Okay, that title should read “Three Words That Define My Personal Style” … maybe. These things are not hard and fast, of course. I mean I choose the words, so I can just as easily choose to change them. And who said it had to be three words. Three is a very arbitrary number after all. Albeit one loved by literary critics, poets, and writers of every stripe. Not to mention that three is found so frequently in mythology, religion, and the natural world. So maybe we could say that three is a logical choice in establishing the mythology of our personal style. Ha.

But I am digressing already and I haven’t even moved past the first paragraph.

Let’s move on, shall we? This past week I have been exploring, in a big way, the “Three Word Method” of defining personal style. I’ve been reading, listening, watching videos, as well as having fun conversations with friends about how they would define my personal style and their own.

Then I combined suggestions from Alyssa Beltempo, Allison Bornstein, and Amy Smilovic to try to find words that are applicable to me and my style. And I’m ready to commit to three words that define my personal style. At least for the moment.

But I’m going to let you watch the video before I say more. At 23 minutes, it’s a bit longer than last time. But I’m hoping you’ll find the subject so fascinating that you won’t get bored. Still, maybe you should pause halfway through to make a fresh cup of tea.

So I hope you enjoyed that. I had fun making it.

I’ve posted Allison’s list of words you can use to identify your own personal style below. I found others, but hers was the most useful, I think.

Allison’s wordbank. Source TikTok

Here’s the link for the article I read at Coveteur.com. This was where I read about Amy Smilovic’s method for identifying her three words. As I said in my video, I’ve used Allison’s closet editing method before and written and talked about it here. I thought Amy’s slightly different approach might be good for a change.

You can find my “Personal Style Mood Board” on Pinterest here, if you’re interested. I used this to help me look for patterns and repeated ideas. Like “classic” and “minimal.” And also to more easily visualise how I style my “without fails.”

Here’s the link for Allison’s account on TikTok. She has numerous short videos on the “Three Word Method;” I’ve linked to the first in the series. And you can find useful videos about the three word method to define your personal style on Allyssa Beltempo’s YouTube channel here and here.

And speaking of Alyssa Beltempo and her mention of how our personal style can have an element of the aspirational to it. I may aspire to be as chill as Amy Smilovic in my style asthetic. But I also aspire as a blogger/vlogger to be able to make high quality, cool, and wonderfully atmospheric videos like Alyssa.

One day… one day… perhaps, maybe, hopefully. Besides it’s good to have goals. Don’t you think?

That’s it for me this week, my friends. Next week will be something non-fashion oriented. I promise.

Now it’s your turn. Any takers ready to share what you think your three words might be?


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70 thoughts on “Three Words That Define My Personal Style”

  1. Funny – I have also been watching Alison Bornstein’s videos. I’ve been playing with three words for myself that are classic, effortless and cool (possibly edgy). I’ve enjoyed following your blog and it’s fascinating to see the similarities and differences in our styles and how our words reflect differences that I’ve been aware of but hadn’t quite been able to define. Fun and fascinating.

  2. Classic ,minimal , artsy/tailored ?
    My three words would have to include classic & minimal & always have . For a long time I would have said tailored but I think the tailored side would have more of a ‘twist’ now , not quite so formal . So perhaps I’d opt for artsy/tailored . Definitely not the flowing , feminine artsy but more of a masculine artsy . I often rake through the mens clothing racks & find some gems .
    Is this a kind of fashion psychology we are doing here ? Very interesting exercise anyway .
    PS I did struggle a little to hear you over the music but my hearing is wonky . Might just be me 😁

    1. Tailored with a twist sounds good. When Liz suggested tailored to me as one of my words I was unsure. I see it as a bit formal, mor to be applied to business-wear etc. Fashion psychology… love that. My brain needs as much analysis as my fashion choices. Ha. Sorry about the sound thing. For the part in the bedroom where the music overlaid my voice as I flipped through my closet, I didn’t expect people to be able to hear clearly every word. I’d chopped and chopped to whittle down the length of the clip and just wanted it to give the sense of sorting through my closet with the subtitles giving the clearer details. I hope you could hear me speaking clearly at the beginning of the video when the music was playing. I tried to jack up the voice volume and turn down the music to allow for this. I still have a lot to learn about juggling all the variables in making a video. And once I’ve put it on YouTube I sometimes notice that it doesn’t sound the same as the original.

  3. Like you, my style has been changing and evolving from the very polished looks of earlier years. Since your last blog on the topic, I’ve been thinking about what my three words might be. Have settled on, relaxed, modern, chic. Relaxed, because since retiring I no longer need to project a professional image, also because fashion is less structured and formal. I toyed with contemporary for my second word but that implies “of the moment” which is not quite me. Whereas modern implies timeless, like 20th century Georg Jensen jewellery or mid century furniture which may have been designed for an earlier generation but is also right for now. Chic is a word no longer much used in fashion circles but suggests to me uncontrived simplicity, thoughtful details and a dash of individuality.
    I love clothes, thinking about colours, shapes and textures and regard it as a creative outlet. I also get pleasure from seeing what others wear, how people express themselves in what they choose.

    1. I agree that modern can still be timeless… look at art deco jewellry from the 1920s for instance… still so modern looking. Chic means many thongs doesn’t it. I think of it as a value judgement, like beautiful. But, I agree, it does imply an effortless kind of simple, yet pulled-together look.

  4. Greatly enjoyed your article and vlog! As usual, appreciated your sharing your research and personal style journey. I am one of those people who adore fashion and happily have a large wardrobe of items that have collected over the years. My three style words are: Classic (design and quality materials) Current (updates that embrace trends that work for me) and Statement (something that draws the eye because of its color, design or has a special meaning to me).

    1. Current is a good that works very well with Classic. It leads my mind away from dated. Current makes classic relevant. I am now Classic, Casual, Current. Thank you Wini.

    2. Thanks, Wini. Yes… I see current as somewhat trend-driven. A great way to shake up classics which might become stodgy. As I mention in the video, Amy Smilovic calls trend-driven pieces “ins and out”. I like that. A trend piece might not last, but classic pieces always do.

  5. Such a fantastic journey with you on the discovery of style. I have thought about the three ( or some say 5 ) words to describe my style and have had a real struggle with it. I have watched numerous videos and read articles and books, and still have trouble with a concise definition. Do I really need one? I like a feminine (but not too) slightly classic, chic look, most certainly not minimal as I love my jewellery and scarves and bags and shoes…haha. No matter what syle I have personally, I love to hear and see what others choose for themselves. At times it is challenging to shop with a friend who has a different style and will try to persuade me to try an item that I am not comfortable in, therefore I like to shop solo most times and save the girl time for coffee or lunch. By the way, thanks for a lovely bit of girl time this morning, and all the other commenters as well, I enjoy them all.

    1. I don’t think you DO need a concise definition. Three words, five, you should go with however many you need. I love to shop with friends…. but not when I’m looking for myself. I always make wrong decisions then. When I have a shopping day with my sister, we’re always shopping for her. When I’m shopping for me I prefer to be able to ponder without interruptions. Unless I’m shopping with my friend Liz whose opinions I always trust. 🙂

  6. Enjoyed our “talk” and the vlog/post. I’m still struggling to find my words but you’ve given me several resources to check. I appreciate learning from your other commenters. What an enjoyable way to spend time this morning! Thank you- Mary Lou

  7. You’ve completely elaborated this very interesting topic. I’ve enjoyed reading post (and comments) and watching video
    For all the readers that haven’t meet you in person,I’ll say that your style is cool and it is more evident IRL,than just looking the photos
    I’m still struggling with my words (because I didn’t research enough for my homework ;)),maybe classic,minimal, with a twist and trips to other words 🙂

    1. I think cool would apply to you too, Dottoressa. Classic and cool. I’m thinking of the jeans and sweater you wore to lunch that day in Zagreb… with the chunky black loafers ad the fishnet socks. Very cool. Maybe your third word is minimal or even easy… as in breezy and chic. I’m thinking of your silk dresses. Gad… this is so much fun.

  8. I love words—maybe too much. I like to use phrases that speak to my style and to who I am as a person. As a fan of the late Brenda Kinsel, this is my “style recipe:” soft—yet resilient, simply refined, subtly feminine, and often seasoned with a whisper of whimsy.

    1. Ahh, we all loved Brenda! And her last added word “lovely”. She was such a lovely person. I miss her.

  9. Hi Sue, Thanks for all your work putting your vlog together. I looked thru all your suggested reading as well . (I too struggled to hear your voice over the music part that was the same volume as your voice. )
    I have gotten a lot of helpful ideas from watching Alyssa’s Youtube videos.
    As far as style – I started with a list of things I know that I do not like – anything that feels stiff or itchy is a Big No for me. I am very much a tactile person so I have really missed being able to shop “in store”. My clothing needs to be feminine, comfortable to wear but look “smart?” or “put together” at the same time. The “put together” is the part I struggle with.
    I am allergic to wool so that rules out a lot of things to stay warm in our cold winters. I love sparkly jewelry but only one piece at a time. So I think I am now up to at least 5 style words. Colour is a must as white and black make me look ill, although I love that look on you and others. Okay – I think I need more words because my mood also determines what style of clothing I wear that day. 😂 No wonder I struggle with outfits, eh?
    I also enjoy reading about everyone’s styles. It gives more ideas of things to help determine what works. Thanks to all who contribute.

    1. Ah. That part of the video didn’t turn out as I expected. I edited most of the clip out because it was too long and added the subtitles to show my “conclusions.” Then I overplayed the music so you couldn’t hear my voice because the sentences were so disjointed. It sounded great on my software and not so great on YouTube. I’m still on the steep part of the video-making learning curve. You are right; it is a struggle to identify our words…. but in the end we don’t actually have to narrow it down to three … or any… if we don’t want. It’s the analysis that’s important, I think.

  10. Thanks for your hard work on the vlog. My three words: casual, practical and polished. My lifestyle is simply without the kinds of events–even when traveling overseas–that requires more than a casual, polished look. The word practical ensures that the casual, polished look means the clothes are not fussy, don’t require extraordinary care and can make it through a variety of circumstances (i.e. multiple wearings on long trips). I almost used the word soft (use of scarves), but think the other three are the most apt.
    I do laugh at myself these days as I go to bi-weekly PT appointments wearing my titanium knee brace and yet still coming off as casual and polished: good pants– stretchy enough to fit over the brace, a nice top and sometimes, a scarf (because it keeps the seat belt from strangling me when wearing lightweight tops and because it is freezing in PT–even when working hard). Just can’t help myself.

    1. Casual and polished make a great combination for a travel wardrobe. Sounds like your physio outfit is way more polished than mine. Ha.

  11. Love the vlog this month. I came here for your style journey, as I’m on my own, but I love all your musings. I long for a cohesive closet, and I’m getting there, but it’s a challenge not to wander off down sartorial side roads. I also relate to your analytical bent. “Let me research that,” are four of my favorite words. I love to wrestle with meaning. So, three words, style-wise? Tough call. More like two Jekyll Hyde personalities that have yet to mingle. Playful, classic, tomboy meet global, natural, artsy. They’re friendlier than Jekyll and Hyde, I think, but neither seems to want to give up territory. I’m working on a meeting of the minds. Thanks for the Sunday morning treat.

  12. How can it be so hard to find three simple words? I’ve been trying for a long time, but have found only two that I’m satisfied with. They are flattering (I won’t wear anything that doesn’t suit my body shape or coloring no matter how trendy) and relaxed (as opposed to formal or too buttoned up).
    But that third word is elusive. Not classic, although most of my clothes are classic, but I sometimes wear and love items that are not classic. And not preppy, although I love that look, just not all the time. The thought that keeps coming to mind is a negative. I’m a fair natural blonde, and people often suggest that I must be a summer… but I’m not. I look totally washed out in soft, muted, murky colors. I look best in colors that are clear and/or bright… but not too bright and overwhelming. So maybe the third word(s) is/are clear/bright. I give up for the moment, but this search is lots of fun.
    Thanks for another great vlog, and for all your hard work!

    1. Thanks, Cathy. It’s hard isn’t it? I kept vacillating between words… and finally just accepted the three I’d chosen… knowing that I’ll probably change them.

  13. I kept shouting ‘FRESH’ as you struggled for your third word! I think Fresh captures modern but with an air of continual updates. That’s definitely one of my 3 words along with Classic and Relaxed (I’ve been retired for 10 years). Fresh also gives me permission to be edgy on occasion.
    I recently returned from London where I had a Red Leopard style and color consultation. Such a splurge but worth it since it has forced me to evaluate each purchase more objectively. The RL approach includes a short questionnaire to help determine style personality. Not perfect but it provided a more structured framework for my 3 words.

    Thanks for all the time, research and thought you devote to your blog and vlog! Much appreciated!

    1. Thanks, Chris. Some days I wish I had a techie husband or friend who could do the editing for me. That’s what takes the time. But then I realize that I love to figure things out for myself. Just filming myself blithering on would not be half as satisfying. Even when I can see all the glitches and poor choices… I just think… next month I’m going to nail this video thing. Ha.
      P.S. I love “fresh” as my third word. I never thought of it. But it’s modern and current and kind of creative all at the same time. Thanks for that.

  14. Teacher, I forgot my homework!! I am totally stumped! I don’t think I have a style…maybe a uniform. Jeans, top or sweater and always a cardigan. Dressing up always throws me for a loop. I love other types of clothes, but I have to dress for the life I live.

  15. Hmmm, I may need to use August as my month to think about this! Thanks, Sue, for your researched thoughts.

  16. Thoroughly enjoyed your blog, and the research you have. What a lot of work. I must thank you for Alyssa’s YouTube videos. So interesting and helpful.
    I am recently retired and looking for my style, which you would think I had grown into by now! My work life was lived in hospital scrubs, and my home uniform was basically jeans and T shirts, yet I bought clothes for an office job, heels and classic sheath dresses that I love. They certainly don’t fit my lifestyle now. Hard to run around with grandchildren in high heels, certain fractured hip!
    So I am trying reconfigure my wardrobe, for my very casual life, yet still look, ‘put together’ ‘polished’ and importantly modern or current. I am doing my home work and trying to come up with my own three words. Amazing how difficult it can be Classic, minimal, and ????

    1. I have kept my heels for years, a few pairs of pumps with kitten heels mostly, one killer pair of high heeled platforms that I can’t bear to get rid of, and a couple of pairs of sandals with heels. I wore a pair of low-heeled pumps with jeans and a dressy top to a Christmas party and felt both dressed up and totally casual… just the mix I was going for. I’d hang onto your heels. Lesley. For now. You might just want to be able to pull a pair out of the closet for a special occasion… instead of going shopping.

  17. Longtime reader and now, a commenter: Thank you, Sue, for putting together this wonderful post. I absolutely loved it and have so enjoyed reading what everyone has to say about it; like stumbling on an oasis in the desert. (Few of my friends share my degree of interest in fashion!) Can “jeans” be one of the three words? They have remained a foundation of my wardrobe for years and personal style revolves around what goes with them. At the moment, post-recent retirement, “structured” and “pretty” feel about right to fill out the rest of the style statement.

    1. I think that jeans can totally be one of your words! “Jeans” with “structured” and “pretty” conjures up a very particular style in my mind.

    2. Mary, your statement about stumbling upon the oasis is exactly true here as well. My friends do not have the same interest in clothes and closets and fashion as I do so this wonderful site of Sue’s is perfect for likeminded ladies. Such fun and grateful not to feel alone in my obsession with these things.

  18. Thanks for all your efforts Sue. I believe my three words are Classic, Minimal and Tailored with a bit of an edge. I will go through the links you provided and may end up changing my mind though. When I looked at Allison’s descriptors, it was very clear to me what I wasn’t. Really enjoyed this post Sue.

  19. I had a colour consultation a number of years ago, and when I received my colour palette (mostly muted summer colours, which are definitely the right fit for me), the consultant had chosen three words for the palette: gentle, gracious, twinkling. These are apparently words that should help guide my clothing choices, but I’m not sure exactly how they translate into personal style words. I never had a chance to talk to her about the words, and I’m not sure how much she was influenced by her impression of my personality during our session together. Anyway, I can’t for the life of me figure out “twinkling” on any front, but I’ll have to give some thought to “gentle” and “gracious” and if they translate to something I can define in terms of style (if indeed they ring true when I attempt this!).

    1. I think you could interchange “gentle” with “soft”… clothes without a hard edge, and maybe less structure. But “gracious” and “twinkling” defeat me. Not sure how they would manifest themselves. Might “gracious” apply to outfits that are somewhat formal, or dressy? I keep thinking of the Queen when I hear “gracious” or a southern belle, and I’m not sure that’s helpful. Ha. Do you think that “twinkling” might mean playful, colourful? Gosh… I am no help here.

  20. First time commenting on your blog (and also Ottawa-based, but a bit younger and still working). I enjoy your self-deprecating and sincere style and I enjoyed this vlog (and also the linked videos, which were fun). The part that struck me was your uncertainty with respect to the outfit you were wearing in it. Your thoughts about how you would like your style to evolve were also interesting. This is very relatable.

    I’ve always loved clothes, but having studied in male-dominated fields and dealing largely with men in professional work, I’ve always had an uncomfortable relationship with my love of clothes, as in maybe a guilty feeling, as though I was diminishing myself by caring about my looks and what I wore. At the same time, with an Italian (Italian Italian, not Canadian-Italian) partner and spending significant time in Italy over the last fifteen years, I’ve found an outlet, in a way. My partner is a scientist, but very comfortably wears his sense of style and a deep knowledge of clothing and fabric. He shops *for* me often. As you can guess, this was not something that I typically encountered among the Canadian men I dated earlier on, unless it involved camping! The discomfort and sense of self-betrayal that comes from putting attention on my looks hasn’t washed away, but it has been tempered and I suppose legitimized by my exposure to the Italian culture.

    Something that is very interesting to me, therefore, is the cultural element, which you touch on in the video. We don’t always recognize this, but our style, while individual, is still influenced by the region we live in. I can always tell people from the west coast of Canada from the people in Ontario (especially the major urban centres), based on their style, and of course Montrealers from Torontonians (I am from Toronto originally but have also lived in Montreal). My style is very similar to yours in some significant ways (I even own the same Everlane tank top, and Max Mara used to be a go-to (I still buy some pieces from MM, but more from the Max Mara Weekend line now as I find the higher-end stuff has gone up too much in price, which Italians note, too. It used to be considered an accessible, quality brand, but now is probably catering more to tourists, I would say. You can tell from the sales associates, who tend to be Italian in the MM Weekend stores, but non-Italians with additional language skills in the MM flagships).

    I am definitely a classic dresser and a minimalist. These attributes come from the fact that I like quality fabrics and clothes that fit well without too much fuss (for example, I have about a million of the Everlane organic cotton crew t-shirts: gamine would probably be one of my words), and high-quality suiting. My partner’s sister is keen on jewellery and she is always giving me statement pieces and so on, which I love, but I always end up putting them on and then taking most of the pieces off (my one concession to excess is at Christmas dinner).

    The major difference between my style and what I see of yours is that I tend to veer a little towards the artsy, in that I make a some my own clothes and I like to design quirky elements to express my artistic side. I like to throw in odd mixtures of patterns. The core closet items might be classic like jacquard, or tweed or plaid in classic suiting, but I’ll throw in a surprise like two small patterns that might on the surface not match, but still work together (at least in my estimation). I also like on occasion to throw in unusual colour pairings and a touch of vintage, but not too much.

    In any case, sorry for the tome, but your vlog was thought-provoking and I have read and enjoyed a few of your recent posts. I just wanted to say “Lovely blog!” You seem as though you have a nice readership that generates interesting dialogue.

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, S. It’s been a while since I have shelled out for Max Mara. And most of what I now own is Max Mara Weekend. Less pricey, and less of the “old money esthetic” about it. I used to love that classic, moneyed look back in the nineties. Now I just see it as uptight and too conservative… both small and big “c.” Funny how we project politics on certain looks isn’t it? You are right about regional dressing in Canada. And I imagine in other countries where changing geography and culture means that people live very different lives from other parts of the country. I always laugh when I fly home and change planes in Montreal. The AC flights for Maritime destinations all depart from a circle of gates with one waiting area…. and every male waiting there will be wearing a peaked cap or baseball cap. I’m serious; you can count on it. Makes me feel as if I’m already home. Ha.
      P.S. About Canadian males shopping for their wives. For years Hubby bought me clothing for Christmas… ski pants. ski boots, hiking socks, clothing to protect me from bugs when fishing, Helly Hansen long underwear… well, you get the picture. 🙂

      1. Your blog covers a nice mix of topics, and your style is open and relatable. I like your take on books you have read as well.

        I always laugh, too, when I fly home. As much as I love Europe, I love the feeling that I get in a departure lounge full of Canadians and when I arrive at a domestic airport. People are often (not always anymore, but…) more laid back/less grumpy than Europeans. I think it’s related to geographic space. I feel as though I am among my people, although I also get the same feeling in Italy with respect to some sides of my personality, so that’s a complex one. That said, the clothing styles change and yoga pants begin to proliferate. I’m still a bit old fashioned and don’t wear athleisure clothing in public, unless I’m running or doing yoga, but to each her own. As I get older I’ll likely mellow, too, if I have any mobility limitations and struggle to get around an airport.

        One thing I like about your style is the way you wear your jackets. They suit you very well. I wear jackets for professional reasons, and although I often want to buy or style jackets, I seem to always end up taking them off when I am not in a professional setting. I’m not sure why that is. I haven’t mastered that cool/edgy vibe of a jacket with a tee yet. I “learned” jackets from my very dressy Toronto grandmother (fitted, tailored jackets for me are quintessential Toronto style, although of course that’s changing with the demographics). I have all sorts of memories of her fancy purses and suit ensembles, and going with her to store her furs at Simpsons at the end of the season. Another world…

        I don’t mind that Canadian males buy us clothes to keep us comfortable. 🙂 I just found it a bit of a shock when I met my partner, as he would actively window shop in boutiques and report back to me about sales or looks on display that he thought I would like. He still leaves it to me to make the final call. He also accepts openly that my style is still Canadian and more laid back and practical than the average Italian one.

    2. Having a European born partner, I have also noticed a difference between cultures as to how we see clothing and style. English speakers are more inclined to regard a strong interest in style, including dress with suspicion, seeing it as a niche interest, often labelling it frivolous or even vain. Whereas Europeans in general are more inclined to regard interest in style and how one presents oneself as natural for everyone, both men and women. It does come back to fitting in too, because if people around you put time into choosing their clothing beyond “neat, clean and appropriate”, it tends to encourage everyone to take an interest in style, to give it value and it becomes the norm.

      1. You hit the nail on the head. I definitely have that feeling as though thinking about style is frivolous (that I fight with in my head), but my Italian family sees it as a completely natural part of life. In fact, pretty much every purchase they make, from food to appliances, has an openly visual consideration to it. This is something that I was naturally attracted to and enjoy when in Europe. I agree that context is everything.

    1. Thanks, Wendy. I found your post interesting, too. I just reread what I wrote and noticed some typos and errors. Oops. I love chatting about style and hearing about other people’s journeys with style. Even after a lifetime of thinking about it, I still have doubts and still hope to evolve. This is what appealed to me about Sue’s vlog.

      1. S-
        Your comment about being influenced by ” the region you live in” struck a memory chord with me. I have moved a lot over the years and often found myself wearing items to ” fit in” when I go out somewhere. They weren’t necessarily ” my style personality” but they were/ are always in my favourite colours. I enjoyed your comments. It was a good reminder for me.

        1. Me too! It makes sense to some degree, given differences in climate, but it’s nice to step back and remind oneself to follow our own inner compass.

  21. Sue, As always, really enjoyed your blog! I love the way you present fashion! It’s always more than just “what to wear with what” and what is new in the fashion world….you have a way of expressing “style “and “fashion” in a way that is very relatable, reading the comments just confirms how much we all enjoy this. … Thank You!


  22. I thought I had my 3 words pretty close (Classic, Boho, Fresh), but then I was watching Allison Bornstein’s Instagram story today, and she pulled on a leather jacket to edge up her outfit, and I thought, “Wait! I love my leather jacket.” Of course, I’m not going to see it again until October at the earliest. Which made me wonder – does the time of year we’re doing this exercise skew our results? Because now I’m wondering if there isn’t a little hint of edgy in my style, but it’s hard to do edgy when it’s hot. 🙂

    Thanks for the video, and Bornstein’s very good list, as well as the link to the Coveteur article. Lots of good info to digest!

    1. I think time of year and weather really makes a difference. My three words are most applicable when it’s cool enough to wear a jacket. Clothes for high summer have never really made me feel like me.

    2. I came to the same conclusion about seasons skewing the descriptive words, Carol. In the winter(I live in the southern US, where we have 4 distinct seasons), I lean toward more edgy with leather jacket and Blundstones, for example. In the summer when you don’t want anything even touching your body, I go more to loose dresses and linen. I adore jeans but forget about it in our summers, when the heat index can easily exceed 100 degrees for days. And thank you, Sue, for this exercise, as it provided a much needed indoor activity today. Considering I started the day with Confused, Exasperated and Overwhelmed, I feel like I made great progress, moving towards Classic, Outdoorsy and Casual.

  23. Late to comment here since I’ve been thinking about your post all week. After reading through all the comments, watching the videos, and taking a long hard look at my closet, three words popped into my mind: modern, simple, interesting.

    The last word, “interesting” needs some unpacking since I’m using it in a very specific sense. To me, “interesting” clothes are clothes with a distinctive line, shape, concept, or design. Some might call this “edgy” or “architectural” but neither of those words seem to quite describe the aesthetic “interest” I find in an item which combines functionality and simplicity with beauty. “Architectural” doesn’t quite fit the “interest” I find in neutral outfits which incorporate contrasting textures and tactile fabrics. And “edgy”, in my mind, evokes a kind of rebellious defiance which isn’t something which I’m looking for in my clothing at my age—having learned there are other ways to show my feelings about causes I support. I’m also quite adamant that my definition of “interesting” will not depend on embellishments, patterns, extra bits fabric, accessorizing, and extraneous design for an outfit’s “interest”. In most cases, I prefer my “interesting” to be sleek, modern, and simple.

    Two other words hover above my three chosen ones: functionality and sustainability. My appreciation of Scandinavian design comes from the aesthetically pleasingly way their designers blend functionality, sustainability, and beauty into the design of an everyday object. I’m happy when I wear an outfit which is comfortable, practical, modern and simple. When I can add “interesting” as a final descriptor, I’m totally over the moon.

  24. I lost a significant amount of weight, knowing none of my clothes would fit in the end. Throughout the process I watched online, YouTube, and in life trying to define my 60s, retired, life style. The three word method intrigued and frustrated me. I bounced around different words and then tried cheating and hyphenating word. But as I purchased and thrifted a new wardrobe I believe my three words are natural, classic and accessorized. Natural for me means fabric, comfort, and leaning towards muted earth tones. Using the method, I’ve made very few mistakes as I built a new wardrobe.

  25. Really liked your video. I’ve just discovered your blog so I will enjoy going through previous articles that I’ve not read. The whole “retirement thing” sure does change the way we see ourselves and how we dress.
    I am ready to explore the 3 Words myself; not only am I now retired from the corporate world but I have moved to South America where the culture, fashion norms and availability of my old favourites are all dramatically different!
    What an adventure it is to find ourselves again in the 3rd chapter of our lives!

    1. Thanks, Kathryn. I can imagine that a major move after retirement would have a huge impact on your life, not to mention your wardrobe. But how exciting too. 🙂

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