i love ny

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I’m a little late to the party when it comes to this Phillip Lim, “I Love Nueva York” tee since it was all over the street during Fall NYFW.   However in lieu of the upcoming DOMA and Prop 8 ruling by the Supreme Court this week  – I’m feeling extra thankful and lucky to be living in a state where my marriage is already recognized.  I am so proud to be a New Yorker and am hoping that the rights that I’ve come to know are extended to all and then some.

Sending tons of love, luck and support to all standing on the front line in Washington!

xx #yoursoulstyle

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  1. 3.1 Phillip Lim I heart nueva york tank, $115, net-a-porter.com
  2. Zara crossover trousers, $59, zara.com
  3. Persol suprema roadster sunglasses, $270, barneys.com
  4. Clare Vivier messenger bag, $363, shopbop.com
  5. Topshop leather biker jacket, $330, topshop.com
  6. Marni bracelet, $135, yoox.com
  7. J.Crew Collection everly calf hair wedges, $358, jcrew.com

read: fashion and feminism

720a756e8015537de8a4fc1c83721881 photo via here

The fuel behind ‘your soul style’ is to send the message that you can achieve empowerment through style .  I have been on a relentless journey of self discovery and part of my learning (and growth) is that that self expression and empowerment are one in the same.  I want to continuously share this perspective with you so that if you haven’t fully embraced ‘your soul style’ yet – let me help you get there.  It is so important that women keep pushing forward because although we have made extensive progress – it ain’t over.  As part of this project I will be periodically sharing articles that are aligned with this mission.  This write-up by Leah Bourne at forbes discusses the double edge sword women have had to deal with while navigating through ‘gender politics’.  Click here for full article.   – xx #yoursoulstyle

the philosophy

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Hello friends!  I want to thank you for your support and encouragement while developing this site.  It means the world to have you by my side and I look forward to the continued building of our community.  I hope you have enjoyed this journey so far and I encourage you to stay on board to be part of the ride.  Like all things, ‘soul style’ will continue to evolve so I thank you in advance for your patience.  One recent change is the site name – you can now find me at yoursoulstyle.com.

Also stay tuned for ‘project soul style‘ which will launch in the coming weeks.  You can find information on the ‘project soul style’ tab on the home page.   Keep checking back and stay tuned!

Now as promised, the ‘soul style’ philosophy.

The ‘soul style’ movement is about self-expression through the vehicle of style.  From the beginning of time dress has symbolized culture, social grouping, profession, power, socioeconomic status, etc.  Indian women pierce their nose signifying beauty and marriage and the sari (both print and color) represents different meanings and implications.  Religious Jewish women cover their heads with a sheitel for modesty and in Japan the kimono is still prevalent despite westernization.  One could argue that these ladies have it easy – the homogeneous nature of their culture facilitating predetermined style choices.  Traditions prevail and choices are limited.  But what happens when you’re not part of a culture that lays it all out for you?  When you’re thrown into the fashion abyss and can choose anything with no rules or regulations – no boundaries and no parameters around how to define yourself?  How do you create your ‘soul style’?

The most important thing to remember when developing your sense of style is that you are only at your best when you are truly being yourself.  Looking at others and expecting to feel satisfied while copying them will eventually prove to be unsuccessful (*disclaimer – to copy and be inspired by are not the same thing).  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn something after seeing it on someone else (or in a magazine) and wound up feeling completely out-of-place all day.  Has this ever happened to you?  You just feel off?  I’ve realized that not everything is going to connect even if it looks fabulous on the gal standing to my right.  It needs to be and feel like me!  ‘Soul style’ is about finding your own rhythm and determining what works best for you and only you.  Like the women of India and Japan you can also engage in traditions, but the best part about yours are that you can be the creator of them.

Join me on this journey and I will give you the tools to help you get there.

Personal style silently defines us which is why at soul style my goal is to make sure that you are shining through

xx – Jenny

**I dedicate this movement to my wife who creates the space to let me be who I am every day**

the dorothy effect…

For all who know me I think we’d agree that my path has not been straight and narrow (pun intended).  I wonder if that’s by choice or a higher power above is guiding me along the way.
Do you ever wonder about that?  Like no matter what you do it’s irrelevant because it’s predetermined?  Or maybe not?  Maybe I’m responsible for it all.   Or it’s a combination of both?. Anyway, I digress.
I’m at a place in my life – approaching yet another intersection where new decisions will have to be made. I’m reminded of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz on the yellow brick road when she encounters the scarecrow.
The conversation went like this:

Dorothy: Now which way do we go?
Scarecrow: Pardon me, this way is a very nice way.
Dorothy: Who said that?
Dorothy: Don’t be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don’t talk.
Scarecrow: [points other way] It’s pleasant down that way, too.
Dorothy: That’s funny. Wasn’t he pointing the other way?
Scarecrow: [points both ways] Of course, some people do go both ways.

Whether others around me have a direct route from point A to point B, this my friends –  is just not my way.  Regardless of who or what is driving it (be it me or a supernatural power), I take detours which propel me to another place and another place and another…..and eventually, after all is said and done and I’m exhausted from the journey –  I bestow upon Emerald City.
Anyone else experience this too?  In my earlier years I was frustrated with this model, asking myself questions like, “why is it so difficult?”, “why does everyone else have it so easy?”, “when am I going to find it (it = love, sexuality, stability, career, etc)?”  But at 33, approaching 34 what I’ve realized is this – this path is GOOD!  NO!  Actually it’s FANTASTIC!  To have been able to navigate on the curvy as opposed to straight has provided me with the experience of trying many things on until finding what’s “JUSSSSST RIGHT” (insert Goldilocks reference here).  I’ve been fortunate to gain insight to understanding that even though the road is/was windy, staying the course and being true to your core will get you to where you want to be.  I have encountered many obstacles (coming out being the hardest twist so far), but I continued to work through it and am now married to the love of my life, comfortable in my skin (the most valuable accomplishment in all of it) and feel ready to take on the world.  It will hurt and feel uncomfortable at times…..you may even get squirmy and have to regress for a moment before moving forward, but KEEP GOING!  No matter what it is you decide that you want, you can have it.  You may not get back to Kansas in one straight shot, but this is part of the journey.  Put on your game face, embrace it and saddle up like Dorothy. You’ll come back with more heart, more brains and more courage.  We have one life to live and no one ever said it would be easy.  Seek it and you shall find.

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30 day (mental) cleanse…

I am not alone in feeling that January is an ideal time to cleanse. A new year, a clean slate, a time to regroup and “start over”. A ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’ can mean many things to many different people. Maybe you are just breaking off from a relationship and beginning anew romantically. Or maybe you’ve just given up smoking. Perhaps you’ve decided that 2013 is the year to lose those pesky 5lbs that have monopolized your thoughts in 2012! Maybe you will start an exercise routine or resolve an argument that just went on too long. The examples are endless, but unquestionably personal. Starting this year (1/1/13) I decided to go alcohol free (end date TBD)! I’ve done this exercise two times before (for 30 days at a time) and although I admit original intentions were physical benefits (give body a break, clean out toxins, regain energy, sleep better and if lucky lose a few pounds), what I truly gained from the experiences were mental ones. The truth is this: if you are a person like myself who appreciates taking the edge off with a drink (or whatever your vice of choice is), eliminating it from your life helps put into perspective your relationship to that habit. It gives you time to assess why you engage in what you’re doing, what purpose does it serve whether positive or negative and how do you cope with and without it. You are welcomed with the opportunity to clear your head while simultaneously finding healthier substitutions to your normal cadence. Unhealthy habits take over all of us and it is only when you try and stop that you can make sense of the dependency. It is day 12 for me and I’m going strong. Last night we had a dinner party with friends and the temptation of a drink was there. I wanted it – trust me! Not a norm to refrain but a useful test to force me to be embrace the raw uninterrupted version of myself. And I had a blast! I encourage you to think about what your coping mechanisms are and further evaluate whether they are worth giving up. Even if it’s just a moment of walking away so that you gain insight, perspective and an awareness of yourself when you come back to it and another step towards strengthening your most important relationship – the one with yourself.

Would love to hear some of your methods of cleansing too. Don’t forget to share!

2013