FINDING FREEDOM

Today I want to share a bit about what I’ve been up to during my time away from blogging.  What I’ve learned and what I envision.  I value each and every one of you so much, and I always want to be as transparent with you as humanly possible.  Sharing this space with you is something I cherish on so many levels.  It is a gift to be part of a community of talented & beautiful ladies who share such a passion for personal style and the role it plays in our lives. I’m honored to be among a group of women who truly understand that a focus on personal style preferences is not at all shallow.  Rather, our style is an outward manifestation of who we are on the inside.  Our personal style truly is a crucial component of  our well being.

Classy Ever After is not about perfection.  My goal is not to make things appear as if my best self requires no effort or to make any reader feel as if she is less of a person because she finds this style and beauty stuff so very hard at times.  I am right with you in the trenches of the struggle, of the style mistakes, less than stellar purchases, bad hair days, bad skin days, fat days, lazy days.  All of this is part of the process.  What I’ve learned is that, as we grow & hone in on our individual style, we come up with our own arsenal of tricks and antidotes for the above mentioned fiascoes.   With practice and growth we can minimize the impact of our struggles and hopefully avoid some entirely.  There is so much freedom in finding our own individual style sweet spot.  Our “Curated Closet” or as I like to call it…our own unique Wardrobe Zen.

THE GRADUAL SHIFT

When I started this blog I did love all things beauty and style related but I didn’t understand even a fraction of what  all of it meant or how to sift through and carefully edit my own style and wardrobe.  I was a fashion victim in so many ways.  Although I was blogging about style, for the first couple of years…I was lost. I ended up trying so many trends, and then keeping pieces even if I didn’t feel right when I put them on.  I made so many purchases that I ended up hating after one or two wears.  I never felt like I could keep up with blogging because I was under the misguided notion that I would need to buy clothes, shoes, handbags, make up…constantly.  I was frustrated, shopping all the time and I didn’t even love anything I put on. 

 A little over a year ago, my perspective began to shift.  I found myself drawn to a more minimalist style and a  minimalist approach to creating a working wardrobe.  I recall being very intrigued by the manner in which French woman approach style, and I read just about everything I could get my hands on about it.   As I began to identify my authentic personal style, some of the things I purchased or tried to wear in the past seemed so ridiculous.  I started to understand why I never thought any of it looked right on me.   

On me, I don’t like a lot of jewelry, or a collared shirt under a crew neck sweater, color, or multiple accessories at once.  I do love my shoes to match my handbag (I will make an occasional exception  if one or the other is black).  I like simple, neutral, the appearance of ease & effortlessness.  I love smokey eyes or a bold lip.  Not both at once.  All black is always a good idea, and buying a multitude of black clothing  & white t shirts is not a bad thing.  I don’t have to force myself to buy something other than black, white, grey, navy or camel. (olive, blush or oxblood is ok too…oh, and a red plaid shirt).   In fact, I should never buy something other than these neutrals because I won’t wear it. 

 In other words…don’t force it.  Block out all those external pressures and determine what works for you.  Stick to that, exercise, and take care of your skin…you will be stunning!

As soon as this gem became available, I picked up a copy of “The Curated Closet” written by Anuschka ReesMost of the insights in this book are the same conclusions I came to over the past several years of focusing on developing my personal style.  I love when my instincts are reaffirmed in this way.  Gahhh…if only I could have read this five years ago, right!?  I’m half kidding because I think there is something to be said for learning from the experience of your own journey.  So many of  the steps Anuschka suggests taking in the process of finding your own unique style, are things I found really worked for me prior to reading “The Curated Closet”.   The one that stands out most, is the use of Pinterest.  Over the past fews years, I have used Pinterest to put my finger on exactly what I’m drawn to style wise, to identify patterns, a specific aesthetic that always appeals to me, my colors, my silhouettes, etc. In doing so, I have witnessed my style evolve from sort of lost to extremely certain.  Also, my instincts have gotten much better in terms of realizing when I love something on another beautiful lady, but knowing it won’t work on me. 

Everything I have shared so far in this post will influence the content I will be creating going forward.  This is just a synopsis of the realizations I’ve come to over the past year, and the process that started when Classy Ever After was born.  I have been blogging less but growing so much, and I’m looking forward to revealing more of what I’ve experienced with you in the coming months.  Classy Ever After is a place for me to document my looks, purchases, edits, health and beauty regimens so that I many continue to grow and so you all can take some tidbits along into your own individual style journey.  I’m not sure how often I will be posting.  I’m going to shoot for two to three times per week.  The one thing I can promise is that what I do share will be authentic, and it will always be relevant to my individual style preferences.  I believe in quality over quantity and that will come through in all that I share here on Classy Ever After.

A FEW NEW BLOG SERIES

A few new regular series to look forward to include a new version of Foodie Friday posts…probably one per month.  It will be a healthy, vegetarian recipe created with a focus on eating for beauty.  The recipes may be inspired by a cookbook I have or a post on a blog, but they will be my own unique concoctions.

 Also, in addition to regular outfit posts, I will occasionally post an outfit that I feel could use improvement.  In other words, when I look at the photos from a shoot and don’t love everything about an outfit, I will critique what needs to be changed and share that.  Then in the future I will post the outfit again with my improvements.  I’m super excited about this one because it is so in line with everything I’ve come to believe about style and about blogging.  I’m still thinking of a name for this series.  Feel free to weigh in with a comment below!

Finally, I will be creating some regular beauty posts featuring products I have come to adore over time.  Only tried and trues will comprise this series.  The content will be similar to what I shared on my hair care post.  You can read here, if you haven’t already.
Hair for Days {tried & true tips for long shiny locks}

As always, I am so grateful for your continued support. One of the elements of blogging I enjoy so much is the relationships I have formed with so many of you.  I love hearing from you!

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