Being “At Ease” and Defining Your Style
One of the things that intrigues me about having a curated wardrobe is the easiness of it–feeling comfortable in what you’re wearing and knowing you will be comfortable in it. That’s what style is to me–an extension of yourself, a true level of “ease” that I feel is underrated as a merit of getting dressed. No, I’m not talking about athleisure, which is a trend I don’t subscribe to–I’m talking about perfectly fitted, perfectly made clothing that makes you feel like the best version of yourself. I’ve talked about this ad nauseum, but it bears repeating because, frankly, I don’t read about this virtue in many other places.
I recently read Capote’s Women and one of the things I liked most was how each of the individual Swans were credited for something that really took a lot of work–the image they presented to the world–and celebrated for the ease in which perfection was shown. But these women knew themselves–their style, what made them themselves, their signatures. It’s hard to determine that nowadays. It takes hard work and creativity and a depth of knowing what works and what doesn’t that isn’t really studied or taught any longer. It’s really something I’m enjoying learning for myself.
Every person is different, has different tastes, different figures; it’s endlessly fascinating to me to see how people wear the same items, how they choose to make things their own. And I think that’s what I like about blogging, and writing this blog–I like showcasing my own style and seeing how others wear things too. I posted my first outfit post featuring the Kiki jacket on a week when another blogger wore a similar jacket. It’s intriguing to me to see how two people can wear the same items, and how they look completely different.
I’ve noticed, in my rather anthropological look at lifestyle blogging and Instagrammers, that it’s very clear when people don’t feel at ease in their clothing. Maybe they’re trying to make a trend happen–for instance the “lady jacket” is trending now. I’ve worn this style of tweed jacket for years and it’s comfortable for me. It’s something I choose to reach for. It’s a piece that I absolutely love and a style that I embrace and wear with anything–jeans, a skirt, trousers, grey flannels, a dress–but something that I notice feels uncomfortable for many. It’s intriguing to me that those who seem to be embracing this particular trend are deviating so much for what is generally featured on their sites: athleisure; more casual clothing; and above all less traditional choices.
What prompts someone to put on something that is patently not comfortable to them? There is a world of choices out there, and while finding and defining your style is difficult, there’s a joy to it when you hit upon it. It’s a true “when you know, you know” moment. I love chasing that feeling with my wardrobe! It’s infinitely more satisfying to me to find that piece when everything clicks and falls into place and you know it’s your perfect piece. It’s that piece that people will see in the store and think of you wearing it.
I attended a coffee to welcome a dear friend’s new baby recently and met a woman who knew my grandparents. We talked particularly about my grandmother, and when I mentioned I had a number of her shoes and described them, she said, “yes! She always wore those sorts of shoes. She was so elegant.” (These, by the way, were the shoes I mentioned.) Almost twenty years after her death, she’s still remembered for her own individual style. Isn’t that something we should all want?