III: How Can Style Change Your Perspective? My Journey From Fearful To Fearless.

Hello, dear readers!

My contribution to this blog is meant to be a collection of my personal dreams and ideas. My posts will often feature fun lifestyle topics, like fashion and travel, but you will also see me delve into deeper subjects, such as the challenges that come with navigating today’s dating scene, achieving a work/school/life balance, or the existential crises that strike all of us at random moments.

Ultimately, my blog entries are intended to be as relatable as they are honest.


"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak." - Rachel Zoe

I have always adored fashion, but not for the reasons you might expect. For me, fashion is so much more than a superficial desire to look “hot” or jump on the bandwagon of the latest trend. My style is an outward illustration of my personality. It allows me to express my identity in ways that I could never do when I was younger. 

So, why am I focused on bargain fashion finds, specifically?

Well, my parents were both immigrants from Soviet-era Europe. During my mother’s youth, she wore a uniform, and she never experienced the liberating feeling of using fashion to express herself. When she arrived in the United States, my dad took her to her very first discount store—Marshalls—and that, my friends, is where it all began!

My mom was always on a limited budget, so she relied on stores like Marshalls, T.J.Maxx, and Ross to expand her wardrobe. To this day, she is such a classy and elegant woman, and she proves that you can make a 20-dollar dress look like a million bucks. She instilled in me the idea that a person should always strive to put his or her best foot forward.

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
“Your personality is not the first thing people see.”

Sound familiar? Whether we like it or not, our appearance is at the forefront of how we portray ourselves to the world. Psychologists say that when we meet people for the first time, we only have a seven-second window to make a powerful first impression. In those seven seconds, I want people to see that I carry myself with professionalism and grace.

It took a long time and a lot of confidence-building to get to this point. My younger years were a very uncomfortable time, as they were for many of us. I felt strange in my own skin, and I was constantly picked on for the way I walked, the way I talked, or the way I looked (nerdy, thick glasses, you get the picture). You can definitely call me a late bloomer.

Secretly, I dreamed of a future where I would shed my awkward outer shell and grow into the self-assured woman I am now. When I started earning my own money, I began building a legitimate wardrobe piece by piece. Years later, I finally breathed life into what has now become my “style."

I stopped fearing bright colors and shying away from bold patterns. In fact, I stopped being afraid, period! My newly discovered style helped shape my confidence, and vice versa. The bold, vivacious version of me was always in there somewhere—it merely took some introspection and courage to pull her out of her comfort zone!

Sharing my story and my style with all of you matters to me, because I want to show the world that you don’t have to spend a fortune in order to look presentable and put-together. Everyone has a style that suits him or her; what matters is that you wear your style with composure.

The bottom line: I believe in finding quality items at a fraction of the price—sometimes you just have to look a bit harder! I consider myself a bargain shopping connoisseur, and “SALE” is my favorite (appropriate) four-letter word! 

Pictured:

Trench Coat – New York & Co. ($69.00 on sale)*

*This is on the pricier side of my usual purchases, but when it comes to outerwear, you can really get your money’s worth when you buy a quality coat. It will last forever, as long as you take proper care of it!

Shoes – Impo ($19.99 at Ross)

📷: Brianna J. 


Pictured: 

Blouse – New York & Co. ($25.00 on sale)

Skirt - Forever 21 ($12.99)

Tights – Jones New York ($6.99/2 pairs at Ross)

📷: Brianna J. 


Pictured: 

Dress – Express ($30.00 on clearance)

Jacket – Zara ($69.99)

Shoes – Shoe Republic LA (Free from a friend! Usually $39.99)

📷: Brianna J. 


Pictured: 

Jacket – H&M ($20.00 on clearance)

Sweater – Ralph Lauren ($24.99 at Ross)

Pants – Express ($25.00 on clearance)

Shoes – A.n.a. ($9.99 on clearance)

📷: Brianna J.