12 Outfits for February 2018

Welcome to the end of February, friends! I really enjoyed structuring my sampler wardrobe for this month. My birthday falls in February, so naturally it's always been one of my favorites. I've never had qualms about sending out all the love on Valentine's Day, cheesy or not, so I made an effort to select garments that reflected my love for, well, love! As a result you'll see splashes of reds and berries alongside my usual neutrals of gray, black, white and denim. I also tried to focus on lace, ruffle, and bow details, which speak to the prototypical "feminine" aspect of this occasion. But of course you'll never catch me getting too cutesy; there's still plenty of tomboy influence tempering out these additional frills.

Glancing over the looks above, you may detect a noticeable outlier in the bunch, and that's the sage blouse + rust/black maxi skirt combination. Ironically, this outfit is probably my most favorite! (The first time I wore it, I felt like I'd finally unlocked my own version of Molly Ringwald's Breakfast Club ensemble.) While sorting through my January wardrobe selections, deciding what to pull forward vs. what to put back in storage, I found I'd shied away from giving the skirt much airplay, possibly out of bashfulness at how bold it is. For February, I decided I'd challenge myself to embrace its attitude, and once I got over my own hesitations it turned out to be surprisingly versatile. So I'm glad to have kept it in rotation, even if it didn't perfectly fit the rest of the chosen palette. A good reminder not to get too hung up on following "the rules," for it's these spontaneous gut-instincts that unearth our truest style!

Speaking of discovering style, it's odd that as my fashion type becomes less definable (while the influences are there, I don't think you could label these looks altogether classic, urban, or bohemian), my sense of personal style is becoming more and more clear to me. It's pretty easy to enter a shop now and know what's worth taking home. I spend far less time in the dressing room than I once did, because I know what I like, and I know what fits me. While I can still be indecisive about whether something is worth the cost, that gut voice has gotten louder, and I'm letting myself trust it more.

For those of you struggling with any aspect of defining your style, I can only suggest spending more time with what you already own. Ask yourself what you wear most often and why. Take notes on which fabrics you're drawn to and which ones drive you crazy. Put on some music, mix up some outfits, and admire your creations in the mirror. Styling can be its own form of self-care, and in the month of romancing, it's just as important to give some love to yourself!

Looking ahead, I anticipate March in New York will be chilly as ever, so I'll be styling for another month of winter rather than pulling springtime pieces. That said, my favorite Housing Works' Best of Spring sale starts next week, so I'm jump-starting my bi-yearly closet analysis to come with a game-plan in hand. For those of you interested, the guidelines I use for this process are outlined in Anuschka Rees' The Curated Closet -- which, as I mentioned last month, is pretty much my style bible. If you're looking for a fail-safe way to build a versatile, compact wardrobe, this is a perfect resource.

More soon, lovelies! Best of luck as we wander toward the greens of spring.

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