Style: (n) a distinctive manner of expression
What is it to have style? What is it to be considered stylish? To be deemed such by another is a desired – even coveted, perhaps – distinction. So how do you attain your style?
The key component of that equation is “your”. Style has to become yours. You must claim it, define it, and embrace it closely, as you would with anything you deem worthy of pouring yourself into.
Not to say that style is for everyone. Just as some people eat to sustain life rather than for gourmand enjoyment, some people dress more for necessity of survival in the elements than as a fashion statement.
I prefer to weave a more complex, personal story of style. Style and design are inherent, essential components of my enjoyment of being.
Consider this musical analogy: a musical composer internally feels a rush of emotions, and translates that to a elaborate musical story with a melody and supporting harmonies. When putting pen to empty musical staff lines, (s)he strives for temporal precision, nuances of dynamics, and tempo delineations that best convey the soul of music.
This printed music is all that a musician receives. The musician learns the technical relationship of notes, but all else – the dynamics, the relationship of one note to another, and the flexible pull of the tempo – is completely open to personal interpretation. In this way, the performance transforms to be distinct and reflective of the individual performer. It becomes a personal story; a musical piece is imbued with rich self-emotion.
Style is very much the same.
Fashion houses and designers across all mediums – apparel, jewelry, shoes, handbags, and other accessories – create and broadcast their style manifestos through branding.
The brand tells a compelling story of the target consumer’s personality or lifestyle. Chanel, for instance, has striven through its 100+ year history to continuously represent classy glamour with edge and sexiness. As Coco Chanel said, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” A brand’s cache is also reflected in specific materials and designs. Black quilted leather, gold chain hardware, and mirror-image interlocking C’s are strong Chanel brand elements.
By wearing a brand, you become an ambassador for that brand. Combine and layer elements from multiple designers, and the individual brands synergize into a complete tapestry.
When you next dress yourself for a specific occasion, think of each element of your outfit and what each stands for. How does it all work together, and what is the overall fashion statement that you portray?
Most importantly, how are your emotions and mood affected by the clothing and styling (don’t forget hair and skincare!) you’ve put together? You know you’ve got it just right when they bring you joy, relaxed poise, and self-assured confidence. It’s such a great feeling, I consciously strive to achieve that everyday.
I hope you enjoy and experiment styling yourself with this awareness. You can create so many stories with your style. Please share; I love being inspired by others and style statements are such fun!