Whose Style is it Anyway?

Steve Granitz/Getty

Maya Rudolph stepped onto the Oscars red carpet two weeks ago, and all the ladies watching at home clasped their pearls and collapsed onto the floor without spilling any of their champagne, which is no easy task, by the way. In all seriousness, most people hated Maya’s choice of dress (Giambattista Valli, by the way). I did not love her dress, I’ll be honest. You know what I loved about her look, though? I loved how she loved it. Look at her posture and her face. She is relaxed and comfortable, and I think there is a slight “devil may care” look in her eyes.

Maya is doing her thing, and that is what personal style is all about. Style begins where fashion rules end. In case you don’t know, Maya Rudolph is a comedienne. She makes people laugh for a living. If she were to wear classic, stiff dresses, she would be doing herself a great disservice. Above all else, personal style must be a reflection of your person.

Fashion rules have their place. Yes, you should know your most flattering colors, the best shapes of clothing for your body type, the proper scale for accessories and prints, and the proportions that make you appear taller and slimmer. That is great information. But, let’s look deeper.

Let’s look at you for a moment. What things make you happy? What are your favorite colors? What words would you love people to associate with you? As you answer questions like these, you are one step closer to creating your personal style statement. Once you find a few words that resonate with you, own them, dress like them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know exactly what your style words look like in terms of fashion. Keep the words in your mind as you shop and as you go through your closet. Your words will guide you. You will know.


My daughter Vivien is a tomboy who prefers to wear boy-ish clothing with slight touches of feminine here and there. She wears her hair in a pixie haircut, a style that is very flattering to her fine-boned face. She went to a Daddy/daughter date night at our church last weekend, and the photo here shows you what she chose to wear, not what one would expect from an 8-year old. She adores this outfit, as you can see. She doesn’t ask anyone to understand her style. Somehow, she understands at her young age that being comfortable with her style is the most important thing.

We won’t always understand or agree with the fashion choices around us. It isn’t our job to. Our job is to find our own style and work it fearlessly. Are you with me?

P.S. If you love podcasts, I spoke on this topic in episode 5. It is a quick 7-minute listen. My podcast is called Bethany Says – Beauty, Style & You, and it is available on Anchor (where I create it), Apple, Spotify, PocketCasts, RadioPublic, Breaker, Overcast and Google Podcasts. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode, and tell your friends!

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