Beginnings of a woman of style
It all started in the small town of Red Bluff, CA with a population of 14,000. A town where the most well-known designers are Nocona and Wrangler. My grandma Louise, who passed before I was born, was a Marin County woman of class and sophistication. My mother told me time and time again that although she used to pull the weeds in the backyard with a long Virgina Slim falling out of her mouth and hair in curlers she dressed up to the nines for parties, often sporting Chanel tweed suits or Dior inspired dresses. I knew it was in my blood. However, my family is more likely to gift JcPenny over Jason Wu, so I had to work with my resources until I could afford the dreams.
The border of my childhood rooms surrounded me with pages torn from the latest issues of Harper’s Bazaar reminding me of my desired “image of the season” every day while I dressed for school. My growth in personal styling achieved significant development at Oregon State University when I took a Color Theory class and started observing the world of secondary color combinations around me. What I’d been wearing for years was a proven theory!
Years at Nordstrom proved to me that one can never tell what another can afford. Those who have the best style are sometimes those that only purchase one or two incredibly versatile items per season and find 20 ways to wear it. Once Tracy Reese opened my eyes to the idea of mixed media it affirmed my intuition that outfit combinations can be endless. Creating outfits is as simple and complex as a game of Craps, there are so many opportunities to get to a win.
I returned to Oregon State University to begin Graduate School and study Consumer Behavior in Retail Environments. I found fashion everywhere in the most creative ways. Students could only dream of buying one designer piece per year. It reminded me of the days where I stared at my tear out pages of Harper’s Bazaar hoping to find something similar at a resale shop or a local boutique store.
I moved to Southern California with Nordstrom and I entered a whole new realm of excess that I’d never experienced. The idea of owning a multitude of leather jackets, a collection of designer handbags, and throwing out items from the home when they were just not the right style anymore was normal. I finally understood “keeping up with the Joneses” and lost myself in it a couple of times.
Once I began learning more about the home remodeling and design industry in my work at Houzz, and after moving in with my boyfriend Brian, I saw the idea of The PW shine through once again. I wondered why when homeowners renovated they cleaned out their entire homes. Out with the old, in with the minimalism. Brian and I are just beginning our journey into home design and our home will include a few new, with a substantial amount of stylish local finds that have a bit of high-investment inspiration.
It dawned on me that the mindset of The “practical woman”… ThePW… is a lifestyle. We can apply this practical use of items we already own to a limited number of new additions. My goal is to share how one can apply this method beyond apparel. From interiors to food to travel. I look forward to sharing this exploration with you and hearing your comments!
Thanks for the support!