State your personal style like a pro
What defines your personal style? Clothes and accessories most likely, unless you are a Formula 1 race car driver or a professional yachtsman. In those cases, a lifestyle probably brands you. For the rest of us, it’s what we wear and what we have around us that speak to our style.
Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
Think of Art Deco. That was an entire movement of style. Clothes, architecture, cars, tableware and more. That style was, and still is, so strong that Art Deco societies exist whose members hold events where they dress up in period pieces and conduct themselves in a manner out of the Great Gatsby.
But here we come to a difficult point. If you were attending such a function, would you be wearing a costume or an outfit?
A costume let’s you be something you’re not. An outfit expresses who you are. While it may be fun to dress up as a biker, a yoga instructor, a cowgirl, or that yachtsman, are you really any of these? For most of us, we take a few things from someone else’s style to make up our own personal style. Leather riding boots or an equestrian style jacket lets us mimic the horsey set without learning to ride.
But there’s a danger here: authenticity. Or rather, the lack of it.
Authentic apparel and accessories are purpose made. Take motorcycling. Jackets are cut tightly so fabric doesn’t flap in the wind. Pants have nylon inserts at the knees to protect from road rash. Boots are big and clunky and have extra material on the top of the toe to protect the boot’s leather or nylon from wearing out while the shift lever is worked.
You may not ride, but authentic gear may make you look more authentic.
Rather than dressing in complete kit, though, it may be wise to keep to a single piece of clothing or accessory. Otherwise, you have, again, a costume and not an outfit. Coordinated accessories are an easy way to define a style.
Some people like the Southwest look. Instead of an ordinary watch and tie, a man could wear a turquoise studded watch band or a bolo tie with a Hopi design or silver tips. A woman might choose a pearl theme: strands, necklaces, and bracelets. A collection of coordinated accessories can offer you a slightly different look each day, while keeping to your chosen theme or style.
Most people dress in an eclectic style, with clothes and accessories not matched day to day. But if you choose and wear wisely, people will note your choices and remember how you define your personal style.