Fashion and style often go hand in hand, but they are two very different things. Style is personal. It’s something that reflects who you are, and tells your story. Fashion is a collective of fabrics, looks, and products that make a statement. To put it simply in my own words: fashion is external, style is internal. I usually associate fashion with wearing, and paying attention to, trends and what’s on the runway in London, New York, Milan, and Paris. I’ve always had an eye for style, what I liked, and what I didn’t like, but never really paid attention to the fashion trends. Don’t get me wrong, I love the art of fashion and seeing what each new seasons brings, but it’s never been a deciding factor for me in what to wear.
Below are 9 fashion and style quotes that have inspired me over the years. Some of the people that made the list are fashion designers, pioneers, writers, dancers, First Ladies, singers, stylists, gentleman, and authors. I guess each of them represent a piece of me…
#1 – Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Beauty without grace is the hook without bait.”
I love this because beauty and grace are such powerful expressions of femininity. They are silent and humble. Beauty can be many, many things, expressed in many, many forms — and grace, well, without grace it’s easy to fall off center and lose sight of what makes something beautiful in the first place. A woman who exudes both is a powerful force of nature.
#2 – Michelle Obama, “If I can have any impact, I want women to feel good about themselves and have fun with fashion.”
This woman is my hero. The way she walked, the way she talked, the way she stood so gracefully and powerfully by her husband’s side during his presidency, yet held her own space says so much about her power, strength, dignity and character as a human being. She’s so empowering, and she has many, many inspirational quotes but this one is such a simple reminder that fashion should be fun. And I think that’s something that’s so easy for forget. When fashion gets too serious, it’s not fun anymore.
#3 – Diane von Furstenberg, “Style is something that each of us already has. All we need to do is find it.”
What’s so sweeping about this to me is the simplicity and truth in this statement. Something that I see happen often as a personal stylist is meeting men and woman who don’t think they have any style. They compare themselves to friends who seem to have style come easy for them, and if they don’t know what to put together, or what looks good on them, they think they don’t have style, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Everyone has a sense of style because everyone is unique. There is no other person in the world like you. All you have to do is find your own sense of style, and if you want a little extra help figuring it out, check out my personal stylist services.
#4 – Vivienne Westwood, “Buy less, choose well, and make it last.”
Love love love this one! Seriously, cannot get enough of this quote. I’m a huge advocate of functional fashion aka clothes that fit well, and work for your lifestyle and do the things you need them to do! This way, you can focus on whatever else you’re doing and just look great without having to worry if your bra strap is falling down, or your jeans are gaping, or you’re shirt is too long. I love clothes that are functional, made well and those are the clothes I invest in. I highly recommend buying less, and buying quality over quantity. Because quality is made to last. Some of my favorite pieces in my own wardrobe are things like my cropped jean jacket that is legit 10 years old. It still works, and it still goes with me everywhere. It’s held up somewhere over a thousand washes and it’s still going strong. Those are the items in my closet that I can count on to do what they need to do so I can rock my look and have fun doing whatever it is I need to do. I’m telling you, quality goes a long, long way. When you buy things that you love, that are made well, you buy things that make a lasting impression in your style arsenal. You never go out of style when you buy well made clothing that you love. End of story.
#5 – Anuschka Rees, “To be comfortable and confident, we need clothes that feel like us.”
Another quote that so deeply resonates with me. Two things that I feel are the utmost importance in personal style is feeling confident and comfortable in your clothing. Again, functional! But it goes deeper than that. Comfort and confidence are so important because they give us the power to be at ourselves. When we’re wearing clothes that are comfortable and we feel confident in them, guess who shows up? YOUR BEST SELF. Not the woman in the corner at the party who’s afraid to do anything but stand straight up because her dress is uncomfortable too short. When you feel like what you’re wearing is a reflection of who you are, and it fits, and you’re not even thinking about your outfit — that’s when you have the best time, and that’s when your best you comes out to play.
#6 – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, “I am a woman above everything else.”
I’m so in love with this quote because as a woman, first and foremost, that’s who I am, where I live and the way I walk through this world. Being a woman is a damn superpower. Diane von Furstenberg has a quote that says she never met a woman who wasn’t strong. I agree. I think women embody this natural, interior strength, and this strength needs to be celebrated. Being a woman is a gift to the world, to society, to communities, neighborhoods and households. Women have a wicked sense of intuition and mother instincts that are built in whether a female decides to procreate or not, being a woman is a beautiful thing. And I just love how Jackie O acknowledges the power in that.
#7 -Beyoncé, “The most alluring thing a woman can have is confidence.”
An inspirational list of quotes cannot be complete without the Queen. This statement is everything, because every single woman is beautiful in her own right. And I think the sexiest asset a woman can have is confidence. When a woman radiates beauty, truth, resilience and strength from within — she’s a powerful force of nature to be reckoned with. Nothing can take away self-confidence, and it’s not defined by any external circumstance. Not your bank account. Not where you’re from or what you do. Your confidence is yours. You don’t need to look a certain way to wear pretty clothes and exude confidence. True confidence comes from living life, from survival, from your core, and nothing and no one can take your life experiences away from you.
#8 – Charles Hix, “Looking good isn’t self-importance; it’s self-respect.”
I love this quote. It’s seriously on point. So true. Something that I feel so passionate about is getting dressed everyday like you’re going to meet the love of your life, and the love of your life being YOU. I’m a sensual being, and what I wear plays a big role in how I feel. And I think when you only save your Sunday best for Sundays, or that dress in the back of your closet for a special occasion, you’re missing out on living life. I’m big on dressing up for yourself while you’re at home. Getting beautiful for yourself, regardless of who is going to be where, and what place you’re going to. I think when you’re dressed well it says, I care about myself. I respect myself. When I’m dressed like I respect myself, there’s an air of respect around me wherever I go. People notice by opening doors, or extending their hand to help you step over a puddle. True story.
#9 – Josephine Baker, “I wasn’t really naked. I simply didn’t have clothes on.”
Last but surely not least, Miss Josephine Baker. She was such a powerful political activist during her time, and spoke her truth bravely and boldly. I love this quote because it breaks down exactly how I feel about being naked versus being undressed. Being naked is vulnerable, and vulnerability is powerful, but it’s also a choice. I believe that being undressed is different. And I think this speaks to a place of empowerment in a woman when she decides when she’s undressed and when she’s naked. There was an Instagram post I saw this summer of a young woman who posed naked and said something like yes I’m naked, and no that doesn’t mean I’m asking for it. I can’t remember who it was, but I remember being feeling a big YES throughout my body. For me, this quote shows a woman confident in her skin, and in her body. This is why I love dancing, because I think dancing is so powerful for expression of sexuality. No matter what you’re wearing or not wearing, you have the power.
There you have it! I hope you found this list inspiring, empowering, and useful. Try posting one of these quotes on your mirror at home (or another style quote if none of these resonated with you). Surrounding yourself with inspiration and uplifting words when you’re getting ready for the day can sometimes serve up the exact inspiration you need to take on the day with a little more pep in your step. What are some of your favorite style quotes? Let me know in the comments below!