"Personal style is basically just illustrating what's on the inside, outwardly. My style is very eclectic, which matches my personality, and I think it communicates to others that I am open to experiences and experimenting but have a solid sense of my own values and what I think is important. It's really developed from traveling and observing other cultures. I absorb a little piece of everywhere I go, and it becomes a part of me. It's an interpretation of my life and how I live it, and it shows that I'm comfortable with who I am and what my story is."
Age: 51 Occupation: U.S. correspondent for the German magazines Freundin and Donna Home: Pelham, New York
"To me, personal style is what I love, regardless of whether anyone else does. My own style is creative, with a bit of humor. It's an extension of how I think and how I feel. "Style" is taking elements from "fashion"—what you see in magazines and movies and on the street—and making it completely your own, wearing it in a way that only you would wear it. A lot of my wardrobe comes from thrift stores. I love finding things no one else wants and tweaking them to make them truly my own. Maybe I'll tailor something or dye it another color. I don't take style too seriously—we're all just like little girls, playing dress-up."
Age: 43 Occupation: Founder and editor-in-chief of the forthcoming online fashion magazine StoryAndRain.com Home: New York City
"Personal style is the mix of clothing and accessories that one constantly gravitates toward. My own is eclectic and accessories-driven. It's a means of expression and something I am constantly building upon. To find your own, I think you should first focus on what looks good on you, then tune in to which accessories always attract your attention. If you start with just the trends, you're ignoring who you are and you're opening yourself up to fashion's pitfalls."
"Personal style is how you envision your aesthetic and then exude it. Whether or not my aesthetic is for everyone, I think it definitely conveys that I am invested in the way I look and put a lot of effort into it. As a makeup artist, I like to explore identity in society, because really we're all wearing a costume every day. What you choose to wear instantly communicates your persona to others, and it dictates your own attitude. I constantly evolve my look because that way I don't have to commit to being one type of person. I'm always developing my style as my frame of reference grows through my experiences."
Age: 31 Occupation: Art director, creative services, Real Simple Home: Brooklyn
"I work with color, style, and texture every day, so my personal style is a natural extension of that. I'm generally drawn toward neutrals in edgy silhouettes because they are so versatile—alone, layered, or embellished for juxtaposition. But there are plenty of occasions in which something bold or unique catches my eye and I'll know it's special, particularly when I'm traveling. My outfits are often punctuated with these unexpected pieces, which is what I think helps define my style."
Maris's favorite shopping sources:J.Crew, Zara, and local boutiques when traveling.
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