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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

signature style wednesdays: style profile

fashions fade, style is eternal.
(yves saint laurent)

hello gorgeous tranquilistas!
i hope you are having a fabulous wednesday. in case this is our first time meeting, please take a moment to check out both my posts on tdj last week, desk to impress and style in the kitchen. this week's topic is our first style profile—a monthly series where i will interview a fellow stylista. please enjoy the following conversation with chelsea bea from pencil skirt and pearls. chelsea is a great friend of mine and a complete expert on all things style.

thanks for joining us on signature style wednesdays, please tell us a little about yourself!
i was born and raised in idaho. i went to school at university of idaho in northern idaho where i double majored in international relations & economics, and minored in french. after graduation, i moved to switzerland and worked for an ngo that did research on the public health of migrants.

since then, i moved back to idaho and began working in finance and as a part-time stylist. in a few weeks, i am moving to des moines, iowa to begin a new chapter with my fiancé. we are getting married in august, and my goal is to start graduate school next year. you can learn more about me by visiting my blog, or tweeting with me.

who do you look to for inspiration?
i find inspiration from all over—i keep up with current trends through tv and magazines, but i also have a few sources of inspiration that are a bit more personal.

my mother is the epitome of classic style. she has taught me everything i know about putting together my outfits, wardrobe, makeup routine and décor. a few things she has taught me:

take a moment
never leave the house without earrings and a bit of blush

stick to the classics
no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you’ll never feel out of place or undressed if you’re wearing black

accessorize often
what really makes an outfit standout is the accessories you add to it, whether jewelry, scarves, hats or gloves
i am also surrounded by an amazing group of extremely stylish women. my closest friends are all very in tune with their personal style. even though we have different ‘signature’ elements, we’re able to draw from one another for ideas—whether it’s for dressing up or for designing a centerpiece.

if i must say someone famous, and this is going to sound cliché, but michelle obama, audrey hepburn and coco chanel inspire me.

what is your style profile?
my style profile is based around the elements of classic & simple beauty. my style is feminine, clean and confident. someone once told me that i'm an old soul with a young heart, and it really resonated with me.

i surround myself with items that feel like me, whether it’s letter press stationary, a coral-colored scarf or a simple strand of fresh water pearls. my style is about who I am today and the woman I want to become–confident, timeless and elegant.

work & weekend wear

my wardrobe is made of items with simplistic lines and classic shapes. for work, i wear pencil skirts, shift dresses, trousers, cardigans, button down blouses, and turtlenecks. on the weekends it’s usually skinny jeans, riding boots, long sleeve solid tees and a scarves to add color.

know your challenges

my style is clean and elegant. i wear a bit too much black, but when i do wear color i stick to pinks, jewel tones, reds and navy. i’m working to integrate more patterns into my wardrobe, but it’s definitely still a challenge.

less is more
the items in my wardrobe may be very simple, but i always feel great in them. living in switzerland for a year, with only two suitcases of clothing, taught me how to portray my style and who I was with only a few signature items and accessories. my accessories are probably the best representation of my ‘signature’ style.

i prefer silver over gold, and you rarely find me without my large silver ball earrings or my large silver cuff. i rarely leave home without a scarf around my neck and a pair of leather gloves in my purse. i believe that less is more, and adding the right accessories can transform an outfit from boring to beyond words.

if you had to wear just 1 outfit for the next month, what would you wear & why?

funny you should ask, because my first blog post ever was about this. think you can guess what my answer’s going to be? the name of my blog should give it away pretty easily.

just for fun, let me give you a preview...
a high-waisted black pencil skirt, crisp white button down blouse, exquisite pair of black pumps, a nice pair of sheer black tights (since it’s cold where I live this time of year), a large pearl necklace and matching earrings, a camel colored lady coat, my favorite coral colored scarf and my black longchamp ‘le pliage’ bag.
why this outfit? well, because it’s me. it’s the ensemble i never question myself in. it never disappoints, it never changes, but it can reinvent itself time after time. it’s my power outfit, my go-to item, my uniform for life. IT IS that outfit that makes my wardrobe “me”.

where do you pick up your favorite fashion finds?
my ‘signature’ items have come from all over the world—markets in florenece and paris, boutiques in geneva, jewelry stores in lisbon. on a day-to-day basis, most of the items in my closet come from, banana republic, ann taylor, j.crew and nordstrom. these stores have the most consistent selection of ‘classic’ items.

a lot of my best finds also come from random boutiques. i’m starting to find more items, especially decor & accessories, on websites like etsy. i have also been blessed to have a mother who saved everything. i’ve inherited some great ‘vintage’ items from her closet—like an amazing pair of joan and david brown riding boots.

what fashion faux pas are you still recovering from?
the jury’s still out on this one, but it would have to be uggs. i know, some of you are probably appalled and there are times when i am, too. but i live in cold weather climates, where i actually wear them to keep my feet warm. i promise you though, it’s a rare occurrence if they show up in public. i usually just wear them in my car on the way to work, or around the house. i just can’t seem to give them up.

do you have any online resources that inspire your style?
oh, yes. where do I even start?! looking at the ‘new arrivals’ section on sites like j.crew, banana republic and ann taylor, always helps me come up with ideas for new outfits and ensembles.

most of my inspiration comes from the blogs I read. here’s a list of just a few of the sites that inspire my everyday signature style:

this is glamorous, duskjacket attic, style redux, bonjour madame, style on a string, coco+kelley, decor8

...and these are just a few! i have an entire section of my google reader, with almost 50 different blogs, dedicated to blogs that inspire my signature style. there are so many fabulous and talented blogs out there, that inspire me, and i’m discovering new ones daily.

name three things you must have to get ready in the mornings.
yorkshire gold black tea with milk. cetaphil moisturizer. bobbi brown pot rouge in pale pink.

describe your style in one word.
oh, this is easy. well, here are three words–classic, simple, and beautiful. 

kaileenelise is a sparklista, yogini, artist, blogger & creative entrepreneur. visit her website or tweet with her to learn more about making every day an extraordinary adventure.

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Chelsea said...

Thank you so much Kaileen! It's an honor to be featured on such an amazing site and by such a talented and stylish friend!

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

I couldn't agree more about accessories. They can transform any outfsit!

Sallie Ann said...

I have loved your blog for several months, and I'm totally in synch with your style. I'm a big fan of simple, clean styles, ponytails and pearls. And some of my favorite pieces came from my grandmother's closet. Great post!