Hello Gentri Lee readers! My name’s Marlen (like the Monroe, not the fish) and I’m the girl behind Messages on a Napkin. Style for me has always been my greatest love affair. And I mean that seriously. Beautiful dresses literally make me close my eyes with a slight flutter and sweeping skirts make my heart feel like butter melting on warm toast. These are things that make me notice beauty on a regular Wednesday, or find a spark of inspiration even though I have a long eight hour shift to trudge through. It might seem insignificant, but the little things add up.
One of the main things I get asked on my blog is exactly how do I come up with some of my layering ideas, or how do I make things that should not go together, go. And my answer is always frustratingly simple: I let myself become constantly inspired.
I think most readers hate hearing that because it really is that easy, but there’s no way I could have come up with half of my outfits on my own. I flip through magazines and rip out pages of outfits that I want to recreate in some way and post them onto my closet door. I sign up for catalogs from my favorite stores and tape clever layered outfits or fun mixed-pattern-ensembles onto my walls. I scroll through Pinterest and keep an eye out not just for pretty outfits, but for details in outfits I would like to copy. Like a girl wearing ankle socks with her Mary Jane heels. Or a frilly summer shirt billowing out from underneath a crop top sweater. Or the way a sheer peasant skirt is layered over a knit turtleneck dress.
I borrow, borrow, borrow genius details and clever styling ideas from all the beautiful women around me, and find a way to make it fit with the clothes I have in my closet. You have to seek inspiration to find it. And soon, all those ideas become apart of my style and apart of what I think makes my every-day beautiful.
Novelist Carol Edgarian said it best:
“Style begins with the people passing through one’s life, the harbingers we push against and the stylemakers we want to clone. Some are famous, some not. Style grows from admiration, from longing, from discrimination—and, yes, from love. It’s all the places you’ve been to and the people and the moments you’ve known: the parts you’ve adopted, to keep forever, and transformed. We wear our history in our hearts and on our backs.”