In all honesty, I had my own Sabrina moment thanks to studying abroad in Italy. I met my style guru, Gaia, and was immersed in an entire culture obsessed with art and fashion. I learned how self-care can translate to self-confidence. Perhaps most importantly, I felt self-assured because I achieved a life goal of becoming fluent and independent while abroad. I’m certainly not suggesting you need to go to Europe to become stylish; that’s completely unrealistic, duh. I’m being honest in what was ultimately a major vehicle to my personal experience with style.
Before you can develop your own style, understand what style is. Style is primarily defined as: “a manner of doing something;” “a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed;” and “elegance and sophistication.” Style is about formulating a cohesive and cultured approach to life, not just your clothes.
Think of style as a language (a visual one when it comes to fashion). Any language is best learned through total immersion. When you learn to speak a new language, you must always keep your ears “on”, listening for subtle clues. Similarly with personal style, you must keep your eyes “on,” looking for inspiration and lessons all around you. “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening” said Coco Chanel. You can immerse yourself in style without leaving your neighborhood by adjusting the lens through which you see the world and your immediate surroundings.
I work on my style every day. I go through highs and lows like most people. I hope this series at the very least provides my perspective and approach to personal style. I’d love for you to contribute your own experiences, advice and thoughts in the comments. I know I've very biased towards (femme) women's style, so I would really appreciate a male perspective on this.
I’ll be posting a different Style 101 topic each Tuesday for the next 12 weeks.
Confidence is Key
Total Immersion of the Heart
Color is Your Friend
Silhouette and Proportion
Texture and Pattern
Stylish on a Budget
Maximizing your Wardrobe with Accessories
Taking Lessons from the Arts
Refining your Style
I hope you will join me in this exploration of the many facets of good style. I look forward to your contributions in the comments. I may add new articles depending on what kind of feedback I get.
(Pictures in this post are from the 1963 Western Business University Guide to Beauty, Charm, Poise. I especially enjoy the gem posted below.)