Finding a Signature Piece
Updated: Apr 26, 2018
It is as elusive as a mystical creature. But once you find it the magic really does ignite a lifetime of wonderful outfits and lets you strut with confidence for years to come. Here is how I found my signature piece.
“Every time I put it on I feel complete. It compliments my color and style perfectly. It is classic and outrageous all at the same time.”
The Search for the Holy Grail
I have owned a lot of scarves in my life. Growing up in Germany meant that you were wearing one 60% of the year. I had beautiful silk scarfs I had stolen from my mother, found at markets, or purchased at a boutique. I knew I liked scarfs. I liked their versatility. There was even a period of time while living in Madrid that I thought you could simply tie one in an upside-down triangle across your chest and Voilà! instant shirt...ya not my best fashion moment.
I had just finished my undergraduate degree and was living in Boston, MA. There is an amazing shopping street called Newbury. It is located right outside the Boston Commons. One of the flagship stores beckoning you to the fashion filled shops that line the street is Chanel. I had always wanted to go into a Chanel but never felt "worthy". I couldn't buy anything, and I thought the sales people would immediately know this and unceremoniously kick me out of the store with a condescending stare. This of course was completely in my head. I now frequently go into to walk around Chanel’s and other large fashion houses to see the designs in person. But on this day, I had saved enough money working as an RA, being an ID swipper (yes that is a real job;) and waitressing to feel secure walking in. I wanted something to celebrate this milestone in my life that was all mine.
I asked the sales person about scarfs. I knew a jacket or purse was out of the question, but a silk scarf was something I could manage. The drawers opened, and the most fantastic array of color and patterns emerged. I watched her pull them out like a ribbon dancer of my youth. They twirled through the air like music was billowing within them. Just like lovers know when they see each other in movies; the moment I saw this scarf I knew. It was a deep classic red. Like lipstick wore by 1940s movie star. It had black, white, and to my surprise and delight a deep yet vibrant purple. I loved everything about it. While $500 seemed like a fortune for me at the time I have worn the piece at least once a week for 10 years.
I have bought a few high-end scarfs since then. Including a beautiful black, white, and light blush one from the original Chanel on Rue Cambon in Paris. But nothing quite comes close to this first one I purchased. It makes me brighter inside and out when I wear it.
“Your signature piece should make you feel at peace.”
Tips for Finding Your Signature Piece
You don't have to have a bank account worthy of a Real House Wife to own a signature piece. It needs to be something that can grow with you as you grow. Find something that has that magical combination of standing out while blending with many different looks. It needs to be a quality piece so that it can stand the test of time but the letters of the alphabet (two C's or the letters L&V) do not need adorn it. It is an investment in quality which rarely comes without a price. But if you think about cost per wear my scarf is now pennies considering the amount of times I have worn it. A small leather handbag, a ring, watch, or necklace. Whatever statement you want to make with your piece make sure that it is the essence of who you are. To truly stand the test of time it must enhance your style not be defined by the trends of the day.
If those of you have found your signature piece, please send in a photo to me so I can create an inspiration gallery for those still on the hunt!