Monday, October 8, 2012

Serious Style: A Note on Courage

Thinking about people who aren't afraid to be themselves, I had gotten to thinking of a episode of How Do I Look on the Style Network, and I remember there was a girl who wasn't unattractive at all, but her clothes were so risque, and gauche, that we were unable to tell if it was her intention to dress for Halloween, daily. Of course, by the end, host, Jeanie Mai, was able to help her true beauty shine, and not just some immaturely made-up version of a "confident/bold" women. The clip above shows the part of the show which expresses the basic reason for this post: Just because you may be bold and fearless against the world, we don't want people to take our style as a joke: don't be so "in character" that your style reads "walking side show" to most people who see you. Its OK to be confident, and be your own person, and wear bold clothes with pride and guts, but its another thing to be delusional to the fact that people are more often laughing "at you" rather than "with you". Unless its the style you are going for, in my fashion, I say: Don't let people compare you to a clown! People laugh because, in essence, your style comes off as superficial, and not truly true to yourself. 

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” Coco Chanel
In all actuality, people don't have to know anything about you, but there are certain things about ourselves which one communicates to others without even having to explicitly tell someone. The clothes that ring most true, desirable (and fitting, "proportion-wise") to us should be the pieces that we choose to wear in our look. Make sure that everything that will have an association with you can be considered in line with your style, and personality, because people are drawn to the truth for it is attractive. It's important to realize in life there is nothing wrong with the truth. The truth won't do anything to us, whether  its good or bad: it just "is". In my fashion, the truth is the only perfect thing on this planet. If an idea or concept rings true to you, I think you should express it, and if you are going to wear clothes for others to see, you might as well wear, and express what clothes that represent your truth best. As I postulated before in my post Style Maven: Patricia Field, communication starts from when someone sees you to when they don't see you, for its been proven that 55% of communication is visual. If people can tell that your are not being true in your look, you lose credibility points in style, which then leaves room for people to make their own assumptions about you, assumptions which may not be true if only your outer appearance interpreted otherwise in the beginning. In my fashion, the following Coco Chanel quote is one we should all keep close to us, especially the last sentence: “I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”  

Refine your truth and don't be afraid of it!
In my fashion, one should make clothing decisions that agree with your gut feeling. It is my philosophy that when we are getting dressed the most important thing to stay away from is looking "stupid"; stupid in the sense that what you are wearing obviously comes off as random, having no real function, and with no real connection to your personality. When you are wearing something that obviously does not fit for your character it comes off as fake and desperate for attention, and can be rather off putting to others. As Oscar Wilde says, "There is no sin except stupidity." Pardon my brashness, but what's more stupid than to not know how to best represent yourself?

Having style means allowing the world to judge you. It means you are not afraid to give people the permission to understand who you are, and you understand not everyone is going to like who are, but you are not going to allow that fact keep you from being happy in your life. If everybody likes you, than nobody really knows you, right? Having style says to the world, "What you think of me is none of my business!"  We want people to know certain things about us, but we have to be careful as to what certain things we let our clothes say about us, because in my fashion, our clothes talk even louder, and more often than our mouths do. Does one know why in fashion it is such a plus to be bold? Because bold equals respect. Being bold is a strong statement of your commitment to live and do as you please, and people respond well to those who are sure of what they want. I feel your style should be a strong proclamation of this commitment, whether you choose to be preppy, goth, urban, etc. Even if you feel out of step with the people around you, you don't want others to take your weak, underdeveloped image and associate it with "weakness", especially if weak is not what you are. From the wise words of Dr. Seuss: Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

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