What is a Lifestylist, anyway?

By Molly Rutter

When I was approached last semester to write a fashion column for The Griffin, I’ll admit I was hesitant. The field of journalism didn’t particularly interest me, and in no way did I consider myself a fashion expert. I was just a free-spirited Communication Studies major who read “Vogue” (or looked at the pictures) like it was her Bible and picked out her outfit like it was the most important decision of the day. I realize now it may have been those exact qualities and habits that made me the perfect candidate for the job.

Two semesters and 15 articles later, it amazes me how far Leather & Lace has come. What started as a simple, step-by-step style guide has developed into a column that dissects and contemplates the perception of beauty. Today my name appears on each of my articles as “Molly Rutter, Lifestylist,” and words cannot describe the deep gratitude and pride I feel at being given that title. As I reflect on the work I’ve done the past year and consider my plans for the future, I wonder what it really means to be a Lifestylist and how that title suits me.

As anyone does in search for great wisdom and truth, the first place I looked was Google. I asked, “What is a Lifestylist?” First I came upon Urban Dictionary, which says a Lifestylist is “an individual that calls himself an anarchist by being heavily individualistic without giving any thought to class struggle and an end to oppression.” Next I found an interview of Lifestylist, Maria Gabriela Brito, a Venezuelan interior decorator who believes there is nothing more important in a home than a happy client. Lastly I stumbled across Lifestylist.com, an interior styling company whose motto is “It’s All About You.” Although my role as a Lifestylist doesn’t exactly match these descriptions, I do have some common ground with these people that takes my role outside the realm of fashion.

It may come as a surprise to know that the most followed board on my Pinterest account is not “Passion for Fashion.” No, the board that I pin to most often, the board that has the most frequent repins, and the board that has the most followers is called “Existence.” It is the very first board I created, and consists of spectacular images, wise words, and in essence, all that visually and intellectually inspires me. My “Existence” board, my favorite one, expresses who I am and who I aspire to be, but ironically doesn’t include a single picture of clothing.

Does this mean fashion doesn’t have a place in my existence? I don’t think so. My aesthetic, my sense of proportion, and my love of art are at the heart of what I do and what draw me to fashion in the first place. I may not have a special talent in fashion, but I do have a passion and a curiosity for it that carries me farther than any talent would.

I’ve learned a lot about the value of life styling while writing for Leather & Lace, and I don’t just mean a personal clothing style. I’ve learned that investing in one’s style means investing in one’s happiness, and that style is not limited to the realm of fashion and cosmetics. If your style is science, reach for the moon and beyond. If your style is math, aim for mastery and be a genius. If your style is art, feed the unlimited beauty of your imagination. If your style is not clear to you yet, don’t worry, because that’s half the fun. One day you will find what you are looking for, or maybe you will find something much greater than that. In the inspiring words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

Like I said, investing in one’s style means investing in one’s happiness, and happiness is the true destiny for all. A Lifestylist, by my definition, would be anyone who celebrates and encourages the pursuit of style in any area of life. So in that case, call me a Lifestylist, but be sure to call anyone else on the pursuit of happiness a Lifestylist as well.

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