Personal style is what we wear, but it’s also how we put it together and why. Fashion is far more than a haphazard combination of stuff, and the thought process behind the way everything fits for a cohesive picture is worth a study.
The Edit at Macy’s, a curated collection of trends and style inspiration, gets the intrigue too, hence our partnership and the resulting question we put to some real women: How do you decide what to wear?
“Fashion absolutely affects how you walk through your day, how other people handle you in that moment. It’s almost like armor for the day,” Cassandra Jones, Senior Vice President of Fashion & Digital Strategy for Macy’s, told us. “Everyone needs a uniform so that when you buy new pieces, they can slide into the collection of what you already have. When I shop, I’m thinking about how something will fit into my uniform and with the staples I already have. What really defines me?”
Hear from some remarkable real women below, then shop the major fall trends each is wearing.
Name: Natassia Cordrey
Occupation: School safety officer
“I don’t plan my outfit the night before. The first thing I do when I wake up is check the weather, then my mood, and I take it from there. Truthfully, some mornings I’ll check my Instagram pics and say ‘Oh, I haven’t worn that in a while.’ I’m in uniform for eight to twelve hours a day, so I like to have fun when I dress.
“When getting ready for a special occasion, I keep it pretty simple. If I do one solid color like black, I’ll wear a red lip to make it pop. Sometimes I just do a lot of color blocking. I love bright colors, and it really compliments me because my personality is the same.”
Name: Dominique Castelano
“The way I get dressed in the morning is heavily influenced by my lifestyle and my gender identity. Every time I get dressed, it’s like I’m putting on armor for battle. Identifying as a transgender woman, there’s almost this need to dress so that I won’t be harassed, ‘clocked,’ or called names when I walk in the street, which I’ve had my fair share of in the past.
Now that [you see] brands and companies showing that it’s acceptable to express your gender identity in a unique and non-binary style, it’s positively changed how I incorporate my most authentic self in not just my day-to-day life, but also with my style.”
Name: Mecca Mozelle
Occupation: Activist, model
“I never dress a ‘part.’ I live for people questioning my gender identity. It represents the bravery in my femininity, of not feeling obligated to follow the constricted rules society seems to try to impose on women. If I’m wearing hoops, I’m wearing jeans from the men’s section. If I’m wearing an outfit that doesn’t accentuate my curves, I’m definitely wearing a full face. It’s my perfect happy medium. As long as I leave the door feeling like myself and I’m presenting the best me, I’m complete.”
Name: Maria Alia
Occupation: Influencer, blogger
“When it comes to shopping, I really try to choose pieces I’m either absolutely in love with, or pieces that I know I can style in many different ways. When I come across a piece that isn’t readily modest but I’m still obsessed with, I always take a minute to get crafty and think of ways to make it work for me.
“For an important occasion, I usually look for one standout piece and build a look around that. It really depends on my particular mood and what vibe I feel like portraying.”
Name: Gina Bernasconi
“I never plan. I have many different styles, but I like to go with the flow and dress how I’m feeling on a particular morning. I appreciate clothes that look and feel good on my body. Functionality is a must, and being comfortable is so important to me—it’s important for feeling confident since confidence is always the best accessory.
“My style is very flexible, so one day you might catch me in sweats with sneakers and the next I’ll be in a jumpsuit and heels. I want to be effortless.”
Name: Lexie Smith
Occupation: Baker, artist
“I don’t have a shopping mantra or consistent strategies. I only care to feel authentically myself when leaving the house. The definition of that changes and isn’t easy to articulate, but it’s a state I think anyone can feel. It’s the answer to the question: ‘Do I feel like me?’ I work against [displaying] an outside influence: I’m trying to represent myself at all times.”