Defining Your Style
I was chatting with my friend Alice the other day and we were speaking specifically about the effect of advertising and influencing on style. With the prevalence of blogging, Instagram, TikTok, and so forth, it’s easy to feel like you’re doing something wrong or you don’t have good taste if everyone is wearing the same thing and you are not–or if you’re wearing the same thing: for instance, ballet flats–but yours aren’t Chanel.
That’s what makes figuring out your style work. It’s not easy! I recently read Capote’s Women and something that I’ve always admired about the women Capote was so obsessed with was their own particular style. Every single one of the “swans” had their own clearly defined taste, unique to them–that was what put them on the International Best-Dressed List year after year. Wearing the same things as everyone else is fine if that’s what you really want to do, but it feels boring to me, a letdown. Nowadays, even if your clothing budget is modest, you can find truly stunning, well-made pieces that are suitable and unique to you if you know where to look (you can find my guide to buying vintage clothes online here).
I don’t know when being different in your style became something out of the ordinary. In my opinion, your style is the ultimate way to express who you are to the world. We might not all be able to paint or sculpt or write or draw but we can all get dressed, find things that work for us, and present ourselves to the world the way we see ourselves. I love being able to find things that are perfectly “me,” especially pieces that aren’t worn by everyone else. I don’t like following trends myself, and I really want people to know me as me through the way I dress–not because of the labels on my clothing or because I’m aware enough of what’s “in” and what’s “out.” I dress the way I dress because it suits me, because I feel comfortable in my clothes and in myself, and because I like what I wear. If a piece in my wardrobe doesn’t match those criteria, then I remove it. I’m not an artist, and I wouldn’t even call myself a writer necessarily, but something I can do is get dressed and share my style.
What do you think?