The Art of Personal Style

January 14, 2018

As we enter a new year, it is always good to take a personal inventory and make intentional decisions to live the best 2018 possible.   I always seem to be challenging you to take a look at your home and make the changes you might need to give yourself the space that you have always dreamed of having.    I would be remiss if I didn’t challenge you to think about your own personal style and to work on creating the best version of yourself.


I work on my personal style constantly as my life, weight, and age always seem to be changing!

I've always had an obsession with observing people with great style and trying to figure out their style secrets.   I remember sitting in airports as a young professional and watching people walk by. I always looked for the people that just seemed to stand out in the best of ways.     They always just seemed to float by armed with a confidence I couldn’t put my finger on.   

Over the years, I've learned a few things about the art of personal style through my own successes and failures (and there have been many.)   And here are the rules that I like to live by…


Rule One:   Clothes should have a sense of permanence.


The difference between style and trend is that clothing with great style will have a place in your wardrobe for years to come.   I have quality pieces in my wardrobe that I have had for fifteen years that still look completely relevant, beautiful and modern when I wear them today.    While I may wear them differently and pair them with basics that are indicative of my age and the times, they still have a place in my closet.


A few of the many pieces that I have that are ten years or older and still relevant in my closet.

When you find a great look with K. Renee today, it is our hope that we can help you make it look right (perhaps styled up a little different) for years to come.  

Rule Two:  Don’t be afraid of the feminine.

A feminine look or color palette can often be both strong and interesting.   Let’s face it ladies, being a woman is strong and powerful.   I have a bubble gum pink coat and skirt that I found at K. Renee many, many years ago.   It reminded me of the amazing Jackie Onassis.  


(Yes, please.  She had the most incredible sense of style and will continue to be an icon to be emulated.)  We have this coat (below) in the store now that has the same vibe - a completely feminine color with a powerful structure and look.    While completely on trend this season, it has a life in your closet that won’t disappoint!


Rule Three:   Don’t be afraid of the masculine.

Elegant masculine tailoring can make such a statement.  Heck, many of us are tomboys at heart, right?  And nothing will get you more noticed than a fabulous suit or blazer.

Great style means not being predictable and scared to be noticed.    One of the most fun black-tie galas is coming up in Des Moines is BRAVO.     I think it would be incredibly powerful (and feminine in a masculine way) to rock an evening suit to stand out from the sea of dresses that you will see.


We have an amazing black sequin suit from Rachel Zoe that I LOVE!   It is such a statement and the best part is that you don’t have to accessorize too much or worry about an intricate updo to be fabulous.  Throw on a v-neck silk tank underneath, a fabulous heel, and a red lip, and you are ready to go.  You will even have a pocket to throw your phone in for absolute freedom while you stand out in all the best ways.

The best part of this evening suit is its long-term versatility   After the event you can wear the blazer with a tee shirt and jeans for a rocker look.   Or throw on the pants with a simple black top for cocktail attire.    


Rule Three:   Imperfect is much better than perfect.  

Now that sounds weird, I know.  But think about it.   First, perfect doesn't exist.   And second, what is perceived as perfect just isn’t that interesting because it has been defined as a stereotypical standard.   Rather your style should be a reflection of you and should make us wonder about who you are and what you are like.   Our style should have components of the unexpected.   A shirttail left out purposefully.    A belt added to a jacket.  An unusual necklace.     A top that reads cocktail attire, yet you pair it back to jeans.  A summer weight dress paired with a leather jacket and boots for winter dressing.


The freedom to be imperfect also gives us permission to play with our clothes and pair looks together in an unusual, interesting yet stylish way.   

Just like your home, styling your outfits is about adding layers and textures to create interest and flattering proportion.  Play around with the items in your closet.  If you don’t feel comfortable or confident, come play in our rather large closet.  We always love showing you a trick or two you can try on your own.

Rule Four:  Treat your clothes as your armor.

I know that facing the world at times can be challenging.  Think about an important meeting or even perhaps an interview. What we wear during those times thunders so loud.    Or how about an event we are attending where we don’t want to just disappear into the crowd?   And at the worst of times, our armor protects us when walking into a room where everyone around you thinks you will fall apart at any second.    


What we choose to wear sends a message.   That message can be: “I got this.”  “I feel great.”  “I can do the job.” but just as easily “I don’t care.”  “I may not make it.” or “I may not be confident about this job or project.”   Our armor is a powerful communication tool, and I love the idea of maximizing all of the tools that we have!

Rule Five:   You don’t need to be “dressed up” to be powerful and beautiful.

Just like a home can be both comfortable and elegant, so can your everyday style.   I worked out of my home for years and found myself in a pretty consistent attire of yoga pants and old sweatshirts. I was comfortable, yes, but eventually became uninspired with myself and I let my best self-slip away.   Instead, I found that I felt better and got more done when I got up and got dressed. I was still casual and comfortable, but in a way that told myself that I was ready to tackle the day and anything that happened to come up.   


My go-to pieces became nice denim, a great sweater or an inspired top with a few layers and either a necklace or belt.    I gave up my default ponytail and ball cap (at least as a regular uniform) and did my hair.   Just that alone was a game changer.   Having improved style became something that inspired me to do and be more.

Whatever you do, whether you work inside or outside of the home, whenever you look good you feel better.   Just a fact of life.


Rule Six:  Comfort is always key.

No matter if you like wearing suits, dresses, denim, skirts, heels, flats or boots...having the right fit and style that makes you shine is imperative.    There is nothing worse than wearing a stylish pair of shoes that make your feet pound in pain.   Or wearing clothes that are a size too small and ride in all the wrong places.     

There is not one size or style that fits all.    It’s why alterations become so important.  And it is also why trying out different styles is equally important.    Even though I dress up almost every day, I too just want to be comfy.    My go-to comfortable bottoms happen to be leather leggings (a stylish yoga pant if you ask me) and a long shirting with a belt or jacket.    


But I also find suiting styled in a less traditionally corporate way gives me the style, confidence, and comfort I always require when I get dressed.    Dresses, especially long ones, are light, airy and incredibly comfortable.     Push yourself to try out some different looks and find the ones that make you happy to wear them time and time again.

Rule Seven:  Always be Yourself

Always be yourself, but push yourself to be the best you can be as yourself.   It’s incredibly powerful when you look and feel your best. The days when I rise late and walk out the door in something that makes me feel blah almost assures me a blah day.     Be an amazing version of yourself.  If you like dressing up, do it.   If you prefer to be casual, make it work.    


We, at K. Renee, don’t believe in trends.  We do believe in making style your own based on what suits you.  One thing I know for sure is that our style team can help you find that sweet spot in your wardrobe that fits both your personality and everyday needs.   All of us at K. Renee have a bit different taste and style.   It won’t be difficult to find someone that helps you become all that you can be.

Have a stylishly wonderful week!




PS.   Did you see the see the latest issue of DSM Magazine?   Jordan Croft produced and Elizabeth Carrie shot a stunning style editorial.


Photo by Elizabeth Carrie.  Produced by Jordan Croft.


 No, this isn't your typical grocery shopping outfit, but this model looks darn good doing it in her K. Renee clothing!