MintStyle

MintStyle with Rachel Weingarten: Three Elements of Style That Get Better with Age

Jeans

It’s hard to believe, but this year marks the 37th season of Saturday Night Live. Though the show has weathered some bumps along the way, just try to picture a presidential election without SNL’s political buffoonery. See? I knew you couldn’t.

The show has also launched comedic geniuses such as John Belushi, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and countless others. Not too shabby for a weekly sketch comedy show.

And today marks the birthday of Daryl Hall, one half of the croon-alicious sounds behind Hall and Oates, who has exhibited incredible staying power by transitioning from a pop star to the star of a weekly web show turned weekly TV event, Live From Daryl’s House.

What is the common thread here? Staying power. Getting better with age. Transitioning from one successful incarnation to the next, while staying true to your own personal brand ideals, which isn’t always easy.

It can be tempting to fall into a style rut. You keep the same haircut because it works. Or because it’s easy to maintain. Or because you don’t have to think about it.

You wear the same brand of sneakers or lipstick or use the same brand of shaving cream because it doesn’t require much thought, which isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes there are tried and true classics that give you an instant boost of confidence and act as a personal brand cue to others.

The next time you decide to overhaul your personal style, you might want to hold onto these classics:

A Well-Worn Pair of Jeans/Leather Jacket

Unlike the trendy Moto jackets gaining so much traction this season, your 15-year old beat up leather jacket has major fashion staying power.

Wear with a pair of corduroy pants for men and you’ve got a proper, but slightly rebellious, look. And for women, a leather jacket with history can transform a party dress from pretty to edgy.

As for jeans, sometimes it isn’t the high-end designer versions that have the most impact, but the ones that hug and drape all the right places. Do not underestimate the power of a pair of perfectly fitting jeans.

The thing to keep in mind is that there is a fine balance between character and shabbiness. If there are more worn patches than actual denim, leather or suede, it’s time to let it go.

A Signature Scent

When Marilyn Monroe was once asked what she wore to bed, she answered, “Five drops of Chanel No. 5.” After that, Ms. Monroe and the fragrance became equally coveted.

While you don’t want to overpower everyone around you with your fragrance, it can be very powerful if those close enough can inhale a hint of a scent that is unique to only you. Though fragrance trends can change from heavy florientals to chirpy citrus and back again, your signature fragrance can remain the same.

Sites like Perfumelab.com (note that prices are in Euros) or http://www.scentedstudio.com allow you to create your own scent using existing components ranging from floral to fruity. For a more subtle variation, consider blending together some of your favorite essential oils and applying to pulse points.

A Favorite Cocktail

A decade ago you would have been hard-pressed to find a single Sex and the City obsessed woman at a trendy bar drinking anything other than a bright pink Cosmo. Though dirty martinis and chocolate martinis and everything-tinis have also had their fair share of popularity, they have never defined someone’s personality the way that an Old Fashioned or Sidecar once did.

In other words, going for the obvious or trendy drink when out with friends or at a business-related cocktail party is predictable. Try to pair your drink to your personality.

If you pick a drink that is too sweet, you might be seen as childlike or immature. If your drink of choice has too much of the hard stuff, you might seem less trustworthy.

A few months ago I was lucky enough to visit the Surrey Hotel in NYC, which has an exclusive cocktail program: after you choose from a customized menu, a Surrey mixologist/personal bartender brings all the necessary ingredients right to your room.

After mixing the perfect first drink for you, you’re left to mix and enjoy subsequent rounds on your own. While I’m not much of a drinker (remind me to tell you about the time I spent my birthday trying to find a champagne cocktail in Dublin), the program allowed me to experiment and create a signature drink for myself.

Rachel Weingarten favors cocktails that involve muddling at some point in the process. She’s a style expert, marketing strategist & personal branding consultant for CEOs, politicians and celebrities and the creator of MintStyle. She is the award-winning author of Career and Corporate Cool and Hello Gorgeous! Beauty Products in America ‘40s-‘60s. Visit her online at http://racheletc.com or on Twitter @rachelcw Write to her with your burning style questions at mintstylerachel@gmail.com