Style - Its An Inside Job
I spent all day today gutting my closet, enough is enough. We have too much noise in our lives and my new focus is to up the vibration and simplify everything.
That being said Im in my 50's now and I want to love everything I own or I don't want it, life is too short. So it seemed like a good time to start a blog talking about the process of becoming the person you were meant to be all along. Looking and feeling better and wasting less time and money.
For years people have asked me about personal style. I have played with the idea of "blogging" about this for years but I didn't want just another blog about fashion.
So for me it's a process, it's more than just clothing and accessories, thats the way we express who we are but it's the getting to who we are that is the process. Some of us figure this out sooner rather than later. For me it was both, I had an idea of who I was but it took me years to stand behind it 100%.
I love design and I find it intoxicating however I'm not a big "fashion" connoisseur, don't get me wrong I love new ideas and concepts. I just don't find "trends" or what is "in" or "out" very interesting.
I believe in individuality above all else, which is also why I love good design, when design is good it's inspired, simple and yet sophisticated.
"If it's not sophisticated than it's just not interesting." - Coco Chanel
I'm not a fan of when designers are prompted to speak about trends, designers create the trends, they don't follow them.
They are definitely not trying to create a trend, at least not the good designers. Also "trends" is a simplistic word used by people to sell magazines.
I can pretty much guarantee with confidence that Town & Country magazine would never do a story on trends.
Trends are created when designers hit on something new, it really just means a new concept people like. Unfortunately then all the knock off companies copy their work and manufacture it poorly and on the cheap side.
This process usually happens in foreign counties with grim working conditions and thus begins the cycle of "Fast Fashion" which is a subject for another time.
Style is not necessarily fashion, plus it has an undeniable power but you can't necessarily buy style. At least you cant buy it quickly, it's a process. I remember recognizing style at a very young age.
My Dad introduced me to Ralph Lauren when I was about 7 years old and that was it for me, I was hooked. The casual elegance he seemed to be able to capture in each collection was amazing to me. He always has been my biggest source of inspiration, he created a world and everything appeared so timeless and effortless.
I would see someone who would have great style and it would stop me and I would take notice that they had that thing, that thing thats so hard to define but you know it when you see it.
Most that have a strong personal style have earned it most likely slowly and over time. Some people are born with it and some people cultivate it.
It's ultimately a confidence and exposure to the best design, art and architecture repeatedly.
The people I've met with great style came to it after doing a lot of self work on who they really are and getting very comfortable with who they are and what they are about.
Thats why say I say it's an inside job. They don't follow they create, it's the unique spin they put on things that grabs our attention.
Again you know it when you see it, when someone enters the room and all you can think is who is that? That's not fashion. And it has very little to do with fame or income. If you have a good sense of style and confidence an old pair or Levis and a white tee will be enough to stand out from the crowd.
A pretty woman in a pair of skinny jeans with a designer bag isn't style and you might not even notice her or if you do its fleeting. That the difference, you see someone with great style and you will remember them.
That old lyric. "It don't mean a thing if it don't got that swing." by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
Many companies try to sell us on their way to accomplish this and yet we buy these things and don't feel or even look better.
It's not always a more is more concept. As consumers we are changing, we need to learn to buy carefully and buy quality and buy what makes sense to us, not what some magazine or "influencer' says we should buy.
I invite you all to seek out being art as a life goal. Surround yourself with art as much as you possibly can.
It's through art, nature, architecture, literature, music, movies and on and on that we find inspiration. Its all around us, this is how you will find your own voice and footing.
That all being said if you really look at people who we consider to have style many of them don't wear trendy or outrageous clothing, its usually very classic. Simple silhouettes and muted tones.
When you are looking to grow your wardrobe look for "forever pieces" not something that will only last a season. And keep it simple, start with well made basics, its doesn't have to be formal, it can be casual as well. It needs to be comfortable or it will wear you. This is really important, don't pay attention to labels or sizes but the pieces that fit you well.
Quality is imperative, cheap no matter how well they style it doesn't read the same. It doesn't have to be expensive but it needs to be quality. You will fell better and look better.
All of those poorly made and trendy pieces just end up sitting in your closet and /or they eventually make it to the dumpster.
These pieces are just noise, the noise when we look and our closet and think I don't have anything to wear because it's full of pieces you don't like to don't feel good in.
I cant tell you how many times I passed up a great piece because it was too expensive. Then I spent much more than that piece would have cost me buying less expensive versions of that one piece I really wanted. Sometimes it better to just spend the money because you're most likely going to end up spending that much and most likely more by trying to find a less expensive alternative.
We all tend to wear the same things over and over, those are usually the pieces we invested in.
Wouldn't it be nice to have less, feel confident in everything you own and know that no matter what you grab from your closet you will look and feel your best.
Become willing to invest in your pieces, more isn't more, more is just a mess.
Europeans have been investing in their possessions for years, they don't buy fast fashion, they invest in what they own.
We all have heard that story, my grandfather would save all year to buy one nice shirt. He probably had that shirt for his entire adult life and felt good whenever he wore it.
The quality designers big and small take so much time getting the fit and fabrication right, these designers deserve your business, they care about the construction and how if makes you feel when you are wearing it.
These are the pieces you should invest in. Pick clean, simple pieces that are made well and you cant go wrong.
If you want a little edge accessories are the best way to accomplish this. When I'm designing I'm thinking what would look good with a white dress shirt and a black blazer. The accessories are how you personalize. And layer, layer, layer thats how you accomplish an individual look that s all our own.
Accessories are a topic for my next blog. Stay tuned for more and please join in the conversation, what are your favorite staple pieces?
Casual Elegance, Classic Style, Confidence, Design, Designer, Style, Style Blog, Timeless Style, Traditional Style