Style Story: Get Up. Dress Up. Show Up.
In today’s post you’ll meet the lovely Emma Neustaedter. Emma loves peach bellinis, white chocolate mochas, and Gossip Girl. She is genuine, hard working, positive, and well… the kind of girl many of us (myself included) strive to be like. One of the many things that makes Emma enviable is her “go-get-it-tiveness” (new word??). Every aspect of Emma’s life is shaped by her energetic engagement of the world– even her style! Emma’s style philosophy summarized in her own words as this:
GET UP. DRESS UP. SHOW UP.
Emma is a fellow lover of style, follower of Jesus, and we are both out-going and love people! While we definitely have similarities, I lack the discipline to wake up early every day and do my hair, make up, and choose a cute outfit. Emma does this day in and day out. She even attributes her positive and confident behavior to her daily ritual of style. It is because of this difference between Emma and myself that I chose her to be my first featured guest on my blog!
What I love about style is the way it allows for our personalities and individuality to surface, so today let’s dive into Emma’s style and see what drives her to get up, dress up, and show up!
Ms. Neustaedter and I met on Monday, the 20th of March at Common Cafe in Moose Jaw. Over lavender and blackberry scones, chai tea lattes, and mochas we discussed the implications that style can have in the pursuit of a happy and successful life.
A major theme in our conversations was being torn between loving style, enjoying looking put together, but also recognizing that style can be materialistic and ultimately can be a vessel for vanity and self-endorsement. When I asked Emma how she would describe her relationship with style, she immediately spoke to this very dilemma. Even in her own style there is a fusion, or balance, between wanting to look great, and yet not be sucked into a world of selfishness.
“It’s a hard balance for me, between two sides, I love looking great, and expensive clothes, and feeling so confident in what I’m wearing. But for me also, as a Christian, it is so hard for me to justify spending so much money on clothes.”
Emma chooses to be stylish but tries to shop from the sale section or outlet stores. It’s very important to her that she doesn’t just spend all her money on her clothing as she recognizes that there is more to life than style.
Even within how she dresses there is a balance between two conflicting styles because Emma is an athlete and fashionista. While she enjoys dressing up in posh, classy clothes, she also can be caught wearing leggings and hoodies. Emma says she wishes to be thought of as someone who dresses “classy, posh, and pretty” and less so as wearing stereotypical athletic style.
Emma’s mature style is in part to do with her Mom’s influence, particularly how she wears what she wants to wear and how she stays on top of trends. Emma remarked that “She [Her mom] had suede leggings before I did!” Emma also praised her mother’s ability to achieve this by waiting for deals and sales.
“I don’t want to be known for my body, I want to be known for my class”
Beyond specific people, Emma attributed her environment to the development of her style. The college campus that Emma and I live on is not particularly focused on keeping up with the trends. We agreed that because of this we are both somewhat hindered in our own pursuit of the trends. However, being one of the few people that do enjoy dressing up every day, we have a special bond.
Emma is a rare breed, she has been dressing up and approaching life with an extra boost of style-induced confidence for as long as she can remember. When I asked her if she ever had a turning point with style and how she dressed, she thought for a while and remarked that she dressed like a tomboy for a year in primary school, but had generally always enjoyed dressing up.
I wanted to know more of why Emma’s philosophy of “Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up” was something she preached so openly, and with such vigor. When asked her about it, Emma had some super insightful things to say. Firstly she said “You never know who you’ll meet!” Which is all too true as we’re both single and just starting our adult lives! But more than that, Emma recognizes the importance of making a good first impression. After all, the world is small and connections are ever so important. Emma also presented the point that if you are dressed and done up, you’re ready to take any opportunity that life sets in front of you. Whether it be speaking up in class, going for an impromptu coffee date, or maybe just snapping a picture with a friend. Getting up, dressing up, and showing up isn’t just about style it’s about grasping every chance you get.
We wrapped up our coffee date, took a few photos, and headed for home. I was left feeling encouraged to use style as a way to propel myself into a mindset of “GO GET IT!” The best part about this philosophy is that it doesn’t require you to adopt anyone else’s style as your own. In fact, Emma’s advice to someone wanting to dive a bit further into style is to stay true to what you like.
How does your style impact the way you live? I encourage you to chew on what Emma has said, and perhaps adopt the same mindset.
All the best,