Category Archives: Style Guide

StyleGuide: Style Archetype #2

Style Archetype #2:

Style Archetype #2

This look is wild, flashy, and tastefully rebellious.  Style icons, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Kate Moss, and Chrissie Hynde teach us the wiles of rock and roll and how to balance a super tough attitude with a feminine look.   Rock Goddess closets are full of  leather, metallic basics, and military casual pieces.


StyleGuide: Shopping Your Style – Style Archetype #1


In Developing Your Personal Style, I showed you how to practically draw inspiration from your favorite style icons, photos, and, of course, your personality. Now, it’s time to revamp your closet! Like I said in a previous post, starting all over with a spanking new wardrobe isn’t an option for everyone. So how do you transform your closet without blowing a hole in your bank account?

The key is simply:


Casually browsing through stores in the mall can be fun, but if you’re not on a mission to buy style-specific items, it’s easy to get lost in your retail high. Shopping with purpose gives you focus. No, I don’t suggest that you drag your personal style collage with you every time you spend a few dollars on clothes, but if you understand the 10 style archetypes, your sartorial missions will definitely become more deliberate.

Style Archetype #1:

American Classic
This look is equal parts clean-cut-Ivy-League, ladylike casual, and powerful understatement.  Look to icons, Jackie O, Grace Kelly, and Lauren Hutton for inspiration.   If nothing else, the American Classic girl owns a crisp white button down shirt, a neutral colored blazer, and straight leg jeans.  These pieces SCREAM upper-crust U.S. of A.

StyleGuide: Developing Your Personal Style – PART 3

WE4 So you’ve decided on your look and now you need a whole new wardrobe…WRONG! A $5,000 shopping spree is a luxury most of us DON’T have and replacing an entire wardrobe can get pretty expensive.

The key to making your current wardrobe work for you is CREATIVITY. You have the clothes you already own because you liked them enough to purchase them. Don’t waste your money by getting rid of all those lovable items, just because you want a brand new look. A thorough wardrobe edit and reimagination can make such a difference in the way you see your clothes. Of course there’ll be a few items you’ll want to toss and few you’ll want to keep even if you never wear them, but the 3rd step to developing your personal style is to PARE & PURGE your closet of everything that doesn’t fit your style description.

How to Edit Your Closet

1. Clear a space that’s big enough for you to be able to see all of your clothes at once. A few rolling racks are uber helpful for wardrobe audits. (READ: But laundry baskets are just as effective…)

2.Have your style collage that we created in PART 2 nearby, so that it’ll be easy to see.

3. Separate your racks (or your baskets) into 3 groups and look at EVERY piece of clothing you own (even your lingerie and other furnishings).

Does it fit you correctly? Does it identify with any of your collage looks? Will it easily work with other items in your closet? If you answered “Yes” to ALL of these questions, place the item on your rack labeled PERFECT. It’s a piece that will work perfectly in your new wardrobe.

If it doesn’t fit, is damaged in a way that makes it unwearable, doesn’t identify with anything in your collage, and you have nothing else in your closet that will go with it, put it in your PURGE pile.

Does the item fit you well? Is it a strong basic item that can be reworked into many different looks? Is there a different way to wear it that works with your new look? If you answered “Yes” to any 2 of these questions, put the item in your REHABILITATEpile. Everything in your purge pile needs to go.

Emotional ties to clothing can be really hard to break but you’ll feel so much better after releasing them, I promise. Donate them to charity, trash them, or trade them in for cash at H&M, Plato’s Closet, or Buffalo Exchange. You’ll have fewer items clouding your style vision.


If you’re worried that you won’t have enough to wear, here’s a comprehensive list of wardrobe essentials. Use your mood board as inspiration for specific, unique additions to your basics:

1. Solid Colored Tanks
2. 2 Short-Sleeved T-Shirts
3. 2 Long-Sleeved T-Shirts
4. Crewneck Sweater
5. Cardigan
6. 4 Blouses
7. Little Black Dress
8. 3 Skirts
9. Jeans
10. Slacks
WE211. Khaki Pants
12. Colored Skinny pants
13. Denim Jacket
14. 2 Pairs of Ballet Flats
15. Black Heels
16. Printed Dress
17. Solid Color Dress (Not Black)
18. Flat sandals
19. A Pair of Great Boots

Of course, I’ve only listed the absolute basics, but they’re the bare bones of a focused and versatile closet. In Part 4, we’ll expand on your wardrobe skeleton and learn how to rebuild it while still protecting your purse!


StyleGuide: Developing Your Personal Style – PART 2

In PART 1, we talked about dissecting the pieces of yourself you want to express. Using the assessment example I filled out, I pulled photos of my favorite style icons, some of my favorite bands/music artists, and a few fashion photos I felt expressed a combination of the words I used to describe myself.

Lifestyle – Be careful that you keep your lifestyle in mind when picking your desired “looks”. As a Metro Denver area resident, it would be kinda silly for me to only pick mini sundresses and sandals. Our very cold winters call for boots and beautiful coats, just like our moderate summers call for looks that embrace the sunshine.

When I go out with my friends I like to feel sexy and wickedly whimsical. When I’m working, at my day job or during a photoshoot, I need to look polished and feel comfortable, but I don’t like to sacrifice my originality and kookiness to feel professional. My mood board should definitely reflect that.

Begin by curating a handful of photos of your favorite style icons and music acts. Style icons and performers are able to publicly and visually represent the lifestyles we want to express so its important to have this kind of “map” when you’re developing your own style. Choose icons and music that help you visualize the personality string of words we worked on in Part 1. It also makes the process that much easier and the end result more unique, when you have more than one icon to guide you.

The icons I chose we’re Lou Doillon, Jane Birkin, Emily Haines, Blair Waldorf, Bianca Jagger, Janelle Monae, Debbie Harry, and Solange Knowles. Each of them present a strong visual image that allow me to choose specific elements I want to incorporate into MY look.


Jane Birkin & Lou Doillon: This mother/daughter style duo are the quintessential Bohemian rock goddesses. Jane’s easy breezy casual style reflects that stylish laid-back attitude while Lou adds a leather and boots kind of rock and roll quality to the look.


Emily Haines: The lead singer of my all time favorite band, Metric definitely exudes the kookiness and weird-but-cool vibe that I love about myself. Her whimsical, yet seriously existential lyrics mirror my own thought processes. She’s intelligent, peculiar, and her voice has a sweet strength. If I were rock star, I’d want to be just like her.


Blair Waldorf: Blair, the fictional Gossip Girl character, is the ultimate style snob. She’s girly, unapologetic, stubborn, detail-oriented, neurotic, elegant, and ambitious. Her personality is ridiculously similar to my own and we both gravitate to mod, school-girlish styles and intricate details.


Bianca Jagger: During her reign as the First Lady of rock and roll in the 70’s, Bianca Jagger’s Euro Chic style was at the center of attention in the fashion world. She brought a flavorful and dramatic South American sexiness to the sweet European styles that were so prevalent at that time. She and I share an affinity toward delicate fabrics, evening separates, and powerful-but-feminine suits.


Janelle Monae: Janelle’s style is definitely engaging, independent, and classic. Her go-to colors, black and white, are simple, dramatic, and far from boring in contrasting pant suits, menswear inspired silhouettes, and a head-turning signature hairdo.


Debbie Harry: The Blondie frontwoman brings a brilliant playfulness to ultra sexy looks and casual T-shirts. Her messy blonde hair and sharp makeup looks give her a rockstar edge that shines through no matter what she’s wearing. She’s the pretty princess of the rock and roll rebellion.


Solange Knowles: Solange is one of fashion’s newest and brightest stars. She has such a great eye for “clashing-but-matching” patterns and she definitely draws silhouette inspiration from the 60s. She’s wild, tribal, and sleek, all at once. You can’t help but notice what she has on.

After choosing your icons, search for photos of other models and outfits that you think also match the words you used in your personality string of words.  Once you have this collection, make them into a collage like the one below to create a blueprint for your closet.

My Personality (A String of Words/Phrases) – fun-loving, introverted, girly, rock and roll, intelligent, headstrong, stubborn, laid back, unapologetic, unique, eccentric, funny, peculiar, detail-oriented, silly, youthful, creative, artistic, determined, scatter-brained, neurotic, cultured, friendly, bookworm, elegant, down-to-earth, curious, go-getter, eclectic, ambitious, dramatic, sensitive, playful, crazy, independent, current, hip, determined, engaging

My Style Mood Board

StyleGuide: Developing Your Personal Style-PART 1

DPS3part 1: Know Thyself

In a previous post, I said that style is the essence of you. It’s what makes you, well…you! You have to know for yourself in order to show the world who you are. The first step to defining your personal style is all about taking an inventory of everything that makes up your passions, your power and your personality.

Get to know these specific parts of yourself and put it on paper. This will really help you map out the elements of yourself. Are you girly? Outgoing? Weird in a good way? Use descriptive phrases and words. With this assessment, you’ll be able to articulate your personality through your style. If you’re serious about chronicling your style evolution, buy a small journal. You can refer back to your notes to see how you’ve changed over the seasons. Use the example below as a guide.


DPS4Date – 1 April 2013

Age – 23

Occupation – Loss Prevention Agent, Photographer, Style Blogger

Lifestyle – Metro Denver area resident, very cold/wet winters, hot/dry summers, Denver nightlife, fitness; Whether I’m out on the town or at home with family/friends, I am always ready to have fun. When I’m working in a studio or on location for a photoshoot I need to look polished and feel comfortable. My day job is in a casual office setting (and the air conditioning is always on full blast so it’s freezing, too). My social calendar is full of nights out with friends and nights crammed with writing projects.

Interests and Hobbies

1. Fashion/Lifestyle/Pop Culture

2. Music

3. Writing

4. Reading


6. Art

7. Photography

8. Shopping

9. Travel

10. Sewing/ Clothing Design

11. Jewelry making

12. Food & Dining

13. Favorite Color(s): Orange, green, blue, pink

DPS2My Personality (A String of Words/Phrases) – fun-loving, introverted, girly, rock and roll, intelligent, headstrong, stubborn, laid back, unapologetic, unique, eccentric, funny, peculiar, detail-oriented, silly, youthful, creative, artistic, determined, scatter-brained, neurotic, cultured, friendly, bookworm, elegant, down-to-earth, curious, go-getter, eclectic, ambitious, dramatic, sensitive, playful, crazy, independent, current, hip, determined, engaging

Don’t be afraid to use even the wackiest of phrases to describe yourself. It’ll help you form a mental picture of what “You” looks like.


Favorite Designers/Brands (any/all brands you really like)– J. Mendel, Lanvin, Balenciaga, Balmain, Chloe, Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Diane von Furstenburg, Elie Saab, J. Crew, Jason Wu, Roberto Cavalli, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Nanette Lepore, Opening Ceremony, Oscar de la Renta, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, RAg & Bone, Valentino, Sophie Thallet, Salvatore Ferragamo, Alexander Wang, Alice Temperley, Thakoon, The Row, Vera Wang, Zac Posen, Carolina Herrera

Style Icons (People You Know, Celebrities, Fictional Characters, etc.) – Lou Doillon, Jane Birkin, Emily Haines, Blair Waldorf, Bianca Jagger, Janelle Monae, Debbie Harry, and Solange Knowles

Favorite Bands/Music Acts – Metric, Beyonce Knowles, Florence + the Machine, Elton John, Drake, Paramore, Tegan & Sara, Deadmau5, Zedd, Imogen Heap, Tech N9ne, SBTRKT, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Lady Gaga, Lana del Rey, Rilo Kiley, The Rolling Stones,Tiesto, Kid Cudi, Feist, Gabe Bondoc, Jamie Woon, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Flyleaf, Imagine Dragons, Half Moon Run, The Black Keys, Bloc Party

Once you’ve created your profile, the image you’re trying to create should start to take form in your mind. In PART 2, we’ll talk about how to use this assessment to put a personal mood board together. That’s when the real fun begins!

New Style RFLX Series: StyleGuide

It’s hard enough trying to convince Denver residents – let alone the rest of the country – that Denver is a uniquely fashionable city. We’ve got the Rocky Mountains, the cowboy plains, and an impressive underground music scene, but no one really believes in our potential to become a great cardinal fashion city. When most people think of style in Denver, they think “knits, earth tones, and snow boots”, which isn’t necessarily unfashionable, it’s just a very narrow-minded way to categorize our city’s subculture.

thesartorialist.comYes, I know, we’re in Denver, where we favor function over aesthetic and the “cool” thing to do is get our favorite workout shoes covered in red dirt on a seriously awesome hike in Castlewood Canyon. Yes, we are oatmeal and granola, but that will never take away from the fantastic level of artistic self-expression in this community. Take a walk down any street between Colorado Blvd and Kalamath; you’ll encounter several of the style species.

It has only recently occurred to me that not everyone knows where they fit in the style world. Not everyone knows how to articulate their personal ambience with their clothing. For fashion addicts, this skill is self-taught. For the rest the world, style expression can seem as confusing as a conversation with an engineer about nuclear reactor physics. Pretty much pointless, right? So where do you fit in the world of style and fashion? How do you define your look? Where should you shop in Denver? Don’t miss the new StyleGuide series! Starting on April 1, 2013, RFLX 5280 will answer these questions and more, every Monday and Thursday. We’ll show you how to look like the person you feel like, with the clothes you already have PLUS offer shopping tips on how to incorporate iconic looks into your wardrobe. Feel free to comment on these posts with questions about your style or suggestions on what styles we cover. Be sure to subscribe!

Monochromatic Edge


Pepe Jeans London jean jacket, $210 / Wet Seal Bustier $6.99 / Charlotte Olympia heart pump $795 / Elie Tahari photo bracelet $65/ Anton Heunis Earrings (Priced upon request) / Henri Bendel Ray Ban sunglasses$155