I want to talk to you about something that someone asked me recently that got me thinking (deeply..). The question that spurred such a deep thought was this,
‘Hol, could you help me find my style because I still don’t have one?’..
The reason that this simple but complicated question got me thinking was because I (like the strange being I am) broke down the question and got thinking about the concept of one individually having her/his own ‘style’. Was there really such a thing? We all put on clothes in the morning (or at least I hope we do) but do those clothes label you and become the template of your style? Fashion’s very own Goddess, Coco Chanel once said, ‘Fashions fade but style endures’. Another famous quotation taken from another fashion God, Yves Saint Laurent, was his saying, ‘Fashions fade but style is eternal.’ Thinking back to the question ‘can you help me find my style?’, at first I just thought that it would be giving this person a little nudge and guidance on clothes. What suits them, what doesn’t – do a little untelevised episode and become their Gok Wan, their stylist. But when I pondered on the question a little more, I thought about what this ‘style’ is that everyone talks about - even fashion’s greatest idols talk about ‘style’ – what exactly was it?
Does it mean you’re fashionable? Obviously not when you take both Chanel’s and Saint Laurent’s sayings that ‘fashions fade but style endures/is eternal.’ So it got me wondering, if style isn’t about being fashionable how does one become ‘stylish?’ Here’s what I think still is:-
Style is your identity – like a fingerprint, which is so unique to you, your style marks you as an individual. It’s what you coat yourself with, letting people judge you by your cover because you have chosen to ‘style’ yourself that particular way. A style is your protector, it gives you comfort, a sense of security and it’s something that you should be sure of and have no doubts about.
|Photo taken from Google images|
With this in mind I was at a loss as to how I was going to help someone to ‘find’ their style. A style is unique to each individual so with this in mind how was I going to ‘create’ it? The answer? I couldn’t. I’m not a fairy Godmother, a miracle worker or some superior being who can craft such a unique gift but what I can do is help that person who asked me that question (and others) to find their style by guiding them a little. Here are a few pointers to guide you towards finding your unique style;
1. Forget about trying to fit in – On my most creative days people will ask me, ‘I love the outfit but how aren’t you afraid of what other people think of you in it?’. My response is simple. I don’t try to fit in, I don’t particularly try to stand out either but fitting in isn’t important in life. My style is my way of self-expression. It’s my way of telling the world how I’m feeling. A style is a story-teller and you must take full advantage of it. After you’ve let go of this idea of ‘trying to fit in’ the rest is pretty simple.
2. Become a magnet – When you go shopping there will be pieces of clothing that attract you, you become their magnet. There will also be clothes that won’t take your fancy. Ask yourself why. Why don’t you like that piece of clothing? Alternately why do you like the other piece of clothing? Look at the pattern, material, garment type, colour – observe and inspect the clothing like a detective. This way you’ll rule out clothes that you don’t like or wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing and will find clothes that you do like and would wear comfortably and happily on an everyday basis. This will help you on the road to finding your style.
3. Match it – The easiest of them all! Once you’ve found the pieces that you like and have found out why you like them, pairing and matching them up is the easiest bit! If you want to be fashionable along with ‘stylish’ (which you’ve now already nailed), chances are you already are! You’ll have shopped (probably) at high street stores stuffed to the brim with ‘fashionable’ stuff for this season, so trying to be fashionable really is easy when the fashion element is integrated into the pieces that you’re wearing!
Naturally to some extent, your style will evolve with you as an individual. It may need a little update from time to time. However, there really is no advice that I can give to someone to help them find their style because that is mission impossible - you already have your style, it’s just that up until today you may not have known it. I know this blog post won’t apply to some of you but I hope that others will be able to take comfort that being ‘stylish’ and being ‘fashionable’ are opposites that attract one another. The clothes that you wear are your style. If you’re looking to evolve your style all you have to do is follow the 3-guideline steps that I outline above. Don’t overthink it. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd. Your style is what marks you as a person, it gives you identification and only you can have that.