I talk a lot about what outfit I wore on what day and where I went on the blog, but I haven't really stepped into how I became interested in fashion, and what has influenced my style the most, so I decided I'd get a little more personal today and share some of that with you!

Brett (my husband) asked me the other day how I'd define my style. And I basically told him that I have no idea what "box" my personal style fits in to. I know what I'm not, though. I'm not super edgy (even though I like aggressive accessories), I tend to veer a little more polished than someone with a bohemian style, I'm not in to having an entire wardrobe filled with retro pieces, even though I do love vintage, and I've never felt like I have the body or pocketbook to have a strong minimalism look going, either.

A lot of things have influenced my personal style, and a large influence has come from where I've lived the last few years. I spend the first 18 years of my life in Scottsdale, AZ, but in the last five years, I've spent significant time in five states! I grew up going to a school where uniforms were required, and I pretty much dressed to fit in, like any other high schooler, on the weekends. At my school, that meant a lot of Hollister and Abercrombie.

After I graduated high school, I moved to southern California for college. It was so weird to not put on a uniform every day to go to class, but I adopted the standard "uniform" of sorts of my school, and of southern CA (not that there aren't people that don't wear this uniform, but a lot of people do), which was basically jeans, cute tops, and rainbow sandals. I was interested in fashion, but not so much that I wanted to stand out by dressing differently than my peers. I was a little shy, and just wanted to blend in and be accepted.

This is where my "typical college kid" story changes a whole lot, and it also changed the way I thought about fashion. In between my first and second semester of college, I had to have back surgery (a result of a college cheerleading injury). You might be a little confused as to why this affected the way I dressed, but I'm getting there! You see, I had some major complications after surgery, and without going in to too much detail, I spent a lot of time in hospitals, in bed, or on the couch for a year afterwards. During this time, my sartorial choices were limited pretty much to sweatpants and sneakers.

During that time, i discovered fashion blogs, and spent a lot of time reading fashion magazines. I also figured out that when I got up and got dressed, I felt a lot better! Getting up in the mornings and getting dressed, even if I was spending most of the day at doctor's offices or on the couch, became a point of pride for me, and wearing heels when I was feeling up to it was a little rebellious, but I felt like wearing heels was a way of saying to myself and my family and friends that I was going to be OK, and that I wasn't going to let my back problems define me! 

Next up in the "cities I lived in" tour was Lubbock, Texas, where I attended school for a semester. Like California, I tried to blend in with the other students, and at Texas Tech that meant Sperry Topsiders and Nike Tempo shorts to class (known as "norts" to the college girls that wear them), which was so not me. For going out at night, cocktail dresses reigned supreme, and I started to build up a bit of a collection. 

I left Texas in May, and headed home to Arizona, where I started at Arizona State University that fall. At some point that summer, I decided I was getting kind of sick of just wearing clothes that everyone else wears just to fit in, and decided that I wasn't going to do that anymore when I started at ASU. While everyone else on campus (or so it seemed) was wearing velour tracksuits with Uggs and super short shorts, I wore what I wanted. And that was a really liberating feeling. My interest in fashion grew, and at some point, I decided I wanted to try to intern in the industry, with hopes of working in the field someday.

The next summer, I packed my bags and headed to NYC for the summer, where I interned for a fashion PR firm. I loved every minute of being in the city, and it definitely helped shape my personal style. My internship gave me opportunities to see people with amazing style on a day to day basis, and that was really inspiring to me. I realized that even though I might not have worn the edgy dress that another girl wore, she looked great in it. This made me understand better how fashion is the ultimate way of expressing yourself on a day to day level, and that even if I don't specifically love a certain style for me, I can still appreciate what others are wearing! 

I spent a lot of time shopping in the city, and I readjusted my thought process when I bought things. Instead of worrying about being perfectly trendy or "cool" looking, I bought only things that I loved. I wore what I wanted to wear, and I began to feel like I was really expressing myself through the way I dressed. 

Between two massive closet clean-outs that happened right before and after I moved to Virginia, I realized somethingI love every single piece of clothing that's left in my wardrobe. For me, that means a lot more than being able to sum up my personal style in a couple descriptive words. So the next time someone asks me what my personal style is, I think I'll reply, "It's constantly evolving, and it doesn't fit in a box, but it's very me!"

To sum things up (and yes, I did have a point in all of this), if I was asked for advice on creating a personal style, I think I'd tell someone to dress for themselves, not for those around them. If you buy only things you absolutely love, you will always feel good about what you're wearing, even if it's not totally on-trend. I can always tell when someone feels confident and like themselves in their clothes, and to me, that's the best possible goal you can achieve every morning when you get dressed. 

How would YOU describe your personal style?


  1. If pressed, I guess I'd say that my style is classic and feminine with a twist. Like yours, mine has definitely evolved a lot -- especially over the last couple of years. But it still changes all the time!
    xo Josie

  2. I never know how to answer this question either because it really depends on my mood! I usually stick to classics with a bit of an edgy, romantic or trendy flair. I'm not the bohemian type at all (even though I like it on everyone else.) And like you said in AZ, it's easy to fall into a fashion funk and just wear what everyone else is wearing-tiny tops and shorts which aren't inspiring at all!

  3. It's always really interesting to hear about how and why people's personal styles have evolved. I really can't label mine either- I find jeans very uncomfortable and so I spend most of my time in dresses. I like quirky prints and layers. Beyond that I don't even know how I'd describe my style but it's definitely changed over the years. At the same time, a lot of what appeals to me has stayed the same.

  4. Wow such an interesting post, thanks for sharing with us :)
    I have no idea WHERE to begin with describing my style :P

  5. I loved this, Brookelyn!

  6. I'm sort of on the fence...STILLLL!!! I feel like a chameleon because I love all kinds of different looks-I like preppy, bold and edgy, bohemian, minimalism, classic chic, 70s, and the list could go on and on forever. If you rolled all of that into one big ball, what would it be called?