The ELLEments of Personal Style: Insights from Women with Amazing Individual Style


ELLEments of Personal Style

For our 25th anniversary, we decided to create a special project that really celebrates what we’re all about here at ELLE – personal style. Our book, The ELLEments of Personal Style, highlights 25 women who really embody what it means to have personal style. These modern fashion icons shared secrets to their personal aesthetic, and gave us a glimpse into what it takes to stay true to their individual style (it’s easier than you think!). We give you an inside look at their homes, their closets, and their everyday (though that word hardly applies) lives.

Here are just a few of my favorite takeaways:

The Must Have
No matter how many things you own, you always reach for one particular item. And it’s usually that piece that really brings your personal style to life. For example, Angelica Houston can take out a white button-down shirt and style it so elegantly for the red carpet – but also wear it with a pair of trousers – and it will always look “her.”

Common threads
There were a few things each of these uber-style icons women had in common: Denim, the little black dress, a trench coat, and knowing what a good pair of shoes is all about. No matter if you’re from Texas or Manhattan, denim is an essential for every wardrobe. An LBD can evoke power. A trench is seasonless. And a killer pair of shoes can elevate an outfit in seconds.

It’s not always what you think
I have to admit, I was surprised along the way. One thing I noticed as I looked through the closets of these powerful women was the color and pattern combinations. Dark colors may be easy, but I was blown away by the bold, bright patterns these women weren’t afraid to embrace. And discovering some of their must-haves was surprising! Someone like Candace Bushnell, who created Carrie Bradshaw, you’d automatically expect to reach for a pair of shoes. But her choice? A handbag. Because she knows that every city girl should have the perfect carryall.

My advice to you is to start with that one piece that is undoubtedly you and build around it. Your personal style will fall into place, and you’ll radiate confidence.

Be sure to shop Joe Zee’s picks in our ELLE: The ELLEments of Personal Style Boutique, opening Thursday, October 14 at 11AM ET, and look for his book “The ELLEments of Personal Style: 25 Modern Fashion Icons on How to Dress, Shop, and Live,” coming out October 14.

October 13, 2010