Photography ©Gabriella Marks

Defining Your True Style

by Kitty Ault

Fashion and style in Santa Fe is a “thing.” If you live here, are visiting or are a recent transplant, you see it immediately. The Land of Enchantment is free spirited and creative, allowing for inspired dressing. There’s nothing contrived or provincial here, so wardrobe-wise you have an opportunity to find your true self. But how do you go about defining your style? Together, let’s investigate options, break some rules and find your inner fashionista.

Let’s start by addressing your personal look. How you dress is an artistic expression of yourself. Now is the time to be liberated and playful, not lazy! Many of us are complacent or uninspired, even with a closet full of dynamic options. That said, wearing the same look every day can be fabulous if done right. Legendary artist Georgia O’Keeffe embraced black-and-white looks, worn beautifully. Tom Ford, designer extraordinaire from Santa Fe, wears statement dark pants and a crisp white shirt. To remind us of her culture, Native American fashion designer Patricia Michaels routinely wears indigenous designs.

“This will change the art business forever,” gallery director Maria Hajic says, but she is confident about the future of Gerald Peters Gallery. “We are determined to survive.”

Obviously, each of these icons is unique, their style is special. When you wear “special,” it speaks volumes, and many of you can pull it off! Most of us are not accomplished artistic designers, however, so mixing it up puts flair into the way you dress. If you tend toward a casual look, you’ll find many terrific options available out there. Start thinking outside the box: for instance, rather than a plain t-shirt, streamline your look with a denim jacket and vintage tee. Add trendy jeans or ankle-cinch pants and accessorize your look with a custom artisan hat. You will nail the new you! Of course, men can rock these styles, too! My motto is “You have to get dressed every day, so make it authentic and true to you.”

Defining your style and being true to it is about confidence. Embrace your personal body type and own it. Disregard factors such as what to wear, when to wear and how to wear: they’re just distractions. Depending on your mood, you can go all-out cowboy, funky or glamorous.

Santa Fe has fabulous, diverse options that make shopping for your look a pleasure. Shops caters to various City Different clientele, and every kind of look can be found: Western, classic, outdoorsy, sophisticated, vintage and edgy. I am not suggesting you dress up every day, but that you try something new and find looks that makes you feel terrific. Presenting your best self will result in feeling more positive, guaranteed.

Finding your inner style isn’t always easy. Here are some suggestions for digging in to discover it. Figure out what colors work for you, and then accent them with complementary shades. Determine your preferred fabrics, textures and details. Consider your lifestyle. Put some thought into it: when you show you care about how you look, your style will shine.

Experiment with possible new looks, discover your true style and empower yourself with confidence. You’ll look terrific!

A woman in a yellow dress selecting an outfit to wear
Photography ©Gabriella Marks
A woman wearing a white blouse and a blue skirt
Photography ©Gabriella Marks

Suggested Retail Shops

TOKo: women’s clothing; Asian /Modernist style, art to wear, sustainable
WearAbouts: contemporary women’s clothing, since 1986
Handwoven Originals: handmade artisan clothing for all, since 1976
Meraki: Boho affordable women’s clothing with soul and creativity
Full Bloom: a mature approach to Boho; unique, special clothing for women
Spirit of the Earth: long-time destination for clothing, lifestyle and global items; jewelry by Tony Malmed
Cicada Collection: women’s clothing with an emphasis on classical styles complemented by distinct contemporary looks and materials
Citrus: small but fabulous shop; women’s styles chosen with a unique eye – styles not found anywhere else. Men may enjoy as well.
Standard & Strange: timeless, stylish men’s clothing and footwear from Japan, Europe and USA; unique casual wear unlike anywhere else
Santa Fe Dry Goods: high-end women and men’s clothing and accessories with an artistic, intellectual and international perspective
Zephyr Clothing: clothing paradise for contemporary women of all ages
GRACE: beautiful jewelry and accessories for all: gold, silver, semiprecious and conscious styles
Montecristi Hats: handmade Panama and fur felt hats
O’Farrell Hat Company: a family-owned Santa Fe fixture for over 30 years
Ramblin Rose Hat Company: woman-owned business crafting handmade hats

Suggested Resale Shops

Art.i.fact: a cleverly curated shop offering a sweet spot between sophisticated elegance and funky; also has a “men’s bar.”
801 Consignment: elegant and on-trend clothing for women
ACT 2: something for everyone any time of year; lots to choose from, with a variety that can’t be beat
Kowboyz: cowboy boots for men, women and children and Western wear
Ooh La La Consignment: small but rich with treasures and classic designer styles

Be sure to check store websites for current hours before beginning your shopping trip!

Kitty Ault

Kitty Ault is a style consultant in Santa Fe. To learn more about Kitty, visit KAStyle — Style Consulting for How You Live — Refashion, Recycle, Renew.


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