Growing up, I was a huge fan of TLC’s fashion-focused show What Not to Wear, which featured Clinton Kelly and Stacy London as a style team who provided style makeovers to frumpy moms, mismatched office workers, and women who just generally lacked confidence in their clothing.
I’ve always loved clothes, and for years I have felt a little guilty about it, as if enjoying dressing well and having personal style made me shallow or too materialistic. I think many people would still say that these things are true, but after reading London’s book, The Truth About Style, I feel more confident telling those people to leave me and my poofy skirts alone.
This book isn’t some sort of bossy style guide. It’s a beautiful look at ten different women (London included) who are struggling with a variety of personal issues that have caused them to lose their style-mojo. Almost every woman is represented in this book: new moms, retirees, new divorceés, young women still trying to find their place in the world, and victims of serious illnesses. London takes into account the trials these women have gone through, and she helps give them back confidence in the form of self love and some beautiful new looks.
She makes the argument that style is different from fashion in that it is uniquely personal:
“Style is about enhancing who you are, and not attempting to look like someone you’ll never be. With style, there are as many ways a woman can look beautiful as there are women. Style is yours to own and a celebration of the individual that you are. Style can make you feel empowered, stronger, and cooler.”
Style isn’t self-indulgent or shallow, she explains. She is also a huge proponent of the self-love movement, encouraging women to take hold of their style as a way to love themselves more.
I am all about the self-love lately, having spent far too much time hating myself and berating myself and only focusing on my flaws. Working with a variety of men and women who also focus only on what they lack has made me realize the importance of self love and self respect!
You have to spend all of your time with yourself. You have your own voice in your head 24 hours a day. That voice should be filled with love, positivity, and respect. You have the power to be your own biggest cheerleader or your own harshest critic. Choose wisely. Choose kindly.
Part of that self love is not putting yourself last, whether it comes to style, health, or making time for yourself. London makes the point that women (especially mothers) are far too willing to put themselves last, which often results in them losing themselves without even realizing that they have done it. She reminds us that self love is about “selfness”, not being women being selfish: “When they take time for themselves, they feel more powerful at home, at work, and in the world.”
I’ve always admired her, but reading her personal story and about her philosophy of creating confidence and self love in women made me her biggest fan. I’m on a mission to create more self love in people through confidence and kindness to oneself, and this book came at the perfect time. So much of what she says about personal style and the way we dress applies to all aspects of our lives, especially our health and fitness, which is my area of passion.
Think carefully about the picture of yourself that you share with the world. Style isn’t about spending money, being a specific size, or wearing what’s most popular; style is about creating the most confident and true you to show to the world. Love yourself enough to cultivate your own style. Be proud, be confident, be you, and be a self love soldier. 🙂