An authentic style

Scarves on display at an Istanbul market, 2008

Scarves on display at an Istanbul market, 2008

“People with an authentic style know what they are, but even more important, they know what they are not.  They don’t care about labels.  They care about personal expression.”Sarah Ban Breathnach

I have always admired women who know how to use accessories to create beautiful outfits.  Usually, a woman whose style I admire does not rely on the latest fashion fad to create an eye-catching look; rather, she knows how to pull colors, garments and costume jewelry together to highlight what is most beautiful about her own personality and character.  This talent does not require spending a lot of money.  Some of the most stylish people I know are frugal and creative, unafraid to try something different.

The same is true for other forms of art incorporated into everyday life.  The most memorable homes and living spaces I’ve seen are the ones that are unique, expressing the essence of the people who live there, accentuating the most interesting aspects of their lives.

Not all of us are gifted at dressing or decorating with artistry, but we can appreciate those who add beauty to the world in this way.  When you see people whose clothing or home style brightens your day, tell them so!  And if you have a talent for creating with style, know that others enjoy and benefit from your efforts to make the world more attractive.


  1. Sheila

    Julia,sometimes I feel my pleasures are so simple but yet give me so much happiness. I often laugh and say,” It doesn’t take much” and feel delighted. I know that there are often issues you are dealing with in your personal life and yet you find strength to give to others through your blog. Reading your words and in some small way sharing my support is a pleasure for me. May Sunday be as beautiful for you and your family as the scarves. I think I’ll wear a scarf today…. And think of you! Always a prayer,Sheila

    • Sheila, thanks so much! It makes me happy to think that the things I write are helpful to someone. In college my roommate and I used to be teased because we got so excited over the tiniest things. Privately we would encourage each other by saying that we were given so many exciting adventures (we were both travelers from airline families) because we knew how to appreciate EVERY LITTLE THING. Those who can truly say “It doesn’t take much” to feel delighted are actually enjoying a special gift, I think. Today is already beautiful for me because, for the first time in months, my husband was able to sleep all night without getting up once! Very encouraging since he was always such a sound sleeper until he got sick. Thanks so much for visiting here, and especially for your prayers.

  2. Julia, my wife loves to wear a hat as you can see in the picture. She has accumulated many inexpensive hats to wear. She often stands out in a crowd and is easy to find because she has a hat on. It is amazing how many people compliment her on her hat. Praise God for your good night’s sleep. Our continued prayers for your family. Monte

    • Thanks, Monte! We have a sister at church who loves hats and wears one each Sunday. It always cheers me to see her hats. I am sure it is the same with your wife. Some people just know how to wear them well. Thanks for your prayers – they are helping!

  3. Very true , Julia, I could not more agree.
    groetjes, Francina

    • Dank u Francina! I am so happy to have you visit us here.

  4. Thank you for your perspective! I am certainly not a decorator, but my home is, as you say, truly representative of the people, personal experiences, and influences in my life. It may not have the decorator’s touch, but It’s Me!
    We’re so thankful for the wonderful beginning you’ve had to this Lord’s Day. May it ever be!

    • Thanks Carla! Because we have moved around so much, I’ve become very aware of how our personal touches are what make a house feel like home. Often we’ve had less than optimal housing conditions, but once we moved in and got settled, with our own (however shabby or gorgeous) furnishings, it always felt like home.

  5. Love this. I recently wrote a post about “Archetypes” and one of the ones mentioned in a book I recently read was “The Fashionista.” It describes the type of woman you just did–fashion as a form of expression, not necessarily following fads or trends. Maybe you have a little “fashionista” in you! I used to write-off fashion as being a cold, esoteric, exclusive world but since I read the Archetype book (and now your post), I’ve begun to look at it a bit differently.

    • Thanks for the comment! I’ll have to check out that book myself. I just love how every person is at least a little bit different from anyone else, and our clothing is one way to accentuate our best points. I appreciate your visiting us here.

  6. What a fantastic photograph of beautiful fabrics. That must have been a wonderful destination. I’m a true believer that you don’t have to spend a kings ransom to have a comfortable and beautiful home. I always enjoy collecting things along the way, especially old things that gave meaning to someone else’s home in the past or treasure brought home from a holiday. For me, a home with layers of stories and history is so much more interesting.

    • I think that’s why so many of us have fond memories of our grandparents’ homes. Most of us did not have wealthy ancestors, but the homes that have seen years of life are rich with lots of layers, as you mention. Istanbul is indeed a fascinating place to visit, and we found the people very gracious and welcoming. I took tons of photos in the markets; the colors were dazzling.

  7. Sheila

    Julia, so happy that your husbands sleep was peaceful and through the night. I came back to read the comments since I wrote so very early. A little coastal town south of us is Pawleys Island (famous for their hammocks).
    It’s described best as “Arrogantly Shabby”!
    I’ve been calling my style eclectic for years.
    Hope you’re having a wonderful afternoon.
    Again, Sheila

    • Thank you Sheila! “Arrogantly Shabby” is hilarious. It fits certain parts of Martha’s Vineyard, too, I think…the parts that aren’t “Too rich to comprehend.” No, seriously, we loved Martha’s Vineyard and it was a friendly place. We’ll have to go to Pawley’s Island sometime. I used to sell those hammocks when I was a salesclerk at Rich’s department store in Atlanta (1973-1978).

  8. I don’t generally pay much attention to style in clothing or house decorations (I guess I’m a stereo-typically man), but I do really appreciate those who write with distinctive style. I am particularly thrilled that I am discovering some young authors who are developing a voice of their own.

    • There are so many different ways to express style. It’s always refreshing to discover an author whose way with words is unique.

  9. So many are blessed by the talents that God has given you! Each post gives so much to invigorate our hope, over & over again! Style for me comes from knowing the ‘ME’ God has made and the service he has put in me. Sometimes I know we weary but take a breather & keep going..just like you do! We won’t get weary in well-doing! Blessings to you & your family my girlfriend.

    • Thanks Renee! As I told you yesterday, you are one of the people who inspired this message!


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