Fashion + Accessories

How Do You Feel About Your Fashion Style?

July 17, 2013

I never ever EVER post about fashion, but I’ve decided to give it a try because I love clothes and find that my fashion sense is only a stone’s throw from my decorating style. I think the older you get, the more you see the red thread that runs through everything that you do and how your choices are tied together somehow, without any thought in advance. I just look at a dress and either like it instantly, or I don’t. And then I get it home and realize that it coordinates somehow with my interior style and I bask in the afterglow of feeling like my sense of style has finally come full circle and everything sorta works at last.

How Do You Feel About Your Fashion Style?

Lip Dress from Plumo.

Something I admired in others, their innate fashion sense, is a part of my life now too and it’s a peaceful feeling because it simply happened over time and as a result of being more aware of my personal style than ever before. Personal style is always evolving, true… But let’s face it, once you pass the teen years you most likely don’t swing from goth to geek, from preppy to punk. Our style may evolve, but the extreme swings seem to be left behind in our youth when all we wanted was to find out who we were and what we stood for. Once you’ve accepted the aging process, you notice that it’s actually a beautiful thing the moment you can concentrate less on finding yourself and more on finding the things you like and the people you want in your life – all the things that will fit into your “world”. The quest for self feels less hurried because you have a better sense of who you are which allows you to focus more on selecting what fits into your bubble. As personal style, home style, etc. evolves – and hopefully – gets better and better, you feel so good in your own skin. This process is different for everyone, may happen sooner or later (or never), but when it does happen (and can happen at any age), you feel so good knowing you are who you are and that truth is total freedom. It’s a defining moment really – when you look in your closet, in the mirror and at your home and the people in your  life and say, “Yeah, these things all work nicely together”.

My husband and I have a lot of deep conversations. Sometimes they go a bit too deep for me, as he is an intellectual and I’m more of a dreamer, but I still am quite interested in all he has to say because often he’ll just say something that makes me go, “Wow.” Recently when we were speaking about all of the many types of people in the world, he said that although we all share the same planet, we each live in our own world. It’s true, isn’t it? I live in the Holly bubble, it’s a place I’ve lived in since I can remember, it’s where everything is good and positive and at peace. I think we all have our bubbles or worlds, don’t you think? And we tend to congregate with those who share our world views because then our bubbles don’t burst. I’m much more comfortable in a room filled with sweet bloggers who are really passionate about their work vs. those die hard types who view blogging as big business and want to milk all they can out of it at any price.

Same with clothes and style and home sense. It’s all about how we want our bubbles, our worlds, to look to us. I often thought as a young girl that fitting in was really important to succeed. As I grew older, I realized that standing out matters and often those who stand out never fit in. And as more years roll by, I see that none of it matters – you just have to be comfortable in your skin and have great passion for what you do, a measure of talent and the ability to see things through. People are naturally attracted to that. You have to have your own world and be happy in that world and not make excuses for it or pretend to be something you’re not. Same is true of fashion and how you dress. Unapologetic. Free. Strong. Confident.

How Do You Feel About Your Fashion Style?

1| Lauren Moffatt backspin pintuck top, Steven Alan, $199. 2| Floral swing skirt, Anthropologie, €40. 3| Diae anchor blouse, Malene Birger, $197. 4| Natalini floral dress, Malene Birger, $397. 5| Bat t-shirt, Zoe Karssen, €60. 6| Darling sweater, J.Crew, €343.

How Do You Feel About Your Fashion Style?

1| Blog A lot shirt, Raygun, $20. 2| Stone mix necklace, J.Crew, $165. 3| Schoolboy blazer, J.Crew, €131 4| Paige Skyline Ankle Jeans, Anthropologie, €244.

I’ve pulled together a hand full of my favorite separates for summer at the moment. As you can see, like my interiors, my fashion is eclectic, playful, happy and soft. You can find all of the clothing linked under the images and many more gorgeous outfit ideas over on my ladies clothing pinboard.

So ladies, I have some questions for you. How do you feel about your fashion sense? Do you feel like you dress similarly to how you decorate your home? Do you feel like you have a defined sense of style? How did you find your sense of style? Has your style changed much since high school or college? When you go to blogger meet ups (or out with the girls) do you feel good about your fashion sense?

(images linked to their sources above.)


  • Reply Curious Clare July 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Now you’ve pointed it out yes I do dress like my home!!! Eclectic, lots of colour, pattern and accessories. Friends were trying to find my house once and were able to pick it out from the bold, Marimekko print curtains they could see from the street! I’ll look at home decor in a new light now.

  • Reply Kristina July 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    “Great personal style is an extreme curiosity about yourself”
    Iris Apfel

  • Reply Sandra July 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    My fashion sense does reflect my home deor. And vice versa. Textures, similar palette, a bit of quirk or originality. Architectural almost.

    I’ve become much bolder mixing patterns and colours in both realms. And grey – I love grey in clothing and in decor.

    There is a bit of a blogger uniform – top knot, striped shirt, polka dots, lts of Anthropologie or Madewell.

    Do you go through stages where you keep buying the same thing but in different versions? I had a time where I had many white blouses. Recently it’s been casual grey dresses, both summer and winter.

    And bags – my fave accessory. Nothing like a good tote bag.

  • Reply mel July 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    It’s a tough one Holly. For me, I certainly have a style that’s me but I wish somehow I could throw a little bit more into it, like I’m holding back – or perhaps it’s just not practical with three kids. I’d love to be able to throw on some heals and head out but the truth is I live in flats… and beads would just get pulled off by my littlest. So to answer your question, I’m on the path but not there yet but perhaps it’s just the time in my life. Funny enough, it’s of a similar style to the home although I’m definitely not holding back there! M x

  • Reply Sophie July 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I love this post! Thank you.

    What you have said is so true. I’ve found that getting older has meant that I have really just let myself grow and evolve in a way that is impossible when you’re younger. It’s so freeing. I now love the world I have created around me and the people I have surrounded myself with. I now love my Sophie bubble (which I must say contains a couple of your books)!

  • Reply Nandita July 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Holly: i think as kids or even young adults most of our energy goes into fitting in. I remember wanting to be skinny, clothes a certain way, hair a certain way. My energy was focused on getting into a similar college like the rest of the people I knew. So littel of my enegry trully went into develop who I really was. I wish I had the wisdom then that I now have. What you said about fitting in and not standing out hit a cord with me. :) I am passionate about design- not many people around me understand or appreciate that- but I am too scared to leave my regular non design job and jump in body and soul. its a passion I enjoy in my own private bubble. its nice :)

  • Reply Julia July 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    You’re right! Although I’m still looking for some easiest way to express what’s in my head when decorating my home, I’m always very self confident when it comes to my style. I love colors, bold jewellery and I have very feminine style.
    I don’t like all these beige, neutral, oversized clothes, and I would’t feel good in minimalistic interiors with all these clear lines etc.

    And it’s true- at some point of life you really don’t care what others would like to see or do. Eg- we don’t have any dress code at work ( and by ‘no dress code’ I mean flip flops and shorts in the summer) but I wear dresses and skirts almost all the time. For the first few months everybody was like ‘do you have some meeting or something?’ ‘No, I like to think I’m in Mad Man’s office.’

  • Reply Holly Leonardson July 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I love wearing my much adored collection of day-glo bright 60s dresses with geometric/floral patterns, along with my big yellow wool coat, tights and pink Melissa jelly shoes.

    However, for practical reasons I like to wear black dresses, my boyfriends old slouchy sweaters and a pair of leather shoes so beaten up they have fallen apart.

    This article has come at a fitting time though – I’m currently radically de-cluttering the house and much of my pre-loved / under-used items (clothing or otherwise) are being sold at a future garage sale or being donated to charity. :-)

  • Reply Nicole Nicol July 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I have been thinking about this lately as I’m turning 40 next month. I’ve always felt more comfortable mixing and doing whatever takes me in my interiors but not as confident with fashion. I think as I’ve gotten to know myself more I am getting more comfortable with what I do or don’t like. It’s like I just know straight way.
    Also from doing your courses I feel I also can thank you a little for helping me to really be more confident in what I do and who I am..
    I also felt a bit still like a young school girl..maybe not as confident with fashion as I could be..I said to myself, you are nearly 40, someone’s mum, a confident artistic creator ..just be me! Luckily these days I know who that is.

  • Reply Stacey Day July 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    What a lovely post. I love your Holly bubble – my husband always tells me I live in “Stacey Land”, where everything is easier and more simplified than it really is in the world.

  • Reply Christina Wöhler July 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Hallo Holly,
    sorry…ich schreibe auf Deutsch…
    Mein Modemotto heißt: immer ein bißchen Bunt. Ich bin garkeine Ton-in-Ton , ganz Schwarz oder “Nichttöne” Trägerin.
    Das Bat T-Shirt besitze ich übrigens ;-)
    Ich kann nur sagen , beim Ankleiden , nicht zuviel überlegen einfach mal anziehen ! Nie zuviel Modetrends auf einmal. Da ich ja selber Schmuck herstelle, finde ich darüber auch die Modetrends die ich umsetze.
    Und ja, dekorieren tue ich auch in Bunt ;-) ( Soweit es die familie zuläßt )
    Grüßli Tina

  • Reply Holly July 17, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I loved every word of this post! I definitely relate to being in my own world and feeling carefree once you stop caring about what others think.

    I do feel that my clothes are a perfect translation of my decor. Light, airy, soft yet rugged or distressed at times (ripped jeans are my fav) with a hit of bohemian femininity thrown in.

  • Reply Rose July 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Great post Holly!

    Well I wore my brother’s hand me down clothes for the first few years of my life really. Being the first girl after three boys, that may be why I love t-shirts so much. My style has definitely evolved over the last 15 years. I still love a good band shirt, jeans and pair of vans but I also wear a lot more bright colors, patterns and girly things then my punk teenage self would have thought 11 years ago.

    I am drawn towards prints & patterns in the home and I do find that I gravitate towards that style of clothing too. I love what I love, I try to mix classics with bold choices and clothes that fit my body style. The only time I feel uncomfortable with what I am wearing is if I know the fit isn’t very flattering. Doesn’t matter how cool the skirt is, if it is too short that is all I can think about all night! I don’t care too much on what people think about my clothes or if I fit the “blogger uniform” at meet ups- An attitude my punk teenage self would be very proud of!

  • Reply Tracie Hanson July 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    YES! Architectural with a side of ethnic pattern please.

  • Reply Gwen July 17, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    so true! i’m somewhat the opposite, started in fashion and have slowly figured out the decor thing after getting married and having my own home. lovely pieces, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Bee July 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    My fashion style definitely evolved alongside my home decor style. While still rooted in the comfort of jeans, t-shirts, and casual living, the shapes, patterns, and colors are slightly more refined to suit my grownup self. Learning to incorporate accessories for both myself and my home has made the biggest difference since the school days. Bloggers like you and Oh Joy! have made it easier for me to explore and find my personal style. You’re more relatable compare to high style fashion and home magazines.

  • Reply Eleni Fitsaki July 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I agree with you! If you open your wardrobe and you observe what kind of clothes consists the bigger part of it you will realize that the style of the clothes that you prefer, reflects the one that you have adopted in your home.
    Our decorative style, flows from our daily choices in different factors of our life, like our stylish preferences…!

  • Reply kelsey williams July 17, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    yay for Raygun love! they are located here in Des Moines, Iowa!

  • Reply Amy July 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    I’m a firm believer that the clothes on the outside should reflect the person inside and discovering your own style is such a key part of communicating to the world around you who you are – after all we are all very visual, aesthetic people right? And as much as we always say; never judge a book by it’s cover, we always do when it comes to people!
    As I’ve grown up [I’ll be 37 in September] I’ve wanted to simplify my life. With a child, too much baggage and excess ephemera just complicates and clutters my life, so I need simple pieces that all work together easily so getting ready in the morning isn’t a chore but a simple pleasure.
    The other thought I’d like to add is that 10 years working as a fashion editor in London I discovered that the most stylish people don’t follow fashion. It’s fun to experiment with when we’re young and still working out who we are, and even when we’re older to add a little flare to an outfit, but the truly stylish know exactly who they are and what compliments their figure and personality. I feel I’m finally getting there.

  • Reply Tracy A. July 17, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I have been known to ask family members to nominate me for an episode on “What Not To Wear”! I feel that I have a fashion sense that matches my insides, but not my outside, aging body. It’s a dilemma; not the end of the world, but a dilemma!

  • Reply Laura Gaskill @ Lolalina July 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    This post really resonated with me because I have just recently been coming around to the same conclusion — my fashion style is very similar to my decorating style. The funny thing is, the more that truth sinks in — that it’s all “my style”, the people, interiors, and fashion, etc., that I love — the easier it is to find clothes I feel good in. I think we each have our own “lens” that we tend to reach for, and I tend to gravitate towards interiors, so I didn’t used to think I could put together an outfit, too. But after realizing that style can cross boundaries — from books to film to interiors to outfits to people — I am finding more and more of my life fitting together. I love being in my Laura bubble :-)

  • Reply sue July 17, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I had also not really thought about it, but yes you are right. I dress like my home, and in a way I guess it is inevitable. Somebody who likes crisp linens, is going to have a crisp linen sort of house, and somebody who dresses in suits even for fun, is probably going to have quite a masculine apartment. But now I will look at people differently and see if I can work out their interior style from their sense of dress.

  • Reply Sandra July 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    @Kristina: I LOVE Iris Apfel. If I could be HALF the woman now that she is at her age…

  • Reply Tami Cicale July 17, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    I always know what I like but I keep buying the same old same old all the time. I think my whole wardrobe is from Kohl’s which is fine but it’s not really me, more what’s easier. I need to break out! I also say when I loose weight I will dress differently but I really should dress and take pride in the body I have now.
    I think I need a stylist.

  • Reply Trina July 17, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    love your design related thought provoking posts lately, lady!

    i think if you are really following your heart, when you make your selections, than your design and fashion aesthetic do match up. sometimes i feel like i’m all over the place but pinterest is a really great place to see how my (and other’s) style carries a familiar thread all through it. when i look at pins i sometimes can guess who has pinned what whether it is fashion, design and sometimes even food.

    i used to always want to peg my fashion style to one store in my growing up years…. oh i’m so j.crew. or so anthropologie. now i’ve learned that i’m a little of it all and that is ok. sometimes my mood has an affect on me but overall…. i beginning to see more of a consistent style and a confidence with it. and yes, it is one of the benefits, thankfully, to aging!

    xo . t

  • Reply fenny setiawan July 18, 2013 at 3:20 am

    I love this post. I mean even though you posted something about fashion and some pretty images, but it kinda meaningful, the message that you wrote in this post.

    My fashion senses evolve along with my phase of life. Once I worked in a very strict corporate environment, I collected more formal dresses and coat, hated them but try to love them as it required. Thanks God I left and now I am much happier with my sense of styles. I always think comfort is important. I do not really follow the trend but I love to buy clothes that versatile to wear, even after few years, it is still look good and not out dated. I am not really sure if my house decorating styles reflect my fashion sense. May be yes, in term of versatility, as I like simple and not easy out to date decoration style.

  • Reply Kelly July 18, 2013 at 4:06 am

    @Tami Cicale: I totally know what you mean! I have had such an identity crisis after I put on about 20 pounds and I felt like I have no idea how to dress myself anymore. I was always trying to hide my body, and by doing so I ended up buying the same exact silhouettes every time I shopped. Stuff that I didn’t feel represents me, but “hey at least it hides my belly” or whatever. Lately, I’ve noticed that when I am out and I see a gal that has on a super cute outfit, I NEVER think, “Hey that’s such a cute outfit, it would be so much cuter if she were thinner.” I never think about her size at all. And then it hit me that nobody cares! We are our own worst critics. So lately I’ve been experimenting with clothes and it has been really fun!

  • Reply Rincy K July 18, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I love this post Holly .It rings true on so many levels!

    I think for me as I’m getting older and coming more comfortable in myself, I’m exploring a bit more-finding out works and what doesn’t. I also think having just one statement item is all you need to really make an ‘outfit’ and it doesn’t have to be out there. Simplicity = longevity to me!

    I’ve loved reading what everyone has had to say on this xx

    ps I think we all love the bubble you’ve created!

  • Reply Doreen July 18, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I love the outfit for the blogging meet-up. On the one hand, professional, well dressed in a suit, and on the other hand, it expresses creativity.

    As for interiors and clothes, I do find that if I am working on a design, or preparing for a color seminar, I am wearing the same colors as the ones I am working on for a given project.

  • Reply Frances July 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    I guess I am not in a place where I would even consider spending $200 on a blouse. I saw one similar at Target for $25. I spend more money on things that mean something to my family, like summer camp. For me the best outfit is a beautiful bargain.

    • Reply decor8 July 19, 2013 at 11:22 am

      @Frances – Yeah I agree – most of the prices are out of my league too.

  • Reply iHanna July 18, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I collect fashion inspiration in my Glue Book, and I think what I like there is more colorful than what I dare to wear normally. Posted a few pages on my blog this week, if you want to take a look. I think collecting images, in a glue book or a pinterest board of what you’re drawn to is a great way to know what you like!

  • Reply Jenn at Hello, Brio! July 18, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I love this post– as someone with minimal decor tastes, I have similar minimalist fashion style tastes. And I always feel bad about it. But you’re right, everyone has their bubble and should be unapologetic about that bubble. If I want to wear a grey v-neck t-shirt and colored chino shorts every day with flip flops 5 days out of the week, so be it. I just have to learn to own it and not worry so much about not being as fashionable. Because really, my fashion style is MY style, even if others consider it boring! May other minimalistic bubbles float towards mine. :)

  • Reply TheBrooklynFig July 18, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Fellow J Crew lover! You’d look stunning in that dress and I love the backdrop for the pics. I just posted about my fashion wishlist yesterday and it had a ton of J Crew and Madewell on it!

  • Reply Interior Designer July 19, 2013 at 7:42 am

    decor8 you have shared a great collection of fashion trendy style..I love to enjoy latest fashion and trends design….


    Aasif Interior Designer Meerut

  • Reply Toni July 19, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Honestly, I feel I can do better. I often go for comfort, so gravitate towards collared shirts and jeans. I know I can do better, but find that I have little time to think about it, or if I have time to shop I’d rather do other stuff. I really wish I could sit down and define my style beyond blue jeans and t-shirts. So nope, no defined style. It hasn’t changed much since college. I would like to have a more defined style. Perhaps when I have more me time? I know what I want, or at least think I know what I want, but perhaps am too shy to go for it. That’s another reason why I don’t have a defined style aside from the conventional. I don’t like calling attention to myself. I’d rather be wallpaper, but I could be the nice kind of wallpaper right? Yeah, it could be better. I could be styling myself better.

  • Reply Lennie Taylor July 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Great Article! Perhaps another question would be how our style changes over time, i.e. as we grow older do our preferences for sleek lines decor transfer into our style preferences.

    I’d say I’m quite a contemporaist when it comes to home decor but my style tends to be very current. Allways following the latest trends, keeping in touch with the SS13 to AW13, What to keep, what not to keep.

    I think we should all be thinking more about our personalities and express this in either your home decor or your dress sense. The true question which we all want answered is what is my true personality for style. This is something you’ll need to find for yourself but you can follow some basic principles.

    For Personal Styling you can work around your bodyshape, size, bust etc and with Home Styling, the same can be said with the layout of the house, open plan etc.

    Colour choices, Fabrics, and everything else all come down to you.

  • Reply Alessandra July 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I like your comment on fitting in or standing out… It resonate with me so deeply. Thank you Holly your are such a surprise!

  • Reply Whitney Ortega July 19, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    I totally think I dress like my home decor… if that means various styles and ideas with no clear concise pattern. I’m 25 and though I can often pull a look together for each day I still feel like I like too many things to decide upon one set style. Often I feel like my closest is a big mess of disparate ideas and I long for cohesion. That is also probably why my home is so sparse. I can’t commit to one set style so I avoid the issue by purchasing nothing. When does it all come together???? I’m told it’s because I’m young and just recently graduated college but I feel like many others my age have it together.

  • Reply Camille July 21, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Nice post ! ;)

  • Reply Liiana Salustio July 22, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Great post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I
    Im from ARGENTINA,and follow your site
    I completelly agree with what you said.
    Iam a granmather of five but Young of heart..,and i realice that as time went by,everything has to do with everything. You are WHAT you are.
    Iam a painter and i love mixing geométrical patterns with flowers, and plain colors. I also mix textures ,and styles
    As a result, I dress and decorate my home as Iam
    Congratulation .

  • Reply Deirdre Woodard July 22, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Your article is so dead on, daughter is twenty eight. Stylish in her own right. I watched her grow into it. I recently found a picture of myself that could have as we’ll be her and and dressed like either of us would today.

  • Reply Desha Peacock July 24, 2013 at 3:48 am

    So glad to see a post on fashion here, Holly! And yes, oh yes, I love it. My motto is to surround yourself with beauty, so that is equally important to me in my home, office, garden, and in my wardrobe.

    We have the opportunity to creatively express ourselves in each category and for me this is all about beauty, comfort and being a little bit unique. If something is off, like I”m redoing my kitchen and it’s a wreck- that effects me- feels chaotic. And if I am not comfy in my clothes, that effects me too. Like today I had on a dress that I love, but I normally wear little short tights to the knees with it b/c I’m tall and it’s short. Well half way through the day I took off the tights b/c it was hot and the rest of the day I felt a little exposed and a little too “free” if you know what I mean. I like the feeling of the little tights, hugging me snuggly under that particular short flowly dress. So, yes, to answer your question- home decor, personal style, gardening…. all ways to express who we are and I love it all. xo Desha

  • Reply Amy Lighthall July 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I love this post! Thanks for sharing your fashion thoughts with us!! :)

  • Reply Home decor July 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    It is an expression of great personality that you wear dress inside your house according to the interior design of your house. But before that you I believe you must decorate your home first and then you got to focus on your dress for expressing your personality to others.

  • Reply Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating August 4, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Love that Blog A Lot t-shirt. Just added it to my birthday wish list. By the way, congrats on your baby news. You seem to be able to “do it all,” so I’m sure you’ll be a great parent/wife/professional all at the same time. It won’t be easy, but hopefully it will all fall into place at some point and you’ll be able to enjoy each role at the same time. Best wishes!

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