Monday, 26 March 2012

A Style Philosophy

Stylish or Fashionable Choices ?

Closet Content Analysis:
A Style Philosophy

Some profess that it’s relative to one’s individual preferences, French women allegedly have it, Hollywood stars attempt to exude it, and many of us want to portray it. Style is universally acknowledged, admired and coveted.

It’s one thing to have a style and quite another to be of style. Pragmatists argue that everyone has a style and for the most part believe that to be of style is elitist. Whether something is in-style or out-of-style should really be articulated as in-fashion or out-of-fashion. Essentially something that is in-style may not necessarily be the fad or fashion of the moment and something that is a fad or in-fashion may not be stylish or of style. Always wearing plaid flannel shirts and workboots may be a chosen style and depending on the mood of designers, occasionally may be considered "in fashion" for a particular time. It’s been said by many different people in slightly different ways but the sentiment is the same, “fashion changes but style remains”.  

The desire to be comfortable and casual in our dress has morphed into slovenly. Sorry but grey sweatpants that bag in the behind do not "a style" make. For the most part you won’t see sweatpants, sweatshirts or jogging shoes on a Paris street and when you do, you will know they are worn by tourists or migrant workers.   

To some, style connotes wealth and privilege; however, individual style really has nothing to do with affording Chanel or Armani. In fact, there’s a saying that goes something like, “you can buy fashion, but you can’t buy style”. Yes, to be well-dressed, not necessarily expensively dressed, is the ticket for both men and women. Many a well-dressed office worker or shop clerk wears consignment couture in order to be stylish without the exorbitant designer boutique price tag. The clothing you choose tells everyone about your style before you even open your mouth. Wallis Simpson, an American who married King Edward VIII, said, "Clothes should be so simple and unobtrusive as to seem unimportant." Mrs. Simpson, or was it Windsor, suggested that clothing is everything but should appear as if it is nothing.  

Simplicity evokes style. Recognizing that there are those who are stylish in a luxurious manner, it is easier to adopt the example of those who are stylish in a minimalist sort of way. Coco Chanel introduced a scaled-down style that conveyed refinement and is now used as a worldwide reference point. Armani continued that movement and has overtaken the refined simplicity standard.  

CZ Guest, identified as an American woman of style, said that “Style is knowing how to turn out properly for the right occasion.” Appropriateness, irrespective of how rich you are, is a subjective element, but no matter how you feel, dressing and behaving appropriately does matter. The “I don’t give a _____  attitude”, only works with teenagers. Go to another country on a business trip and you will realize how out of touch that point of view is. 

The French have a saying that style, or maybe it’s beauty, is being “comfortable in your skin”. Self-confidence emanates from the interior and manifests in being comfortable with yourself. You develop style as you experience life. But  . . . you still need to be well-dressed.

Welcoming your comments on style . . .  Are you born with style or can style be taught?

1 comment:

  1. Very well said. I enjoyed this post immensely!


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