Deep Thoughts from a Hot Fashionista
It’s hot, y’all! Lounging around in as little clothing as possible this morning (‘cuz it’s just too stinkin’ HOT to even be wearing clothes!), I began to ponder fashion. Maybe it was the fact that I couldn’t assemble anything comfortable and fashionable to wear in 100 degree weather, or maybe it was that the third cup of coffee I downed threw my brain into overdrive. Either way, I came up with an interesting hypothesis.
I believe there is an infinite gap between fashion and style. Fashion is about clothes. It is about their relationship to what is trending at the moment. Style, however, is about you and your relationship to yourself. Fashion is contained in the clothes. Style is in the wearer. This distinction could not be more revealing.
Despite the massive amounts of revenue fashion produces, style has been out of style for decades. Cookie cutter (a.k.a. Stepford Wife) fashion) is in the past. Today’s definition of style most certainly prospers on courage and creativity. It goes way beyond fashion. Style is an individually distinctive way of putting ourselves together and presenting ourselves to society at large.
I think that is why I love it so much. What a unique blend of spirit and substance! Through our personal style we can capture something vibrant and make a statement about ourselves. Personal style is what people really want when they aspire to be fashionable. Rest assured, my budget conscious friends, adorning oneself in status symbols does not equivocate style.
If you look at it like a recipe or a science experiment, style is one part identity and equal parts self-awareness and self-knowledge. You can’t have style until you have articulated who you are as a person. It requires security and feeling at home in your body- physically and mentally! Like all knowledge, though, self-knowledge must be updated as you grow and evolve. It is an on-going self-assessment.
Next, to create style, you must throw in a dash of personality. A true style icon has a spirit and attitude that demands to express whatever mood he or she wishes. This dash of personality is not only necessary, but it is a reflection of a person’s unique complexity as a human being.
Lastly, toss in a pinch of fashion. It is surely possible to have lots of clothes and not an ounce of style. However, it is also possible to have very few clothes and lots of style. Fashion is the means through which we express our style, but it takes a lot less in the way of clothes to be stylish than you might think. Why do you think generations of women have coveted the little black dress?
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, is one of the most famous designers all time. She revolutionized style. When we think of Chanel today, we think of outrageously overpriced luxury items. In reality, she is famous for giving clothes simplicity. Her garments have clarity of line and emotional directness. She is the genius that invented that blank slate known as the little black dress. Coco Chanel created clothes to be animated by the wearer. She emboldened women of several generations to create their own style.
Obviously, no one should be judged or penalized for not having style.Those people who have it, however, are undeniably distinctive and therefore more memorable. In this digital age, the speed of our transactions are increasing. Survival of the fittest no longer necessitates having a bigger club than your opponent. Those of us that are ambitious in life need fast ways of transmitting information about ourselves without losing originality. We have less and less time to make our mark. Style announces to the world that the wearer has assumed command of herself. It presumes that you are a person of interest.
Style is a memorable mark of identity in today’s fast-moving, virtual world. Where style was a luxury in the past, today it is a necessity.