Elements of Style II
I graduated from Georgetown with a Sociology & Psychology degree, and thinking that I wanted to work for the FBI, wrote my thesis on women in law enforcement. Had I known the true path of my career, I would have begun tracking the psycho-social factors contributing to great style. Although I started my true studies a few years post-graduation (10, to be exact), the last 3 years have been enlightening; the true elements comprising great style are not quite what you’d expect. I presented my overall thesis here, citing creativity, budget, discipline and desire, but I neglected a very important factor that has become increasingly obvious to me over time.
Without a doubt, comfort in your own skin, your ability to not let perceived flaws or imperfections dictate what you wear and how you wear it, affects everything. Our home-grown list of grievances is long and detailed: skinny ankles, big calves, veiny legs, busted-up knees (mine), muscular legs, big hips, small butt (mine again), big butt, tummy (and again), small boobs, big boobs, broad shoulders, back fat, sigh… Myriad perceived ‘problems’ for women who are beautiful and fit (and lovely, accomplished, and the rest). For those who can silence the inner critic, a whole new world of style can be yours.
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Liz, I LOVE this article. As women, we have so many distorted qualms with our bodies and each one of them truly affects our style and what we choose to wear on any given day. You’re right, it really is amazing what we open ourselves up to when we stop thinking about what we wish we looked like and instead love and accept everything we are – both our outer and inner selves. Thanks so much for this.