Dress for Yourself

iris apfel and leandra

Image courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar

Dressing for yourself seems to be a simple idea.  Choosing what to wear each day, (or several times a day) can be fun or it can be stressful. Iris Apfel and Leandra Medine both are examples of women who are really playful with their outfits and definitely have fun.

Iris is the star of the movie, “Iris,” and most recently is featured in the”Iris in Paris”exhibit at Le Bon Marche. Leandra Medine combines wit and fashion in her Man Repeller Blog.

Now, onto us…you may not want your own website, movie or exhibit, but it would be nice to enjoy choosing your look.

Some ideas to consider/questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I enjoy choosing my outfit for the day?
  • Who am I dressing for?
  • Am I dressing for me or for someone else?
  • Who do I want to be today?
  • Where am I going today?
  • How do I want to feel today?

Photo Apr 02, 4 56 45 PM

Growing up, my mom told me certain “rules” about clothes – the ones I remember are: horizontal stripes make you look wider, don’t mix flowers and stripes…there were probably more but these are the two I remember the most.

I like to break those rules now. I did when I was younger too (as you can see in the picture to the left), but somewhere in my 20’s I started dressing for other people, not myself. I lost myself a little bit. Before then, in junior and high school, I really did not know how I wanted to dress. I wore t-shirts and jeans and a very bright orange imitation down jacket that my parents bought at Payless.

In college, I had short hair, loved punk music, and found the best stuff at thrift shops. It drove my mom crazy that I wore thrift store clothes… I loved them… they expressed my personality, energy and yes, style.Photo Apr 02, 4 56 42 PM

I recall clearly an outfit that my boyfriend bought me… a pastel pink Lacoste shirt and Calvin Klein jeans. I did wear them, but felt so much like an imposter. He also bought me a Jessica McClintock floral dress. Again I felt like someone else, not me.

As I have gotten older, I notice that dressing for myself and for the day, was the best plan. I can dress conservatively, hippie (boho), arty, edgy, or slightly casual and get such varied reactions from people. I admire Iris Apfel and Leandra Medine because each woman is clearly having fun with fashion. The so called fashion rules that women have heard are disappearing everyday, yet I just overheard a woman trying on prescription glasses saying “…if I was younger….I could wear these.” What?? If you like it, you feel good in it, and you wear it well.



Give yourself a chance to try different stores, looks, and every time you go shopping, TRY something on that you normally wouldn’t because you would usually say… “I can’t wear that because…”.

“You can’t have style unless you know who you are, and knowing who you are is not an easy matter.” – Iris Apfel

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