Less Is More: The Personal Style Point System

Less Is More: The Personal Style Point System






One of the first things I always teach my clients is about the personal style point system. You should never have more than 7 things on. You know, like your earrings count for 2 points, those daisys count for 3 points. But the best thing to do is, right before you go out, look in the mirror and turn around real fast. And the first thing that catches your eye, get rid of it… Marilyn Monroe did that.’

My favorite piece of style advice always reminds me of the wisdom from classic zeitgeist movie, L.A. Story. Granted, this zeitgeist was Los Angeles in the early 90s (where it was totally appropriate to order ‘a twist of lemon’ after a meal and send a stun gun as a corporate holiday gift), an unlikely place to find a ‘less is more’ philosophy applied to anything! But Marilu Henner’s speech about keeping your style streamlined is, surprisingly, sage.

To be clear, I don’t have a structured point system and certainly don’t espouse Ms. Monroe’s method of ‘turn and take off’; but I do say (often) that while you want your outfit to maintain multiple working pieces (clothing, accessories*, jewelry), too many details suffocates the look. This applies to your home’s decor as well. Not every chair needs a corresponding side table, not every couch needs pillows, not every square inch of space needs to be filled** The eye can only take in and process so much. Erring on the side of less guarantees that your fabulous pieces will be noticed and your overall look not overpowered.

People can be funny about their stuff. Some use accessories as armor, and clutter as comfortable chaos. I know better than to strip mine my client’s exteriors without proper preparation. So consider yourself prepared. Bring an editing eye to your self and home by attempting the following, and remember that none of these changes are permanent:

-Embellish each outfit with only one major accessory (cocktail ring, cuff, scarf, layered necklaces, chandelier earrings, red lips).

-Clear off at least one third of each table’s surface (bowls, boxes, book stacks, candles, objets d’art).

-Create a small amount of outfits that include no accessories or jewelry. This exercise lays the entire style burden on the quality of your clothing and creativity in how it’s paired and presented.


*Accessories include a bold lip, painted nails, and (in some cases) a hair style.

**Someone please inform Divine Design’s Candice Olson.