Creating Personal Style



July, 2004

Dear Ones –

“The Diva Style Pages”

One of my favorite books – and one that I keep recommending to all my girlfriends – is I am Diva! by Elena Bates, Maureen O’Crean, Molly Thompson, and Carilyn Vaile. This is a wonderful book, and is divided into 13 Sections, of four chapters each – so there are a total of 52 chapters to get you through a year-long Diva Self-Creation program.

What is so absolutlely wonderful about this book, and the approach it advocates, is that it gives us permission to treat things that seem “frivolous” as with as much importance as we give to “serious” matters. One such “frivolous” matter that is of truly great importance is personal style.

Lately, I’ve been clearing out my closet again. This is one of those Diva exercises. It is also a great way to achieve clarity, not just in our closet, and our style, but also in our lives.

During the closet-cleaning process, and general life-clean-up, I remembered something a life-coach had once said to me: “Strengthen your strengths.”

So often, we pay too much attention to things that we think of as being deficiencies. We feel a little less-than-perfect, and we feel that we need to compensate for our lack of skill or ability in some area by “developing” that area further.

What if instead of putting attention on a weakness, we played to our strengths?

This connects directly with our sense of personal style.

I was in a fabric store over the weekend, and noticed how my eye was drawn to so many luscious colors, textures, patterns, and fabrics. But because I have spent years getting to know not only “my colors,” but also my patterns, textures, silhouettes, and a whole range of other things about personal style, I was able to say to some of these fabrics, “I love you, I wish I could wear you, but no thank you.” At at the same time, I had a heightened response to those very few fabrics that were absolutely, totally, perfectly right for me.

Each of us is like this. Each of us is so precisely and individually unique! As we get increasingly clear about our own personal style, we can say with greater confidence and finesse, a gracious “No, thank you,” to things that are close – but not absolutely perfect. And at the same time, we gain the ability to say a resounding, “Yes, oh-you-are-so-wonderful, Oh YES! Come right in!” to those very select and special things that really do match us perfectly.

The more that we are clear about our style, and accept only that which suits us perfectly, the more that we are also clear about the rest of our lives. We accept (or “shop for”) only those work assignments, friends, and places to live that perfectly match our sense of self. We become magnets. We easily, naturally, and unconsciously dispel that which is not-so-right. while with equal ease and amplomb we draw to ourselves that which absolutely perfect!

Cleaning out is an important preliminary step. (This is one of those Diva steps someplace in the book – shortly I will look up exactly where.) Cleaning out gives us clarity, because we are not distracted by the confusion of multiple, competing stimuli. We might go down to a scarily small amount, but it will be perfect and just oh-so-very-right for us!

Getting very, VERY clear and precise about our colors is another important step. If you haven’t had a professional color analysis done, do so! The easiest and most satisfying way that I’ve recommended to friends is to go to the Prescriptives(TM) cosmetics counter in a good department store, and let the consultant make you over. (For free. Divas love a good bargain!) She (or he) will type your skin tone; you will be either a blue-red (most of us are), a red-red (rare), or an orange-red or a yellow-orange. (The last two are not as common as the blue-reds, but much more so than the red-reds.)

If you are a blue-red, then your skin has an underlying blue cast to it. You will look your best in cool tones, such as blues, most purples, and blue-reds (such as magenta, burgandy, and rose). You will look much better in silver or white gold jewelry than in yellow-toned metalsr.

If you are an orange-red or yellow-orange, then you will look good in warm tones that pick up on the underlying yellow cast of your skin. You will be able to wear peach, cinnamon, and olive green. You might be one of the few persons that could possibly look good in mustard yellow. You can wear yellow gold and copper.

Now, color analysis is much more complex and subtle than this, but this is a starter, and you will get a good sense of your colors within just a few hours after your visit to the cosmetics consultant. (Oh yes, please buy something – like a foundation that they’ll match to your precise skin tone. It’s just the gracious Diva’s way of saying “thank you.”)

I’ll add some more references to color analysis, personal style, and related matters to our Transformations page. Also, if you’re in class, please do ask me for a free copy of “Every Woman Needs a Veil,” a chapter excerpt from Unveiling, my book-in-forever-progress.

Getting clear on your personal style – and upgrading your style to the best possible – is a magical act. It is a very poignant and powerful way of creating reality; the reality that you most desire. So get the book. Do the steps. Take as long as you need, do them in whatever order seems best, but get going – and be ready to tell wonderful stories as your life unfolds!

With love – A.

P.S. – These “wonderful stories” that you’re going to tell? They’re brags! That’s right. We have permission to brag. The other book that I recommend to all my girlfriends is Mama Gena’s Guide to the Womanly Arts. And there is a link to this on our Transformations page. Go now! Get these books, and let them form your summer survival reading.

One of my two most highly recommended books for first year (“Level 1”) students is I am Diva! by Elena Bates, Maureen O’Crean, Molly Thompson, and Carilyn Vaile. This month’s Letter deals with Section 7 (Chapters 29-32) of the book; the Diva Style Section. Which is a wonderful thing for our lives, and a great way to start pulling together for our November Show (Viva la Diva!).

Click on I Am Diva!: Every Woman’s Guide to Outrageous Living
I Am Diva!: Every Woman’s Guide to Outrageous Living to go to the Barnes and Noble website to order this book. Recommedation contributed by Maha Najeeb.

You can also read the complete first chapter if you can’t run out right away to get the book. But why not just hop to the page and order the book?