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.

This post was originally published seven years ago yesterday. You can view the original with comments here.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    This weekend, I bought a bunch of white or cream colored clothes in natural fibers from the Goodwill Buy the Pound store, and played with indigo dye. I had a lot of fun! Now I have fun blue-and-white causal wear. 😁

    • Wow, what a perfect way to experiment with dyes! Then when you get tired of them you can take them back to Goodwill and they will be like new donations. I love Goodwill and that’s where I donate almost everything, other than house-related stuff that I donate to Habitat. I respect Goodwill because of all the work they do to help people with disabilities and other obstacles to employment. Not all charities do what they advertise, but in our experience, Goodwill really does. We interviewed them when we were looking for employment services for Matt when he first got out of school, but he ended up taking a job with another agency. Still, I was impressed with Goodwill and the range of employment services they provide to people who need extra help getting hired. I’m happy to hear that you are a customer!

      • Very nice to hear this about Goodwill, since I’m something of an addict, and it affords me a means to indulge in that creative whimsy.

        • Susan, it might even spark creativity, to wander among the unpredictable hodgepodge of any particular store. Goodwill stores here are among the best organized of any thrift store I’ve seen, but the nature of selling used goods means that there is never the same stock. There’s a sameness, of course, but never quite the same. And in some ways, it can be like time travel, looking at things parents treasured but their children find worthless.

  2. Susan

    So true, Julia! I’m not artistic or creative myself, but I LOVE seeing beauty created by others. And I do try to tell them. But creative people probably never know how many people’s days they’ve brightened with their time and talent 🙂 .

    • Susan, I’m with you. I try to let people know how much I enjoy their creativity. On my walks at our York neighborhood, I used to stop and tell people who were working in their yards (or putting out Christmas decorations or whatever) how much I appreciated seeing the fruits of their labors every day. Creative people– other than a few fortunate celebrities who make it big– are mostly unsung heroes in our world, but I’m surely glad they are here!

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

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