“You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it, you’re nobody. I’m not talking about lots of clothes.”
In my first post I decided to explain what my thoughts on style are, given this blog is about style. In my opinion style is often a misunderstood concept. These are the things I often hear when I talk to people about style:
“A sense of style is what one is born with.”
“Style is something certain people have and others do not have.”
“Style is not what serious people should worry about.”
“I do not have time for style.”
Many people seem to confuse style with fashion and following latest trends. But style has little to do with following fashion trends. As Coco Chanel said: “Fashion passes, style remains”.
To me personal style is above all my creative self-expression. It gives me freedom to be who I want to be. It helps me to be noticed and understood.
Style has always been important in my life. Ever since I was a little girl, I have chosen my clothes with care. My mum claims I refused to leave the house when I was four years old if my clothes did not work well together or colours did not match.
Over the years, my personal style evolved as I changed and developed. Thinking about my past “signature looks”, I can see that their “language” is quite different to how I express myself today . There were times when my style was saying: “I want to fit in”. At other times its message was: “I like to stand out and I am not afraid of my individuality”. And sometimes my style was clearly saying: “I want to be seen, noticed”. Even though I would definitely not repeat some of these looks, I am reluctant to call them mistakes because they reflected who I was and how I wanted to be known at the time.
Style talks before we say anything and it helps us to connect with others. Several important relationships in my life started with style. It was the reason conversations were initiated on many occasions, some leading to friendships. I remember the first time I saw my now good friend Susana at work. I was so impressed with her style that I immediately decided I wanted to be her friend, but not because I only care about appearances and fashion. No, it was because her style was saying that she was a very interesting individual, comfortable with herself, open-minded, well-travelled and creative. And these are the qualities I find attractive.
People often say what is on the inside matters more than what is on the outside. I completely agree. So why care about style then?
Personal style is simply a way of communicating what is on the inside. It is a form of self-expression, what we choose to reveal to the world about ourselves: our mood, our state of mind, the way we feel about ourselves. Appearance is a form of non-verbal communication as much as body language or tone of voice is. This is not a trivial subject, contrary to what some suggest, when about 90% of our communication is non-verbal, according to various estimates.
But just because appearance is a serious matter does not mean we will get it “right” by being serious. Firstly, I do not think there is such thing as the right personal style. Style is individual. Secondly, style is to be enjoyed. And this is how I am going to approach this subject on my blog. I hope my style adventures, experiments and inspiration will encourage you to pay more attention to your personal style and have more fun with it.