Real Life Style Icons

You guys might remember how I feel about most women’s magazines (un-funny articles! intelligence insulting “quizzes”! fashion layouts that are depressingly out of my price range!) I considered, for a moment, pulling out my Liberal Arts Degree/Women’s Studies soapbox and railing on about the lifestyles and body types represented in the media.But then I remembered that my soapbox is in the shop, being repaired from overuse.

And more importantly, I realized that in its own very small way, Yes and Yes is part of the media. Or at least, a few people read it in conjunction with all the other media that they consume. So maybe I could do my own small part to present the interwebz (and all of you) with images of gorgeous women of different sizes, ages and backgrounds who can assemble beautiful, stylish outfits that didn’t require a second mortgage. Real Life Style Icons, you know?

So! To that end, please allow me to introduce Yes and Yes’s first Real Life Style Icon: Novita!

Name: Novita Estiti
Age: Older than your guess.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Online haunts: A Very Purple Person

Three reasons that you’re awesome:
1. I make my own wardrobe.
2. Umm, I really can’t think of anything else awesome about me, can I say that I have an awesome son and awesome husband?
3. (Editor’s note: Another reason Novita’s awesome? She has heaps of great tutorials on her blog!)

How did you dress as a kid?
I was pretty nerdy and shy as a kid so I always dressed as inconspicuously as possible. Big glasses, unkempt ponytail, and an oversized T-shirt tucked (!) into jeans. Actually, it sounds rather trendy for now, but it was never my intention at that time.

When did you become interested in fashion?

I’ve been always interested in fashion as long as I can remember, but I was never brave enough to get out of my comfort zone. Like everyone else, I finished high school and went to college. But I didn’t do rvery well there because I had lots of personal problems. I didn’t have friends, was in an abusive relationship, and generally wasn’t happy about anything in my life. To distract myself, I started learning to sew and make my own clothes. Eventually I decided to take a break from college and went to a one year study in a fashion school.

It was the first time ever that I enjoyed going to school! The school was hard work and I never had enough sleep, but I loved doing it. I loved the lessons, I loved my friends, and I loved my life. I guess making friends are easier when you have something in common to share and talk about. For the first time in my life, I felt passionate about something.

I never went back to college. After finishing fashion school, I continued to work in magazines as a fashion stylist and editor. It was one of the best decisions in my life and I haven’t looked back since.

Where do you find style inspiration?
My inspiration is other people. I love looking at how other people dress themselves, consciously or unconsciously. Kids are wonderful inspiration because they almost always look good in whatever they wear. They don’t think much about the clothes and just enjoy themselves. One day, my 7-year-old son went to school in bright red skinny pants, a green T-shirt, a purple vest, and blue sneakers. And he still looked good in all those colors!

I think the most stylish people just enjoy themselves and feel confident about their appearance. In the old days, I was always worried if my outfits were not ‘safe’ enough, and now sometimes I think too much about how I look. I’m a naturally tense person, so I have to keep reminding myself to relax a bit, ironically, an act that is not relaxed at all! Looking at how other people dress gets me out of my head, and that’s when the inspiration comes in.

Where are your favorite places to shop?
I make most of my own wardrobe, so my favorite places to shop are fabric shops. I also love thrifting for shoes and accessories. There is something interesting about things that have been worn, as opposed to something brand new and unused. I also collect my mother’s clothes, fabrics, and accessories, they are my fashion treasure.

I don’t have many expensive or brand name items. My shoes are mostly from thrift shop,s my necklaces are from my mother, gifts from friends, or handmade by myself. I also make my own bags or buy them in thrift shops. I have lots of sunglasses and colorful tights, they were all bought cheaply in various stores. Recently I started an etsy shop, and I use my ‘Etsy money’ to buy handmade shoes and accessories from other Etsy sellers. I love handmade stuff! I don’t know why, but expensive and brand name stuff makes me feel self-conscious. The most expensive accessory I have are my Prada glasses, but they are prescription glasses for myopia so I need them to be in good quality.

Could you tell us your top three style tricks/DIYs?

– Try mixing and matching everything in your wardrobe, even things that you thought couldn’t go together in the first place. It’s extremely fun to do, and you may find something new and fresh. If it doesn’t work out, just call it a bad day.

– Clothes need to be comfortable. No matter how good it looks, if it is too tight, too loose, or showing too much for you (or maybe not showing enough), then it is a small chance that you will wear it often. Find something that makes you feel comfortable and looking good, then work around it.

– Take a lot of pictures of yourself, it will make you see yourself from a distance and able to see what is good for you and what is not. It will also make you feel more confident. And you get to have lots of pretty pictures of yourself!

Who are your Real Life Style Icons?



Wow. Thanks for starting this series. Can't wait to see more. Novita is beautiful. Thanks for showing her off here.. I may have never come across her otherwise! Off to check out those tutorials you mentioned 😉

I love you Sarah Von. I've never seen the way you dress but you are definitely one of my role models regardless :p


I've not come across Novita before, thanks so much for posting this! I love the series, great idea 🙂
[ps I have the same magazine soapbox issue as you! Weiirrrddd! :p] xx


One of my favorites is my friend Kristen, although she doesn't have a blog or anything that I know of. She can pick out the best things and has taught me a lot about looking good in patterns.

My other favorite is Robyn King, at – she is my best friend's sister and SO talented in fashion. It is awesome to see the new things she would create!

Liz OT

I am sososo excited for the rest of this series! Already have Novita bookmarked, and am creeping her glorious shop as I type. :]

Chrissy (The New Me)

You and your series! I love them – I think this one will be especially inspiring, as I just recently learned about this thing called "style" and would love to have one of my own!


Love this! My style icon is my grandma. She made all her own clothes and just had amazing taste. I should scan in some photos so you can see!


I bought some fabrics I just love and want to make an apron out of them but I don't have a sewing machine much less know how to sew well! Buit this makes me want to go track one down at a garage sale and get to work.


Yay! Thanks for this series. I love A., E., and S. over at Academichic, the contributors at Fashionable Academics, and Chelsea at Bright Side Dweller, among a few others 🙂


Awesome! I can't wait to see more of this series. ^_^ I popped over to averypurpleperson, and I have a new blog love, all thanks to you!


Lovely. I love Novita's style and like she said I should be more brave to 'play' with colors:D. Very inspiring, thanks you…^_^


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