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Style...It's Personal

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Style is personal! I think as long as you love what you're wearing and it makes you happy and feel good, then you have style. It's easy to spot "the followers" (those who do not have their own style because they copy others). Having style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not caring what others think. It's a way of life.

I am the average female consumer. I have an endless supply of fashion magazines at home that remind me there are many expensive things to buy out there, but that's not why I look at them! Style is an art and I find it stimulating, beautiful, and fun!

I've had some memorable shopping experiences. My favorites were Galeries Lafayette (a department store in Paris) and Manolo Blahnik shoe store in NYC. Walking into Galeries Lafayette is like walking into a magical jewelry box. No matter which direction you turn, it is charming, stunning, and there is treasure everywhere. I think the equivalent to Galeries Lafayette in Dallas, Texas would be our own, Forty Five Ten because it is très chic with eclectic spunk! I like my closet to feel that way! A woman's closet should be a happy place.
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Seeing the Coco Chanel exhibit at the Met was like entering the closet of a princess. So many sparkles, pretty colors, and soft fabrics. Coco Chanel said "Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury and some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity. "

I think the French have an innate style of their own. They don't want to give the impression that they've made any effort; a woman should look relaxed and charming. I think some people get a little obsessed with how they dress when really no one cares that much. It's more about feeling comfortable in your own skin. The French don't care about being liked like we do. I think it's that confidence that gives French women an edge.

Women should put forth effort in getting dressed and not overlook the details, because we all know accessories pull an outfit together. Style can be a question of education. If your mother was stylish when you were growing up, it is likely you are stylish too. I had the ultimate compliment in Paris when Parisians would mistake me for French and be surprised when I spoke English.

Dancer Isadora Duncan, upon being asked what her dance meant, said, "If I could say it, I wouldn't dance it." There are some things you just can't explain. I feel the same way about style; you wear what you want to wear because of the way it makes you feel. Isadora Duncan loved scarves. I imagine it was because of the way a silk scarf feels on your skin, unbelievably good!

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I crack up at the Bluefly commercial... a woman waits patiently in the security line until she's asked to remove her shoes (the only thing she is wearing) and then the commercial says, "Bluefly, always there when you have nothing to wear."

I believe fashion is a freedom of creative expression. I love to watch Project Runway. The designers are forced to think outside the box. My favorite competition was Season 1: the grocery store challenge. I loved the dress a designer made out of a lawn chair and another made out of corn husks. Why not?

Ashley's Spring Top Ten:

1. Basic Black Dress- Ahh, the little black dress is never wrong! My mother always told me a simple black dress and a good black shoe is a must. You have it for a wedding or a funeral, or a job interview. You can't go wrong with a wrap or an A-line dress. They are the easiest things to throw on in the morning and make everybody look fabulous.
2. Trench Coat-never goes out of style. It's a staple that can be dressed up or down. It's a functional and water-resistant staple. I am on the lookout for a red trench coat after watching the movie, Paris, Je Taime' and seeing this chic Parisian woman wearing it, I have to find one! I imagine it being my signature piece. People would know me as "the girl in the red trench coat."
3. Dress Pants-a soft caramel is so much nicer than black especially in the spring.
4. Nautical Stripe- a classic French shirt that always looks perfect in spring.
5. Jeans- did you know...the average American woman owns eight pairs of jeans. How many do you own?
6. Ethnic Print- easy to wear and no accessorizing needed. Put a braid in your hair and you look like you're going to Greece.
7. Skirt- floral, feminine, flowing, gypsy-like and sweet
8. The Perfect White Blouse- I think was made famous by Katherine Hepburn who always managed to turn her white shirt into a bit more powerful fashion statement.
9. Espadrille Sandals scream, "Spring is here!"
10. Yoga Pants- I would never ever wear pajamas in public! Yoga pants however, have a healthy vibe. They might say, I've just come from class and I'm going to jet to the store. Or...I'm walking the dogs and taking my kids to the park. It's an easy "I can do anything on a weekend" wear, but they can still look polished.

My style is eccentric, feminine, and me! I love to see my daughter developing her own style. She definitely has one!
There's a Dalai Lama quote I love...Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon. I like to approach fashion with reckless abandon. 

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Photos: Three of the most beautiful and stylish women in the world. AND...they're all mothers! Being a Mother makes a woman more beautiful no matter what she's wearing.

These three beautiful women are some of my style icons; do you know who they are? Do you have any? Who are they and what do you admire about them?

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