. Sometimes, style is something we inherit, if our mothers or fathers or icons help us to find and define ourselves from early on. Those of us who do not get that chance, like myself, with a mother who was hardly able to pick a sweater that matched any of her pants in color or fabric, have to pull themselves together to find out who they are and what kind of style fits their personality.

        I don’t want to imply that when it comes to fashion I am as impeccable as Leona Lewis’ voice, but, between you and me, (and because I am totally aware of having my bad moments too) I am quite fabulous and I love what I do. To me, there is nothing as beautiful and reckless and crazy and immortal and self-defining as fashion. What gets me out of bed every morning is the chance to put together an outfit that makes me feel like I can (never just could) conquer the world. And this is the exact feeling I want you to have, learn, live, when you read my Style section here on lifehack.org. I want you to feel good about yourself and I want you to learn how to dress that way and to fall in love with whatever you want to put on your back because a cardinal rule of shopping suggests, “If you don’t love it in the store, you’re never going to wear it!”

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        So, let’s start finding ourselves by a simple set of rules we go through in this section. I don’t just want to give you orders in what to wear where—that’s not my place and not my right. In the end, I don’t know you and therefore, I can’t tell you what clothes to chose BUT I can help you to learn to know yourself in order to dress better and realize that everything you have inside regarding your motivations, emotions, ambivalences, problems, joys, characteristics, should show in what you wear. Just as Greek sage and philosopher Epictetus said, “Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.”

        But to understand what adorning accordingly really means one has to understand the differences of everything in fashion, from trend to evergreen. So, I say, “Learn what is available out there to adorn yourself with, first, while you get to know who you are and then, apply whatever you’ve been taught.” Yeah, that’s more like it nowadays.

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        Lesson #1: Fashion fades, Style is eternal.

        I know, this is a rather often-misused quotation but bottom line is that it’s true. Basically, this one lesson, our first one, is to understand the difference between what is a current trend and what is something that will last forever to be a faithful companion along the road to fashion nirvana. There are trend pieces, basics, evergreens and investment pieces. The perfect wardrobe consists of each, though I recommend to buy more evergreens and investment pieces, as those are the true survivors of time and changes because they go with it and adapt no matter the time, no matter the change.
        As said before, a lot of people stupidly mistake buying labels for having style. But trust me—it hurts far more to look ridiculously stupid in a $5,000 Louis Vuitton dress than in a $40 H&M one.
        At this point of time it’s crucial to quote Patricia Field, costume designer of our beloved Sex and the City, who said that, “You can’t get caught up by ‘is it expensive, is it a designer?’ It’s our eye that chooses and really, it doesn’t matter where it comes from.”And she is right—whatever you lay your eyes on, whatever you buy, whatever you fall in love remember one thing; if you don’t love it in the store, you are never going to wear it, and what’s really the sense in buying something just because it’s Prada or Bottega Veneta or Burberry, if you can’t commit to it one hundred percent? The relationship between yourself and your clothes should be as close as the relationship you have with a love interest—possibly even closer and deeper because in the end, a Prada dress or a pair of Burberry boots or that one H&M military jacket will never break your heart.

        If you love something, stand behind it. It is what it is. Some people simply can’t afford the luxury of buying everything Chanel or Louis Vuitton and there’s no reason to be ashamed of that. Be proud of what you have and what you are able to treat yourself with. If you have style, you can rock H&M just like others might rock Prada. Truly, it is all about the confidence you inherit and radiate.

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        Bottom line: Care about your style and the message you want to transport with the way you dress, and NOT the label.

        XO — Robert

        More by this author

        Finding Your Personal Style, Lesson #3: Create Your Own Visual Style Finding Your Personal Style, Lesson #2: Changing Your Style, One Sequin at a Time Finding Your Personal Style, Lesson 1: Fashion Fades, Style is Eternal

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        Last Updated on September 20, 2018

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

        If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

        1. Breathe

        The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

        • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
        • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
        • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

        Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

        2. Loosen up

        After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

        Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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        3. Chew slowly

        Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

        Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

        Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

        4. Let go

        Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

        The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

        It’s not. Promise.

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        Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

        Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

        21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

        5. Enjoy the journey

        Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

        Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

        6. Look at the big picture

        The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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        Will this matter to me…

        • Next week?
        • Next month?
        • Next year?
        • In 10 years?

        Hint: No, it won’t.

        I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

        Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

        7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

        You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

        Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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        8. Practice patience every day

        Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

        • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
        • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
        • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

        Final thoughts

        Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

        Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

        Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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