What’s your personal style? I believe everyone has one whether it’s intentional or not. Everyone has their own fascinating style idiosyncrasies that may or may not be charming or flattering.

I’ve always admired people different than me. Don’t we all? People who are effective at pulling off trendy looks always garner my praise. I look at their style compositions and am often happily puzzled by how they managed to sweep their hair this way and push their bracelets and beads that way to create a polished but very “new” sort of look. For example, as much as I’ll never be emulating the Olsen Twins, in the 2000’s I was perpetually in awe of their ability to look both totally unkempt and uber chic at once.

My style is fairly classic. And actually, in my teenage years especially, it posed a dilemma. I often felt deeply conflicted by whether to embrace the joys of ephemeral youth and wear something only a young person can truly “get away with” or to pursue my inner passions and wear tailored blouses and elegant capri pants with nice flats or heels.

Ironically, over the years I was often yelled at by older ladies to stop dressing “so old” when I did wear what I truly loved. And nevemind the many older men who found my dress to be some sort of social cue that I was looking for a “more mature romance.” Haha! No, older men can be attractive, but at 24 a 48 year old (or older) is not generally the ideal…

But now at 35 I feel liberated to dress as I please. This year I’m planning to finally free my inner tailoring fiend and fully indulge in my love of understatement, Brooks Brothers, pearls, Hermès and heels. I’m even forcing myself to stop being frugal about certain beauty items and rituals. Case in point: I hate spending money on manicures or pedicures. It just seems so wasteful to me for some silly reason and I get scared about the hygiene practices at most nail salons, but I might bite the bullet and pay for one or two this year just to experiment. We’ll see…

Also, the noise high heels make has always bothered me or, perhaps more accurately, embarrassed me. The pinnacle of this is when one is walking around an art museum, library or some place a person might desire to be truly stealth. You can’t easily glide about and attract no attention when you sound like an approaching horse… But I’m determined to figure it out and stop keeping my silhouette from the elegant things that can happen with the perfect heel.

In regard to fragrance I’m also indulging myself this year. I’m buying Dior Joy because to me it’s reminiscent of a fruity, tropical cocktail I’ve imbibed in the Caribbean on a holiday. It’s sugary, cheerful beauty… And I might even go crazy and buy what some might label a really “offensive” sugar bomb just to have lighthearted olfactory fun on occasion.

The olfactory romp through the “silly stuff” reminds me of a stage I went through in my early to late 20’s where I went tanning even though I knew it was foolish at best, and dangerous at worst. Sometimes you just need vitamin d and a burst of golden color, I guess. And I rarely burned and stopped once I hit 29. I’m now careful about the sun.

But anyway, what’s your style? Have you had a few hang-ups that have kept you from being authentic or have you always been true to yourself? It’s really a complex thing isn’t it…