Valerie Steele
Director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
"I think the idea that fashion is a mirror of your soul is a delusion. I see fashion as more of a performance—it's a mask, not a mirror. The look I've ultimately come to could be described as fashion nun—minimalist, often black, slightly bohemian. I keep my makeup minimal—a little red lipstick sometimes. And I usually wear glasses; my favorite style is cat's-eye. At the end of the day, I have a slightly puritanical tendency. My husband says, 'You have great legs. Why don't you wear shorts?' But I'm in my 50s, and my inner fashion police just won't let me."

Signature Style Rule #7. Keep having fun! A signature style has consistency—but it should still have some joy in it. "When you stop thinking about your style, when it just becomes a knee-jerk reaction, you can slide from a signature look into a rut," says Steele.

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