From Amish to New York Fashion Week

How I found my Style — From Amish to New York Fashion Week - Regina Bauman, Urban Southern

The Beginning: Born Amish

I was born Amish and raised conservatively, so “style” was not a word I heard often growing up. I remember when I was thirteen, my mom made me a jumper, which was essentially a sleeveless dress. A “boughten” shirt, which is a plain button down collared shirt was added underneath the jumper to complete the look. It was my first outfit that wasn’t a dress and apron, and I was beyond proud.

How I found my Style — From Amish to New York Fashion Week - Photos of Regina Bauman

How I found my Style — From Amish to New York Fashion Week - Photos of Regina Bauman

Fast forward eighteen years — now I’m trying to decide what is appropriate and trendy for a designer to wear to New York Fashion Week.

About all I can tell you at this point is that there will be no jumpers involved!

How I Found My Personal Style

When I was finally responsible for my personal style, it brought me so much freedom and yet caused a lot of angst about what was appropriate, what was “in”, and what was really me.

I remember standing in GoodWill, looking at a denim skirt and trying to decide if it was really ok to wear it since it didn’t have pleats in the back. I bought it, but it took me weeks to decide to wear it in public because I was still so unsure about it.

After several years of tentatively shopping for my own clothes instead of making them, I began to feel more confident. I was still cautious about putting outfits together and usually opted for the safe color combinations instead of the bolder ones.

Since I was still in the experimentation phase of finding my style, I constantly dug through my closet and got rid of clothes that I didn’t like anymore. I would shop for clothing as often as possible and frequently got new pieces, but they always ended up back at Goodwill before long.

My closet full of clothing frustrated me every time I opened my door to get dressed. I still felt confused about my true style, even though I was more and more confident about what didn’t look good on me.

Choosing What Brings Me Joy

Then I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It helped me to finally let go of all the pieces of clothing I had been keeping just because I paid more money for them. It gave me a new perspective on my clothes, as I folded, hung and color-coordinated each remaining piece.

Our clothes are a big part of the face we show to the world.Click To Tweet

We put clothes on like our armor to shield ourselves from judgment.

The Idea of a Capsule Wardrobe

As I was contemplating my half-empty closet and looking for new pieces that brought me joy, I stumbled across a blog about capsule wardrobes. The minimalist in me loved the idea of a few well-curated pieces that I was excited to see when I opened my closet.

I immediately downloaded the wardrobe planner and started writing in details. As I read over the wardrobe planner, I was so excited when I finally began to see a cohesive style emerging! I loved bold colors in simple styles. I looked for straight lines and classic shoes.

I didn’t love frills, lace, and many layers. But what was the explanation for those likes and dislikes?

Dressing My Truth

Next in my style journey, my friend Judy introduced me to Dressing Your Truth. It’s a Personality + Style Finder that helps you discover your best style based on your personality traits and skin tones.

Carol answers the tough questions such as, “Why doesn’t the LBD (little black dress) look good on me even though everyone says I should wear it?”

I immediately resonated with her mantra of showing our true, best self to others, beginning with our personality and ending with our style statement. No more confused presentation of self. I just wanted to be me and be confident with who I really was.

Experimenting at Goodwill

Judy and I grabbed a few stray dollars and went to GoodWill once again! We spent hours upon hours trying things on, looking for our best colors and styles armed with our new insights. I had the list from my wardrobe planner of basic pieces along with a few bolder color combinations.

We laughed long and hard as we pushed each other to try on things we wouldn’t have tried before.

Finding my style gave me confidence as I shopped for myself. Surprisingly enough, I now spend much less time and money shopping for clothes. I have a solid foundation of basic and quality pieces that I’ve carefully curated. Now, when I go to the store, I can walk right past that rack of muted shades, because I know those won’t work for me. No huge furry coats or frilly tops for me, I look best in straight skirts, saturated colors and simple lines with few layers.

Starting my own lifestyle brand of leather bags had a huge impact on my style and the way I thought about accessories and clothing.

As my friend Sharon says, “I want to invest in pieces I can pass on to my children.”Click To Tweet

The Result: Timeless, Quality Personal Style

I now have a solid appreciation for quality, the timeless piece that will carry my style through passing trends and multiple seasons. I look for fabrics, textures, and styles that have an enduring quality to them.

How I found my Style — From Amish to New York Fashion Week - Photos of Regina Bauman

Carrying an Urban Southern Leather Tote in New York City

Founder and Designer, Regina Bauman, Urban Southern

From Amish to New York Fashion Week

Growing up conservative, there was such emphasis on our appearance NOT being important and yet looking “right” was all that mattered. It confused me for years, and I still struggle with the balance of curating my outer appearance along with my inner character. I’ve come to a peace with myself and that self-confidence shows through every piece I wear.

New York Fashion Week Style

Hanging leather bags on our rack at New York Fashion Week

What a surreal moment it was to hang my designs backstage at New York Fashion Week!

Regina Bauman and Meg Delagrange posing with models at New York Fashion Week

Posing with guests that attended New York Fashion Week

Tap here to shop our new Spring Collection. 

In Summary

Let your inner self be expressed in your outer appearance. Dress your truth by showing your true self to the world at every angle.

Comment below and tell us about your journey to discovering your personal style! We’d love to hear from you.

30 Comments

  1. Betty on February 16, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Regina I so admire the way you’ve stepped out of the way we grew up! I too have gone thru all the crazy buying this that and the other not too sure about things and like you said, once you find “you” the rest kinda falls in place!

    • Regina Bauman on February 16, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Thanks Betty! It is actually very personal for me to share this, but I think there are a lot of women who will connect with it because of our mutual background. You always had that confidence that I admired! <3 - Gina

  2. stacia baker on February 16, 2017 at 11:21 am

    love this!

    • Regina Bauman on February 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Thank you Stacia! So glad you found it helpful! <3

  3. Elmina Beiler on February 16, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I have a similar background as you, Regina, and definitely related with pretty much everything! (Except I haven’t been to NYFW yet! ) I also found so much confidence in my style after learning about DYT. Dressing in accordance to who I truly am has become one of my greatest joys! I adore your bags and would absolutely love to meet you one day.

    • Regina Bauman on February 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Elmina, I love that you already know about Dressing Your Truth! It does bring so much confidence into every wardrobe decision I make. Thank you for your kind words, and I will be so honored to get to meet you some day! <3

  4. Barbara on February 16, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Love this Regina❤️

    • Regina Bauman on February 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Thank you Aunt Barb! Love you <3

  5. Anna on February 16, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Love your bags!!

    • Regina Bauman on February 16, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Thank you Anna! <3

  6. Mary Beth on February 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I loved reading this, I can definitely connect with it. Thank you for sharing!

    • Regina Bauman on February 16, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Mary Beth, thank you! It’s so amazing to hear others’ stories of their own journeys.

  7. Lydia Hostetler on February 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I love it!! I’m still on a journey finding my style and am excited for these tips you’ve shared! God bless you.

    • Regina Bauman on February 16, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Lydia, I’m so happy you found this helpful. I’d love to hear more about your own journey!

  8. Tammy Huseby on February 16, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    I can relate to you coming from a very similar background!I love to read your blog!Thanks so much for sharing.Congratulations on a job well done with Urban Southern.I love my bag and will be ordering more in the future.❤

    • Regina Bauman on February 16, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Tammy, thank you so much! I’d love to hear your story sometime:) It has been quite a journey for me, and I know for anyone else from a conservative background as well. My style is always evolving, but now I feel so much more solid in what I know and feel confident in. And I’m so happy to hear that you love your leather bags! <3

  9. Sarah on February 16, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    I totally relate to this! I also grew up very conservatively (though definitely not Amish) so figuring out clothes and my style has been a challenge. I LOVE DYT!! It’s been huge for me! 🙂

    • Regina Bauman on February 16, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      Sarah, thank you for sharing! Dressing your Truth is such a powerful concept, even if you don’t adhere to the exact guidelines of colors, styles, etc that they suggest. My confidence has grown in such an amazing way since I found my own personal style. I’d love to hear more about your style journey! <3

  10. Kathryn on February 16, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    I wish you could see the huge smile on my face as I read this I love you, I love your journey and your bags.

    Aunt Kathryn

    • Regina Bauman on February 17, 2017 at 11:21 am

      Thank you so so much Aunt Kathryn! I’ve always admired your style and confidence:) My style is always evolving, and I love that. Maybe I’ll write another post in a year or so! <3

  11. Bethany on February 16, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    I have a lot of friends who grew up in very strict Christian fundamentalist families who have had a similar journey from denim jumpers to style, and being comfortable with their bodies, which is how I found this article. I myself was a tomboy homeschooler in a conservative family, but thankfully a reasonable one where I was allowed to dress like a normal person. (Sadly I had no style anyway and still failed at it! But I’ve come a long way and have even modeled sometimes! Who would’ve ever thought?!) How fantastic that you ended up a designer – and successful at that! Congratulations on your success. Your work is lovely. <3

    • Regina Bauman on February 17, 2017 at 11:28 am

      Bethany, I love that story! From a conservative background to a modeling gig, wow. I know, I never in my wildest dreams even thought I would be a designer. You just never know where life will give you opportunities to go! Thank you so much for your kind words. <3

  12. Elizabeth on February 17, 2017 at 9:28 am

    These words are refreshing and beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story and your talents. I have a bucket bag that I purchased at GypsyMoon Marketplace and I adore it. I am constantly complimented on my handbag!
    Thank you and best wishes for your continued success!!

    • Regina Bauman on February 17, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Elizabeth, thank you for your comment! I love hearing that you are loving and using your Bucket Bag, we had so much fun at the GypsyMoon Marketplace that year. So sweet to hear from you! <3

  13. Charlotte on February 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks for this! After many years of being told by others what i could and could not wear, it definitely has been a journey to find my own style and im not there yet! I will definitely be looking into some of the resources you mentioned! Congrats on making it to New York Fashion Week!

    • Regina Bauman on February 17, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      Thank you Charlotte! It is a journey, and my style is still evolving. I’d love to hear if you find those books helpful! Cheers to you and your journey. <3

  14. Rachel Yoder on February 21, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    This is so awesome Regina! Although I didn’t have an Amish background, I feel we have a lot of similarities. I can relate to some of the same struggles you shared about finding yourself (and your style). It’s so encouraging to hear how feee you feel now! Keep it up! 🙂 also, what type are you?

    • Regina Bauman on February 21, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Rachel, thank you for the sweet comment! And I’m a pretty solid Type 4:) I don’t follow all the “rules” of DYT but it has helped me figure out how and why certain colors and styles do so much more for me than others.

  15. Michelle Hargis on February 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Love this. I met you at a barn sale a year or so ago. I think it was at the Strawberry Patch in Hartsville . So glad to see you and your product doing great .

    • Regina Bauman on February 22, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Hi Michelle! We absolutely loved the Strawberry Patch. Such a fun time, with all the fun vendors and shoppers. Thank you for stopping by the website! <3

Leave a Comment