Episode 134 | September 18, 2018

Find Your Style with Lauren Friedman


 

Channeling her inner goddess and empowering women to do the same, Lauren Friedman talks about how fashion and style should bring out that authenticity in you. She is an author, illustrator, stylist, and blogger who creates stories with her outfits. She talks about how women are made to feel small in the patriarchal society and how we can fight back by embracing our vulnerabilities and listening to our inner voices, carrying them out into the world. Discussing also subjects like body shaming, she inspires women to be comfortable with who they are. She also offers some great style tips that can up your style, wardrobe and fashion game that all women can really appreciate.

Listen to the podcast here:

 

This show is all about style and how to style yourself in a way that is super authentic and genuine to you without listening to fashion trends and people that give you rules around clothes. This is about connecting with what makes you feel good and a good representation of who you are and your brand. My guest is Lauren Friedman. She is a stylist, illustrator and author. She’s got this beautiful blog that you can check out on LaurenFriedman.com where she illustrates clothes. It is a profound blog that is more than just about style but is also about the spiritual and emotional side of what style is along with some practical tips about how to style yourself.

Lauren, welcome to Stellar Life Podcast.

Thank you so much for having me.

Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I am an illustrator, author and stylist. I have my third book, 50 Ways to Wear Accessories. I’m the author of the 50 Ways Series. My first book was called 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf. My second book was 50 Ways to Wear Denim. My life has always been this combination of fashion, style, arts, creativity, like a soulful practice. I’m always looking for ways to combine all of those. Now that the third book has come out, I’m working on other projects.

As a little girl, my mom used to sew and I used to have little pieces of fabric and I would dress up my dolls. I like dressing up my dolls more than I like dressing up myself. I think I have a decent sense of style. I wish I was more like you where you look so excited about styling and you know how to put everything correctly. How does that happen? What was your progression? From dressing up your dolls to dressing up people and changing their lives?

First of all, I want to say that you are not alone in that desire or that feeling that it’s easier to dress someone else than it is yourself. I very much identify with that to this day. It’s like hiring a consultant to do some outside work for you. It’s a lot easier for someone to see the bigger picture from the outside than from the inside. I just want to assure you that you’re not alone in that feeling. Everyone who knew me as a little girl is not surprised by what I do now. When I was a little kid, I was changing my outfit three times a day, which I’m sure was incredibly annoying to my parents having to make me pick up my mess. I was always drawing and taking art classes and just very interested in this freedom of expression. I had a pretty non-linear path to becoming a professional in this aspect. I went to school and majored in Political Science. I played Field Hockey. After I graduated, I got a regular 9 to 5 job. I realized without actually actively realizing it. My subconscious was telling me, “You haven’t been creative in a really long time. You’re dying without this.”

I was starting to inherit some of my grandmother’s clothes. She had this really fantastic sense of style. After work, I would put these outfits together, give them a name and then start to draw them. This was in 2010. I created a blog called My Closet in Sketches. In a year, that opened up so many opportunities for me. I was just doing those opportunities because I enjoyed doing it. I still to this day believe that part of my success around that is because I never had to make it work so to speak. I didn’t quit my job and I wasn’t desperate to make a living off of it. It was just something I did because my spirit and my heart wanted to do it. Now, it is my full-time profession.

I think fashion and style have such a powerful message. They’re the tool that we have as humans that we have control over. Whether or not we like the system of judging other people based on their first look, it is a system in which we all participate.

I created my blog in 2010 and it was something that I did for the fun of it. I had inherited this amazing collection of clothes from my grandmother. I found myself with an intense desire to put outfits together and incorporate those vintage pieces into my wardrobe. I love getting dressed with a story. My roommate would help me craft a tale around an outfit and then I would draw it. Within a year, it opened up all these opportunities for me. I illustrated for Lucky Magazine for two years. I had the opportunity to have some incredible commissions with some high-end brands. About a year and a half into starting this blog, a friend of mine had encouraged me to write down my one-year, five-year and ten-year goals.

In this day and age, we need more people to be true to themselves and listen to their inner voices. Click To Tweet

Under my one-year goal, I wrote that I wanted to publish a book with Chronicle Books, which is a publisher based in San Francisco. I had had my eye on them for a while and I knew that they had been publishing works from people who had started on the internet. I love their offerings and the style of them. A year and a half later, it was Hurricane Sandy. I was at a friend’s house and I’ve got an email from an editor at Chronicle Books who has seen a post I had done on My Closet in Sketches about how to wear a scarf. She asked me if I would like to write and illustrate 50 ways to wear a scarf. I had no idea the first thing about creating a book, but it was very much one of those like, “I can’t say no to this. How did this happen?” I wrote this down and it’s in my email inbox. What I appreciate about creating that blog is that it was something that I created simply because my heart wanted me to do it. It wasn’t something that I was desperate to make work because I quit my job and I needed to make some money right away. It was something that I did for the pure joy of it. Part of my success came from that freedom because it wasn’t tied to anything. It was about what I wanted to do.

I like that you created stories around your drawings and outfits. I teach women how to awaken their inner goddess and how to unleash their inner superhero. I use those metaphors because it’s almost like using an alter ego to feel more confident, successful and to be stronger. How do you help women develop their alter egos to style?

The fact that you do this work of helping women identify those inner goddesses, the timing of this couldn’t be much better because I have spent much of last year learning to identify my own goddesses, how they relate to my menstrual cycle and how they relate to, “Who is this inside this brain?” Especially when you’re working by yourself, I’m sitting at a drawing table for a couple hours a day and I am my only coworker. I’m trying to get to know all my coworkers living up there in my head. There’s something very powerful about losing that patriarchal fear that we have inherited and its external message about being a powerful woman is a scary thing. Instead, we flip that. I’ve been asking myself, “Are these beliefs something that I believe or are they an external message of which I have internalized?”

Relating it to PMS, when my witch comes out, she sees so much truth. It’s not that she’s mean or bitchy or this raging person who’s overwhelmed by hormones. This is a part of myself that sees the truth and she deserves as much of the screen time as anyone else. Helping other women see that is partially about me being honest and open about that with the world. I began My Closet in Sketches because I could hide behind the drawings. This was around the time that personal style blogs were blowing up. I didn’t want to be in front of the camera because I have been taught a set of messages like, “Your work isn’t worthwhile. You don’t want to draw attention to yourself because your actions should speak for themselves. You shouldn’t brag or draw too much attention.”

I spent so much of my professional career as an illustrator and stylist doing things this way. I never advertised my styling services and I’ve never wanted to be in front of the camera. It was only recently that I’ve come to realize that this method of downplaying my accomplishments is a generational inheritance of being taught the message that I’m not worthy as much as someone else. I’m making a point to put myself out there in a true and honest way and to talk about my own fears and insecurities so that it empowers other women. When you see someone who’s being vulnerable or who’s crying in front of you, I always think, “This is the most courageous person I know. What they’re doing right now is so brave.”

On the other end of that, when I’m afraid and I want to express myself or feel something, I’m afraid everyone’s going to think less of me. It’s wild that we’ve been taught to fear this vulnerability when in fact when you see it with your own eyes, it’s a magical thing to witness. I want people, women or anyone who identifies as a woman, to start to ask themselves what messages they’ve been given that tell them that they don’t deserve to embrace what their goddess wants to inside. Even if that goddess wants to wear jeans and a T-shirt every day, that’s wonderful. It is so appealing and very important in this day and age to listen to your own inner voices because we need people to be true to themselves. We need people to ask themselves how they can contribute to this world in a way that represents their truest soul. I spend a lot of time thinking about this. That’s why fashion is such an amazing thing because it’s a portal or lens which you can think about these questions.

It’s wild that we’ve been taught to fear this vulnerability when in fact; it’s a magical thing to witness with your own eyes.

 

What about the body shaming or feeling uncomfortable in your own skin? For example, I gained more than a few pounds. I’m in Israel and spending some time with my family. My mom always cooks. The food here is amazing and it’s food heaven. I’ve been eating a lot and it shows. I don’t feel as comfortable in my clothes as I used to and I’m looking for clothes that will hide a few of my love handles. I find myself taking photos in a different way or I have to suck in my belly more than before. How do you get over that psychological barrier of, “I gained a little bit of weight, maybe I should wear more black clothes to hide my body? How do I dress to look a little better?” Any tips around that?

That’s a great example where people could ask themselves, “Are the things that I’m thinking a message that is coming from me or is that an external message which I have internalized?” I’ll give you a good example of this. When I was growing up, I was very lucky that my mom never spoke ill about her body in front of me. When I went to college, my roommate, who’s my best friend in the whole world, had a tendency to speak negatively about her body in front of me. It truly was like a virus.

It’s infectious. I know a few people in my family who do that and I have been around them a lot.

The moment that she said that, not only was I looking at her differently, but I was like, “What do you see that is wrong to you?” That turned back on me. I’ve recently been thinking about the patriarchy and my feelings about this system of people who are in power and how this power is necessitated on other people being less than them. This is such a good example of how we police our bodies. We police our bodies as women so that somehow, we don’t fully live in them. They’re not these wonderful vessels that take us through this world and that we enjoy every inch of our skin. It’s like, “There’s something wrong and I feel uncomfortable.”

My boyfriend moved in with me and I was like, “What is this thing that happens to people when they gain weight?” A lot of my clothes don’t fit me as well as they used to, but instead of wearing those uncomfortable clothes, I look for the thing that has the elastic waistband. I reach for the things that I know are going to make me feel good because it’s not worth walking through the day with this waistband digging into your belly reminding you that you are a different size or that you’re not comfortable with yourself right now.

Everyone has their own sense of what feels healthy in their body. Click To Tweet

Everyone has their own sense of what feels healthy in their body. By listening to those messages that you get around you, like the people in your family who talk ill about their body, and beginning with awareness like, “This is something that I am learning from this person.” It’s as if you were taking the record player off of that one groove where it always goes in and you lift it up and try to put it in a new groove, “This is a message that someone taught me. Maybe this isn’t how I feel about myself. Maybe I am uncomfortable with these pants, so I’m going to go put on some spandex and just go take a walk outside and feel strong in a different way.”

It’s a very delicate balance because, on one hand, there is the messaging of, “Love yourself just the way you are and just the way you’re not.” Then it comes so strong that people start neglecting their bodies like, “I’ll eat whatever I want. I won’t exercise. I’ll indulge.” It can be unhealthy and it’s not good also when you’re in a relationship. My husband is going to accept me regardless of my size. He loves me and I’m very grateful for that. We, as women, need to keep in shape. We need to take care of ourselves because when we are in shape and we’re feeling good about ourselves, we have more energy, we are more productive, and we are more confident.

The other side of that is getting obsessed with weight and getting into psychological problems around weight and start starving themselves. We need to find that balance with our psychology. I love what you said about messaging because up until now, I didn’t connect the dots between what I’m hearing from my family and how I feel about my body. What I teach women is to feel in love with their bodies first. From that place of loving your body first, if you feel unhealthy, you can go and take action to make yourself healthier, more in shape and have more stamina.

The first step is to feel good about yourself and to love and accept your body. Sometimes it takes awareness and taking a step back and saying, “I gained a few pounds. I am still amazing. I am still me. I’m still wonderful. I still love who I am. I’m still going to adore every inch of my body.” This is good as a concept, but then you take a photo and all of a sudden you see little love handles coming up. You’re like, “Where’s that app that makes me look a little slimmer? I want to use that. I know my friend is using that, but then I’m not going to be true to myself.” As a coach, I’m not going to be true to what I’m teaching other women. It’s funny what’s going on in my head around my own body sometimes.

It’s a beautiful example of how no amount of evolving is linear. It never happens one step in front of each other. As with anything that you feel that you need to address or heal in your life, it’s not like, “All of a sudden this is fixed.” Even you, as a professional, feel the feeling sometimes. It probably makes you better at helping other women because you know intimately what all of the aspects of body shaming feel like. This point that you said about awareness is important because in the deepest kernel of truth of everything, what matters the most is identifying the difference between a rational mind and an intuitive mind.

In the deepest kernel of truth of everything, what matters the most is identifying the difference between a rational mind and an intuitive mind.

 

Your rational mind can tell you a million stories about why or why not to do something. Your intuitive mind, it’s just yes or no. When it comes to this balance between being healthy and loving your body and dealing with body shame around you, the more that you listen to this intuitive voice, the louder it gets. If the intuitive voice says, “I don’t feel healthy right now,” that’s a totally valid reason to start running again. The only person who lives in your body is you. The power that we give other people in our inner messaging is such a learned thing. It’s a lifetime of work to untangle those messages but it’s the most important thing that we, as women, can start to cultivate.

Yet, we are talking about style. The world is vain and people judge you the first three seconds they see you. I live in LA where people are all about Gucci, designer clothes and the fish lips selfie. I moved from New York, which was more raw and artsy and I moved to LA, which is very vain. It’s Hollywood and it’s about the glam, look and online presence. People do judge you for your branding and the way you look. Let’s talk about developing a personal style and what can I wear to make me look slimmer?

Let me address the second part of that because I personally think it’s a little bit more cut-and-dried than developing a personal style. In dressing to look slimmer, I don’t love giving people body-type messages like, “If you’re an apple, you dress like this.”

I hear that a lot. Is that a rule? Do we have to follow it? How does it work?

As humans, our desire to neatly put things into packages to understand them is human and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the fact that people tried to make some good cut-and-dried rules to help people. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, but I personally do not prescribe to it. What matters to me is if you want to look slimmer, it’s all about your waist. It’s all about controlling the eye and how it moves over your waist. A long necklace is a great thing. I don’t know if you watch Queer Eye for The Straight Guy, but Ted always talks about the French tuck, which is the front of your shirt being tucked into your waistband. In some ways, it makes the waist look a little bit slimmer.

The only person who lives in your body is you. Click To Tweet

The inclination to want to wear baggy clothes and cover up, that doesn’t necessarily work in creating a slimmer line. It looks like there’s no definition on your body. That instinct to wear oversized things can be only taken well into account if you’re counteracting it with things that do define your body in other ways. There has to be something that you love that you want to show off. Whether it’s your ankles, maybe you wear a cute pair of jeans. You roll up the ankles and then you wear an oversized men’s button-up. That’s an outfit I wear a lot. Then you wear a cute pair of shoes and the shoes become the focus. You’re wearing something that feels comfortable and utilitarian on you, but it’s not like a giant sack. There’s nothing wrong with a good sack dress now and then. Even in wearing a sack dress, you have to wear a long necklace over it or a long scarf or something that keeps the eye moving up and down.

This is such a great place where accessories come into the fray. It’s not necessarily a uniform, but I know now in my life what things work for me. I like wearing pencil skirts with old T-shirts from my parents, and I like wearing straight leg jeans with men’s button-up shirts and I like dresses. It’s like a recipe for me, I have the colors that I like to wear in all of those different forms. It’s a matter of putting them together for a certain day. That’s when the accessories come in. You don’t have to worry about accessories in the size, which is what’s so wonderful about them. They become the special sauce that makes the outfit different. If you’re wearing a black dress one day, it can be a completely different feeling if you wear different accessories the following day.

In identifying your personal style, in the same way of maintaining one’s childlike sense of wonder, it’s one of the more important things that a person can do throughout their life. I know that everyone had something that they liked to wear as a kid. The outfits that I described that I like to wear are not that far off from what I wore as a little kid. As children, that sense of wonder about the world around you, like creating a play, make-believe and going in the backyard and building a fort, there was always an original kernel of inspiration there for a child. To begin your personal style journey, it’s about looking everywhere for inspiration.

You can make a board on Pinterest, you can look through fashion magazines, or you could go to your local art museum. You could walk down the street. You could read a book and find a description of something in there. The point is that the inspiration for that is everywhere. Once you begin to open your eyes to it, you can keep a journal, keep it in Pinterest. Find a way to take it seriously, not in a serious way like, “I’m serious about finding my personal style,” but being serious about that journey and how it matters to define that.

You don’t have to sit down, draw, or paint every day but you do have to get dressed every day. Click To Tweet

My lifetime story of getting dressed is if a ballerina fell in love with a rapper and they moved to the countryside, what would she wear? It’s funny because I wanted to be a ballerina when I was a little kid, my boyfriend is a rapper, and we do live in the woods. It’s like I spoke that one into existence. It’s fun to begin building outfits around that. What would this ballerina wear? Would she have some basketball Jersey on, a high-waisted skirt and a topknot? Would she wear men’s camo jacket? It can be endless. It’s such a delightful way of getting dressed. Maybe that story is different every day or it’s always the same story. By doing that work, it gives your soul validation. It gives that part of you inside that is itching to be understood and expressed. You don’t have to sit down and draw or paint every day, but you do have to get dressed every day. Here is such a beautiful, wonderful opportunity to let your soul play in a way that makes it feel satisfied.

I hired a stylist and we went through a closet cleanse, which was good. I should have given away some of the clothes. She made me throw away some of my favorite items. It was her and her assistant standing there and was like, “You’re not wearing that. That’s going.” Of course I had a say in it but seeing that look of disgust on their faces, I was like, “She’s a stylist and she knows better than I do, so go ahead take it.” I’m still thinking about that shirt or that item that I threw away because I love it. We had another session. I came to her studio and she offered me strawberries and it was such a beautiful experience. She shopped for me and she was like, “Try this on. Try that on.” Every time I wore something that she thought was beautiful, she was like, “That looks amazing. You have to get it. You have to do this.” I ended up getting items that are in my closet and I probably only wear 10% of what I got from her. I got shoes, accessories and dresses but most of it are items that I don’t wear at all. I’m like, “I already hired a stylist. I did not like it. Now, what? I spent a lot of money on it and I felt good for a second there. Now, the clothes are in the closet and I feel bad about giving them away.”

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up)

I empathize with that position that you’re in because this person is a professional and you’re like, “They must know better than me.” The professional, in that context, is you. What you were saying made me think of two books. The first one, which is something that I do prescribe is Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her prescription is that you have to take everything out of your closet. You begin in your closet and you have to hold everything in your hands and ask if it brings you joy. Sometimes a shirt that you never wear brings you a ton of joy. It’s like, “I love this but I don’t wear it anymore.” That’s okay, you can still keep it. Maybe there’s a shirt that you wear all the time, you hold it in your hands and you say, “I don’t think this brings me any joy at all.” It goes. Seeing those things that you love get lost, think of that as like you can get new things to put in there, so that you can be free and move forward, “I’ve got rid of something that I love but hopefully, I can find something else.”

Everything is replaceable. It’s an eye-opening experience. I learned to trust my style more and yet, I still want to learn more about style. When I go to shops, I always end up grabbing an expensive item and I look at the price tag and I’m like, “I can’t wear it. I feel bad about buying this. I’m going to compromise.” I have a champagne style and sometimes I only have a beer budget. I used to live in Japan a long time ago and I had a boyfriend who spoiled me with designer clothes like Gucci and Prada. After you get the taste of champagne, it’s hard.

I empathize with that. I’m in the middle of finishing up the Crazy Rich Asians Series. It’s funny because some of the wealthiest people in that book wear the cheapest clothes. It’s a great example of how you can use a piece of inspiration to inform yourself a little bit. There was such good fashion in there. I went online and looked at picture stills from each scene to look at the fashion. Maybe you do that. Maybe you’d find a particular dress that Rachel was wearing, which spoke to you. You can go into your closet and see if you have something that already reminds you of that. There’s a reason that you were drawn to some looks that are already a previous echo from something that you own.

This is such a cliché statement. Money does not buy style. It doesn’t buy class. It does buy fashion. There’s nothing wrong with that champagne taste because I definitely have it too. The most intriguing person in the room maybe has a pair of Gucci loafers on or a Temperley dress, but it’s the person. You can tell when they’re comfortable with themselves. It’s a palpable thing that’s coming off of them like, “They are expressing themselves.” You can tell and there’s almost a smell that comes off of them. You have to start with some beautiful inspiration that comes from those crazy rich Asians. Then spend an hour making a mess out of your closet and trying things on. Maybe there’s a certain celebrity whose style you admire or there’s a certain blog that you like or you could go, “I look good in high waisted skirts, let me search for this on Pinterest.” Then go into your wardrobe and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

In that same way, do the same thing when you’re shopping. Try on some things that you wouldn’t necessarily try on and go to TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack. Those places have wonderful bargains. Go to a secondhand store. There’s definitely a way to have this champagne taste on a beer budget. I definitely live that myself. I am very much identifying with you in that way. To get to that point where you feel confident and happy with what you’re wearing, it requires us a certain amount of faith that you can take a risk and get something rewarding at the end. When it comes to that high-end fashion, even the designers are identifying that we live in a boundary-less world. People don’t wear a designer from head-to-toe and even the traditional seasons are changing. There’s such opportunity now in this world for individualism. That means that no matter what money you are making right now, you can still dress in a way that reflects your inherent style.

You can find beautiful clothes everywhere. I’m in Israel and I find the clothes to be beautiful. There’s a lot to buy every day, they’re everywhere.

I did feel that pressure when I was in Israel myself and there’s so much beauty to see everywhere. When I’m shopping with my clients, I love that because I don’t have to look for myself. There’s something fun about looking for someone else. It made me realize that shopping is as fun whether or not you spend money. If you go shopping and you go treat it as if you were going to a museum, you get to try on the art and say, “I’m going to find myself some inspiration. I might go into a boutique and try something on.” If it’s a secondhand store, you’ve got to buy it because someone might come and buy it. Sometimes it’s about going on that inspiration quest and telling yourself, “I’m not buying anything, but I am searching for what feels good for me this coming fall. What did the stores say we should be wearing and how does that incorporate with what I already own?”

Money does not buy style or class. It does, however, buy fashion. Click To Tweet

I just had a crazy idea. I’ll go shopping on Rodeo Drive, I’m going to try on things, and I’m going to put it on my vision board. There is this concept of how you can manifest things, you can shop and send the message to the collective universal Google and somehow manifest in your life later on. There is something cool about wearing designer clothes because of the quality and the way it sits on your body, it’s very different. Nothing compares to it. It’s also a feeling of deserving, “Do I deserve that?” Sometimes I feel like, “Maybe I can afford it but do I deserve it? Do I deserve to buy it? Am I wasting my money buying something this crazy?” There is so much psychology that goes into what we wear, when we wear it, and even where we live. In LA, people are so much into what they are wearing. I hung out with some girls that I don’t hang out with anymore for that reason. It was all about the shoes, appearance and vanity. It was all about who they are and who they wear.

I live on the opposite end of that spectrum. People do not get dressed at all. When I first moved, it was a little bit frightening to me. In this past winter, I was like, “I’ve worn sweatpants for the last five days.” It felt like something inside of me was dying a little bit. It’s an important lesson for me too. Just because it’s comfortable, it doesn’t mean that I need to wear it like that all the time even though the sun hasn’t shown in twelve days. I want to be clear on the fact that appreciating fashion and how it feels on your body no matter your budget is a right that everyone has. Whether you can afford to wear designer or you only can go to thrift shops, there is a means of getting dressed that respects your personal style that is available to everyone.

After I did the Marie Kondo method for my closet, one tip that I have is that I have nice hangers for all of my stuff. I have a very specific number of hangers. If I buy something, I know that something else is going to have to go now because my closet is at its perfect capacity. Now that I have identified my style, I know when I’m looking for pieces. Now, I am looking for specific things. I do know that since I gained a little bit more weight, I no longer have the full black skirt that would be great to wear with an old vintage tee. When it comes along, I’ll be ready for it but I have now these defined sets in my head. Shopping is a lot easier for me now because my budget and time can no longer be served by buying things gratuitously. I can’t keep living my life where I’m bringing more things into my life and then having to deal with returning or finding a place for them. It’s too tiring for me to deal with that. I am a very conscientious shopper when it comes to things, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not prone to always going to the sale rack and to see what’s on sale like, “What do they have in a size seven and a half shoe?” Once there’s a real sense of competence around what works for you, it makes shopping a lot easier.

No amount of evolving is linear. It never happens one step in front of each other. Click To Tweet

What are your tips about must-have items in every woman’s closet?

I am a little bit reluctant to say that because I don’t like prescriptive rules like that for people. Even saying something like, “Every woman needs a great pair of jeans.” I know some clients that literally never wear jeans, so I won’t say that. As it relates to my most recent book though, I would say that every woman should have a few accessories that make her heart sing. One of my favorite tips from my book is about wearing your most dressy accessories when you’re lounging around in your house clothes. You wear your pajamas and put on your nicest pearls or you have a wild tiara. Those things don’t get worn in everyday life, so why not put them on when you’re in your pajamas and live a fabulous life where you don’t have to worry about people judging you for because you’re in the comfort of your own home?

It’s a great step into becoming a little more comfortable wearing something that’s a bit bolder because you get used to how it feels in your own home. Maybe you might think, “This metallic clutch might be the perfect thing to wear to brunch, even though it’s not something I normally would choose.” Also accessories are often passed down between generations. Talking to your aunt or a special elder friend, maybe they had some silk scarves that they’re trying to get rid. Those become such special important pieces in the wardrobe. I’m going to dodge those must-have questions.

I love your answers because when I look at fashion magazines it’s like, “The top ten trends of this summer, the five things you must have in your closet.” They’re not rules and they were made by some people that think that they’re the relevant rules today even though they’re going to change tomorrow. It goes back to what we talked about messaging. People bombard us with their perspective, “These are the rules. This is the line and you walk on this line. You do not walk on other lines because this is what life is because I said so and it’s in a magazine.”

The more we, as women, can empower and engender one another to make choices that are for ourselves, the stronger we all can be. Respecting someone who doesn’t want to follow the same rules that you do doesn’t take away from your own rules. Giving people their own space to express themselves and respecting our differences while still remembering that we all bleed red and we all take poops. We are all human and respecting that oneness gives us space to respect how we want to be different in expressing ourselves through how we get dressed.

The more women can empower and engender one another to make choices that are for ourselves, the stronger we all can be.

 

I have two questions that everybody must listen to very carefully. The first one is what are your three top tips for living a stellar life? The second question is where can people find you, buy your books, connect with you and love you?

You can find me on Instagram, @Lauren.E.Friedman. I’m on Twitter, @ClosetSketches, and then you can find me on Facebook, @MyClosetInSketches. My website is LaurenFriedman.com. My top three tips for living a stellar life, my first one is to find a way to incorporate a mindfulness practice into your life. I don’t think it necessarily means meditating but finding a daily way to give yourself the gift of being present. It gives a lifetime of benefits. That one is definitely at the top.

Number two would be to get yourself outside for the day. As someone who works from home, I know that I have to at least one unit of outdoor time. I need to have at least one unit of talking to another human being a day. Respecting those rules of connecting with the world around us is a big thing. Then my last tip would be to acknowledge the fact that you are a creative being. There is a means of expression for everyone. You have to listen to that intuitive voice telling you what it wants to do, whether it’s joining a choir or taking up stand up paddle board or painting. We live in service of this universal truth and we live to connect with others. That is our purpose on this planet. We become better humans when we allow ourselves to be open to our own creative desires.

Thank you, Lauren. This was beautiful and I appreciate you being on the show. We learned a bunch. It was awesome.

Thank you so much. Thanks for all that you do and keep up the good work.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

✓ Challenge your personal and style beliefs. Ask yourself if it’s your truth or external messages that you have internalized and made yourself believe.
✓ Embrace vulnerability. Talk about your fears and insecurities. They’re not your weaknesses but your strength.
✓ Identify and reconnect with your inner goddess. Listen and follow your inner voice as that’s when you can only express your authentic self.
✓ Be in love with your body. Enjoy every inch, every curve. Don’t be afraid to accept your humanness.
✓ Don’t be afraid to bend the rules. If it feels good on you, wear it. Not everything the media says is true or correct.
✓ Wear pieces that focus on your waist if you want to achieve a slimmer look. Adding a long necklace or going for a French tuck can do the trick too.
✓ Always remember to accessorize. It’s a fun way to experiment until you feel most comfortable and satisfied.
✓ Go through a closet cleanse. Throw away items that no longer give you joy and make space for new things to come.
✓ Constantly look for inspiration on your personal style journey. Create Pinterest board, look through fashion magazines or even visit your local art museum.
✓ Grab a copy of Lauren’s book 50 Ways Series.

Important Links:

About Lauren Friedman

Lauren Friedman is an artist, stylist, and the author/illustrator of 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf, 50 Ways to Wear Denim, and her newest title, 50 Ways to Wear Accessories, released in Fall 2018, all published by Chronicle Books. She is the creator of the My Closet in Sketches project, and her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Lucky Magazine, Travel + Leisure Magazine, and The Washington Post. Her books have sold over 200,00 copies and have been carried at MoMA, The National Gallery of Art, Paper Source, Target, and retailers across the world.

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