Staying True to Yourself Through Style

This is the first of my SEVEN part blog series from all the topics you (my wonderful readership) voted to learn more about! So thank you for sharing your opinion.

And away we go….

Today we will focus on a relevant topic for many of the clients and one I have wrestled with in my own life: Staying True to Yourself through Authentic Style.

Seems easy right ?… And sometimes not so much.

First off, there is that big black hole called TRENDS, which so many of us fall victim to but shouldn’t given our body type or limited budget. Or there is the fact that you could have a full sleeve of tattoos but work in a professional field that does not accept them. And then there is the reality that most days it is easier to throw on workout clothes {God forbid yoga pants with your rear exposed} instead of actually thoughtfully dressing. Let’s also just own the fact that you haven’t gone to the gym in 3 years anyway so spandex really isn’t for you.

Though I could take on this topic for days, I will spare you some of my chatter and instead give you my top 5 ways to stay true to your authentic style in any environment.


1. Find Your Pop and Stick With It: By pop, I mean your style thing. Is it that you collect out-of-this-world shoes or love to tie scarves in your hair? Know your thing and do it as often as possible! I personally include a touch of “leopard” or animal print with most of my outfits to remind myself that I am a lioness arising. Mic Drop.

2. Turn Quirks Into Accessories:  If you are someone who is needing to cover up something that is special to you, like tattoos or piercings, consider them an accessory. Take into consideration buying items with brighter colors or bold patterns to mimic the beauty of your bodywork. And if you have to cover up those gems at work or hide your brightly colored hair due to dress codes…let your beauty erupt on your days off. Own it. And remind yourself that while we sometimes have to conform to get our jobs done, that doesn’t mean we cannot express ourselves when appropriate.

3. Notice A Rut Before It Is Too Late: Let’s face it..bad pants do happen to good peopleI think one of the biggest killers to personal style is the thing we never see coming. Ruts happen, like buying the same top in multiple colors or collecting 25 pairs of khakis as if preparing to work at Target because they are comfortable. But thank God there is something you can do about it.  Start by recognizing you have a problem first. {Wink.} When you regularly trade those cute skirts and dresses for yoga pants and oversized college t-shirts–you need to hug a friend or call me and abruptly steer clear of losing your style {and self -worth} in a sea of unflattering nylon and cotton. Redirect your rut with intension so you can be free. Um. Now.

4. Define Your Style Words and Live by Them: The first time I work with my clients, I walk through a discovery process to identify key words that define each person’s visual voice. These words often evolve over time based on life circumstances and seasons of life.  My own style words happen to all start with the letter A: Approachable, Appropriate, Authentic. Begin jotting down key phrases that you want others to say about you. Ask friends how they would describe you? Create a vision board of images that inspire your style to get your creative juices flowing. You will see patterns emerge that point you to the right words that express the impression you want to make. Let these words be your guide so you stay true to your authentic style.

5. Trends Aren’t a Have-To: I started this blog by saying that being a slave to the trends can be a slippery slope into a bottom-less pit. When cropped flared jeans surfaced last year, I was like, “WHAT?” Ain’t nobody should climb on that bandwagon..but that is just me. While the runway can talk for us, we should honor the fact that most of the world isn’t accessorized by Tom Ford. I am hopeful this 5’5″, 135 pound frame might someday mirror the likes of Behati Prinsloo…but I reserve those thoughts for my dreams. Know your shape and dress to your assets no matter the trends. I am here to help if you need wise council on that topic.  #goturback


Remember, style is something we all have inside, and something that is unique for each one of us. Stick to yours and watch yourself shine!

Oscar De La Renta said, “Fashion is a trend. Style lives within a person.”

And thank you Coco Chanel for saying it best, “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”

Stylishly yours,

Jen Young

Finding Your Authentic Visual Voice


Authentic Visual Voice: What is it? How do I find it? How do I flaunt it?

Authenticity is defined as “not false or copied; genuine and real.”

My style icon, Coco Chanel, stated “Beauty begins the moment we decide to be ourselves!” I couldn’t agree more.

Using my Signature S.T.Y.L.E system, let’s dive in to define and find our Authentic Visual Voice.

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S. Streamline Your Wardrobe….This allows you to SEE MORE CLEARLY in life.

I always encourage individuals to begin the culling process with removing any physical clutter to pair things down to a manageable state. Reduce your overwhelm by ridding the “unlovely” and anything that doesn’t inspire your creativity. I think of the closet as a microcosm of someone’s life. It story tells about what is important or sentimental to an individual but also gives me a quick understanding of someone’s personal style….or lack there of! Wink.

Physical clutter can be a distraction but so can toxic people. Purge anything or anyone that causes you to be derailed from your calling.  While it may be difficult, don’t be afraid to break up with or limit time with people who are energy suckers.  Also coat those hard relationships with grace.

When you scale things down, you allow yourself to be more genuine with your values and future life choices.

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T. Take Inventory of your closet… and TELL THE TRUTH about your life.

Answer this simple question:

What are you non-verbally communicating to folks about your highest values with the way you live and dress in your life?

For me personally, this included surveying close friends and family to asses how they see me if described in three words. Writing down a list of my highest values and figuring out my gifts was imperative to speaking confidently to my personal truths.

When you tell people the truth about who you are—you become safe for people to hang out with. The things that often keep us from feeling safe are shame and fear of some kind often from our past, which makes us want to hide from people. Reality is all people just want to be loved and known. They want to show up  feeling fully themselves without being judged.

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Y. Your Body Type (knowing how to dress your shape; focusing on your assets not your age) …but also believing that YOU MATTER no matter your size or shape.

Learn more about dressing for your body type here: Pear, Apple, Peanut, Carrot and String Bean.

Accept who you are as God’s perfect creation—your shape—your life—your heart remembering God doesn’t make garbage.

You might ask, “How can I possibly accomplish this with all the input in the world we are mislead by?”

  1. Stop Comparing Yourself to others: don’t try to be a copy of someone else or judge yourself too harshly.
  2. Stop believing the lies that media portrays suggesting that “You are not beautiful enough, but we can fix you.”
  3. Silence the condemning voice in your head: avoid minimizing your assets and throw yourself in! Flaunt your shape and live like a boss…

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L. “Less is more” philosophy in your closet…. PROTECT YOUR SPHERE OF INFLUENCE in your life.

“Buy less. Choose Well,” said Vivienne Westwood as it relates to the closet. Shop with Intension!

For your life: placing boundaries around not only who but also what activities you allow to fill your calendar is key. If you are a “yes” addict, remind yourself that when you say no to something—you give greater value to your “yes!

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E. Express your Authentic Visual Voice….express who you are as an IMAGE BEARER or “LIGHT” FOR GOD! 

2 Corinthians 4:6 resonated with me when the Bible reads to be a light as Jesus says as we walk in our truth: “For God, who said, ‘Let the light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

In summary:

When we choose to see ourselves more clearly we 1. Streamline our lives, 2. Take inventory of our relationships, values and stuff; when we adopt the belief 3. You matter and live out a 4. Less is more philosophy and 5. Express your Authentic Visual Voice.

As a result our:

  • Creativity is enhanced
  • Motivation to achieve goals increases because we are more pointed in our efforts
  • Self confidence is improved
  • Honor for God in His creation is esteemed
  • S.T.Y.L.E. aligns with our authentic visual voice.

Cheers to a stylish you,

jen young