Style is suave. Your style speaks volumes about you
Style is suave. It "comes across". It's not "pushy" nor does it oppress. Why use words typically reserved for people? Well, it's because of the way some of us dress at times. Believe me, if clothes could speak, and body parts could complain (verbally) we would have movements, revolts and uprisings on a daily basis, with clothes, hair, makeup, shoes and accessories fusing in collaborative solidarity to protest the way they're being worn. This is true especially as we live in a world where we're encouraged to express ourselves, meaning whatever feels good, do it, and whatever we like, wear it!
One comment that I hear quite often is: "Well, it's my money, so I can wear whatever I want, when I want and however I want, and it's no one's business but mine. I absolutely agree with all of the above but please indulge me for a moment and allow me explain why it's our business too, and by "our" I mean the onlooker.
Just to reiterate the consensus, what we put on our bodies - makeup, clothes, etc is truly a matter of personal choice, but let's try to add some perspective to this truth by highlighting the fact that everything we wear "speaks" about us. It's important that our look or style (meaning the outcome of our efforts to dress) creates visual messages that line up with who we are and the statement that we're trying to make via the clothes that we are wearing. The ability to coordinate color and clothes when choosing what to wear is often an innate ability that most people are born with and generally do quite well. However, others for some reason are simply clueless when it comes to this, often resulting in what we know as visual onslaught or the proverbial, color riot. But much as I would like to help here, that's not my mission today. Right now I'm more interested in those who have no trouble knowing what goes with what and what doesn't, but blatantly ignore the basic principles of the time-tested guide being the color wheel. Instead, they rebelliously choose to wear colors and clothes that fight rather than enhance, or ones that irritate rather than embrace the onlooker, all in an attempt to "be myself" and "express myself" in ways that are so over board that really, humanity is clueless as to what relevant point the wearer could possibly be trying to make by torturing the gaze with such style.
Well, isn't style supposed to be subjective? After all, one man's meat is another man's poison, right? Again, this is absolutely true. Style should never be dictated, even though the fashion world dictates to us every day what we should be wearing. Like sheep, many of us obey and in fact welcome it, often holding our breaths and exhaling only when the season's trendsetters tell us what to wear and how to wear it. But let's pause for a moment and look at some of the clear messages that we send out about ourselves via the way we dress, followed by a common scenario that might ring a bell:
- I don't know who I am (total agreement, since the results speak for themselves)
- I don't care about my appearance (obviously, why else would anyone want to create a riot on their own body)
- Nobody ever notices me. It's like I'm invisible. (Well, yes dear, that's because we can't SEE you, hiding in those baggy clothes you like to wear.
Consider what happens sometimes when you go shopping for clothes, etc. You walk into a store, see an outfit that catches your eye, try it on, it fits and you buy it. You leave the store with a smug grin on your face, thoroughly satisfied at having successfully added a new member to your wardrobe family.
Now fast forward - there's this special event coming up, but no problem because after all you bought that purple dress that you just know will be "fantabulous" with those shoes you have, and then the bag your Mom bought you for Christmas. You're all set to launch your dress and get your swag on. Actually, do women even have swag...? "Whatever! I'm looking good" you tell yourself, "and that's all that matters". Here's what happens next. The big day is finally here, you're all dressed up, standing in front of your mirror totally pleased with what it's telling. But in fact if the truth be told, that dress is so tight at the waist it's almost choking you. The dress itself is dying a slow death gasping for breath at all the body mass it's being forced to cover, and in the midst of this, a tiny little voice in your head is telling you that you really should consider wearing something else. Clearly this dress is not working, but you close your ears and defiantly do another twirl in front of the mirror. After all, it's a beautiful dress and you l-o-v-e purple even though your skin tone disagrees. So you go ahead and put on your lipstick, adjust your hairstyle a little then promptly grab that bag that really is too small for your physique. By now though, you're so excited at the night ahead of you that the feel-good factor has thoroughly kicked in, and taking one last look in the mirror, you quickly grab your tiny bag and speed towards the door, not wanting to be late.
I could go on but I suspect that at some point in time many of us have found ourselves in a similar situation. We wonder why we never get any compliments on how we look/dress no matter how hard we try or what we wear, yet never considering that style by force always flop.
It takes courage to admit that clothes, a hairstyle, a look or accessories are simply not working. This is because it suggests the need to change which is something many of us don't like, especially since we often don't know where to start. So we continue, boldly abusing color, torturing clothes and accessories by how we wear them and continue to sing the "It's my money" song, and the "I liked it so I bought it" melody. It's this type of style with no apparent head or tail that causes the fashion police to gear up and prepare to mobilize. Yet when they come on the scene we wonder why we're being rounded up along with the real criminals, that is, the ones who have actually broken the law. They move in, prepare to cuff us, and resisting, we angrily demand to know the charge. The reply: Renegade Style, Ma'am/Sir.
Remember that what you wear on your body speaks volumes about who you are and what you think of yourself. So, isn't it worth taking the time to develop a signature style that represents rather than confronts you?