Karina Chronicles

Be a pistol: how Diana Vreeland became a paragon of strength and style (and how you can too)


KD Crystal BIOCrystal Hammon is a vintage fashion enthusiast who blogs at Dressed Her Days Vintage. When she isn’t working as a writer, she teaches yoga, plays golf, sews and reads. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.



Diana Vreeland wore white on the day of her husband’s funeral. For a woman whose daily uniform was a pair of black trousers and a black cashmere sweater, you have to marvel at the way she switched things up. When black would have been the obvious choice, she surprised everyone by wearing a color that celebrated their life together. Besides her wild imagination and colorful language, Vreeland was known for taking hours to get ready. Every detail was perfect. Her nails were always perfectly manicured and she was passionate about accessories.

Here are five inspirations you can take from one of the most iconic fashion editors of all time, Diana Vreeland.

  1. Find your most unique personal trait and play it to the hilt. From the time she was a girl, Vreeland was told she was homely. She took all of that and turned it on its ear, accentuating the very features that defined her as such. She did the same thing with models, looking for the interesting and unconventional. Are your eyes set too close? Is your nose crooked? Display it prominently! That goes for your personality, too.
  2. Have standards. Vreeland didn’t suffer fools gladly. Nevertheless, people ended up loving her despite her uncompromising attitude. She was absolutely committed to her vision of a fantastic world. Readers were drawn to that fantasy. Creating that vision was part of her mission in life and she had standards that corresponded with it. What’s your mission? Write it down and live it like no one else can.
  3. Don’t try to fit in. Be different. Even Vreeland’s children said they often wished for a mother who was like everyone else’s. If she felt like expressing something, she spoke her mind. She didn’t stifle herself just to placate others. When other magazines were teaching women how to bake cakes, Vreeland veered in a direction that was more interesting to her. Women joined her. Not everyone is born with the same gifts. You have a right to be exactly who you are, regardless of who likes it and who doesn’t. That principle applies to everything from style to thought. 
  4. Never let ‘em see you sweat. Whenever her emotions got the best of her, for the most part, Vreeland kept them to herself. Only a few people ever saw her cry. That put a hefty veil of armor between her and the rest of the world. It gave her plenty of protection from people who wanted to unseat her. As far as the rest of the world knows, you should be fearless.
  5. Always give the man in your life your very best. Vreeland said that she was always a little shy of her husband. After decades of marriage, her pulse quickened when she heard his footsteps on the stair. (After seeing photographs of him, I can see why.) No doubt her shyness created a layer of mystique between the two of them during their long marriage. There’s nothing wrong with intimacy, but if your mate knows everything about you, it’s possible you’re over-sharing. Remember the beginnings of your relationship? You may have wondered if you were quite good enough to attract his interest. Have a striving mentality that drives your relationship and your appearance every day.

Speaking of white… I love wearing white in the winter. Here are three of my favorite winter whites. 1) A vintage beaded sweater from the 1950s 2) My wedding shoes. I still wear ‘em! 3) A sweater my husband’s grandmother made. My mother-in-law gave it to me as a gift. 4) Her personalized tag inside the sweater.

KD Vree WW

What’s your favorite way to wear white during the winter months? What’s your best resource for planning a personal mission statement?


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