Here’s the challenge: This Valentine’s day, celebrate yourself.

I’ve realized that I’m happiest when I am trusting my gut. Loving who I was created to be. Taking risks. Just doing me.

This seems to be the theme for our blog, The Refined Woman, this year too.  We are done playing it safe. We are ready to step into bigger and better — even if it scares us.

A Pep Talk for Wearing What You Want | DARLING x The Refined Woman

I am finding that this also applies to how I dress. We’ve always said that clothes are an expression of what’s happening within. The right outfit can make you feel good, but there has to be something inside to start.

This outfit represents me saying YES to my own voice and NO to others. Even if the other voices are good ones. For example, my husband doesn’t like this dress (which I’m wearing as a top). He doesn’t think it’s flattering.

But I kept coming back to it. Something about the silhouette inspired and delighted me. So, I bought it.

 The right outfit can make you feel good, but there has to be something inside to start.

My very best friend — who I trust on all style-related things — gave these jeans two thumbs down when we were purging my closet for my Fall Capsule wardrobe. Not flattering. Too wide. Weird pockets.

But I love them, and it’s hard for me to find good denim that’s long enough. So I put them in the winter bin. Recently I revisited the bin in anticipation of my Winter Capsule and I decided I still love them. It’s happening.

A Pep Talk for Wearing What You Want | DARLING x The Refined Woman

So why not pair a big dress and wear that as a shirt with big pants and just let it all go. It makes me happy! It may be man-repelling but I’m cool with that.

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers. What will you do to celebrate your unique style on the 14th? I’d love to know.

If you want to see behind the scenes on how to do the makeup for this post – be sure to visit Melissa Hoffmann Beauty to get the step-by-step tutorial. For more from The Refined Woman, check out: Real Talk | Real Moms: Work & Childcare or Kat’s current Sexless in the City series.

Images via Melissa Hoffmann


  1. This makes me so happy. I struggle with a few body acceptance issues and there are so many clothes I want to wear that I feel aren’t flattering. This article has inspired me and I’m in my way to my closet to look for a dress to wear with my baggy pants. Wonderful!

  2. I love this. I remember my mom letting me dress myself from a really young age and telling me “If you feel good in it, wear it! It doesn’t matter if it follows the rules.” That vote of confidence truly set the tone for my adult relationship with clothes and fashion. Thanks to mom, I’m rarely afraid to make a bold or unconventional choice because I always hear her voice in my head saying “If it makes you feel good, just go for it!” I think it was great parenting on her part. 🙂

  3. What great insight! I am loving your outfit and, the best part about it, is how much YOU love it. That is what shines through and makes all the difference. Like you said, fashion is a way to express our inner selves. That can be hard sometimes, especially when we have others telling us it’s wrong. It’s a process to learn to trust yourself, who you are and what you love, but once you do, it creates beautiful results… like a killer outfit! 🙂

  4. One hundred percent true. I feel like clothes can make a big impact also on how you feel. If I put on something that I love and something that I feel comfy in, I immediately feel confident and good. And I love the idea of letting go of all the expectations, in matter of how women dress and just put on a pair of jeans that are not too tight, a top that is flowy and breathy and a jacket that is warm and comfy. And just don’t care about anyone. Because I think that, at the end of the day everyone worries only about themselves. And if they are that unlucky and unhappy in life to make a big deal of what a I am wearing, then it’s their issue, isn’t it?

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