Getting Started, How-to

How To Begin

Luxury is a state of mind.

Getting started embracing your inner starlet, dutchess, heiress or whatever you want to call yourself might seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s only a matter of getting to know yourself.

The biggest thing about this being honest with yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not or someone others (parents, significant others, the media) have told you to be. In addition to helping you find your personal style, being who you are will make you a lot happier. You’ll be able to live life naturally, on your first instinct, rather than trying to conform to an artificial code.

Here’s a list of questions for you to consider. I’ll give you my personal answers as well so you can see my thought process. But don’t let them influence you. This is about you being you.

1. How do YOU define luxury?
Luxury means so many different things. By default, most people hear the word and think of mansions, yachts, or even Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money. (If you are too young to get the Ducktails reference, here’s the Youtube video.) And if that is what you want – go for it! But for others, luxury can be as simple as an hour alone to take a bubble bath without the kids barging in or having the money to eat out once or twice a month.

For me, luxury is living at the top of my game right here, right now. That means that without breaking the bank or imperiling my ability to pay my bills (of which there are many), I want to feel rich. That this the key for me: feeling. There are two main reasons for this: 1) it makes me happy and 2) I believe in manifestation and one of the key tenants is to feel the life you want before you actually get it. Feeling rich means looking around my house and seeing nice things, like a proper desk, lots of bookshelves, etc., feeling my best in my clothing, and treating myself as though I am worth everything in the world. That last thing could mean treating myself to sushi, lobster or steak once in a while or even going to bed early when I’m tried instead of forcing myself to work more or watch more TV. Luxury is inside and out.

2. What is your ascetic?
Simply put, your ascetic is what you are attracted to and how you want to live your life. An easy way to get at it is to think of home design and fashion. Do you like a more clean, modern design or are you more traditional? If you’re into design, are you French Country, Bohemian, or Farmhouse Country? What do you think to surround yourself with? What makes you feel comfortable? What is your fashion style? Do you go for clean, classic lines, or are you all about bold prints and fun colors? Either one can be elegant.

Everyday luxury is meant to be lived in and fun. For some people that means a really classic, European style. For others it is a bold color scheme that reflects their travels around the world. A really good friend of mine is the biggest farmhouse country fan since Joanna Gaines. She loves gray and pulls it off in her decor and her personal style. If your style is done with love, thought and authenticity, it will turn out elegant, no matter what it is.

My personal style is a mix of French Country and English Country. (I seriously think I was royalty or at least nobility in my past lives.) That means I have a lot of gold and bling in both my house and my fashion style. In fact, gold is my accent color. But I also love books. They make me feel very comfortable and safe, so I have bookshelves in every room except for my bathrooms. I even have bookshelf curtains covering the mirrored doors in my bedroom. As an author, this has even bled over into my author brand: my colors are now gold, white and black.

3. Whom do you admire?
If you need help thinking about what you want, think about those you admire. As I mentioned above, one of my friends loves Chip and Joanna Gaines. That is reflected in her style. A lot women love Audrey Hepburn who is no doubt a style icon. Other women people admire and who could be inspiration to you are Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Katie Perry, Taylor Swift, Gwenyth Paltrow or even people who are really funky like Billy Eilish or Pauley Perrette. Just be sure that when you think about them, you aren’t trying to be them or copy them. You should be thinking how you can incorporate what you like about them into you.

I actually don’t have a style icon. And if you don’t either, that is totally okay.

4. Who do you want to be? 
When you envision your ideal self, what do you see? Where do you live? What is your lifestyle? What do you wear? What are your job and/or hobbies? The idea here is to think about what you want and pick out aspects you can incorporate into your life now.

My ideal self is a full-time author who lives holistically – time for exercise, prayer, and healthy eating. I live in a penthouse in Chicago or Boston or maybe a mansion somewhere in England, France or Italy. I travel a lot and don’t have to worry about money.

How that is reflected in my style now is the European accents in my home, small efforts to improve my health, taking time for at least short prayer daily, and traveling when I can. It is also reflected in my willingness to take on extra work to establish savings and pay off debt that could get in the way of my dreams.

Ready to get started? Check out my 10 tips for starting your luxury journey now.

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