Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Imperfection of True Style

via Pinterest

Somewhere on the style spectrum between "impeccably tailored" and "saggy baggy," there is a happy medium called "imperfection."

I've been thinking a lot about what takes an outfit from being just "clothes" to being "stylish." Why do certain people get stopped on the street in New York by fashion photographers while millions of others don't? I know a lot of it comes down to the fact that they broke the rules, or they're wearing something incredibly one-of-a-kind or expensive. But I think there's something to be said for imperfection as well.

I think the difference between "getting dressed for the day" and "having style" can be as simple as personal details. Cultivating your style requires an odd mixture of caring enough to consider carefully what you're putting on, while at the same time disregarding that well-dressed voice of perfection in the back of your mind that says, "But you don't look like ______." It's the imperfect details that make your style unique and what it is. The un-tucked shirt hem. The unevenly rolled pant cuffs. The half-untied lace. The purposefully messy hair. An out of place but favorite necklace. Mismatched earrings. Things that trigger a "wait... what?" reaction.

Accepting imperfection allows clothes to be clothes, allows the fabric to bunch a little oddly, un-tuck a bit, blouse and pouf, trail on the ground. Online we see things styled just so, captured by cameras held just so. In reality, you move a million times a minute, and your clothes move with you, constantly changing your look throughout the course of a day. In reality, shirts and pants and shoes should kind of melt into your personality and daily living.

So wear your scuffed up sneakers with a dress and a baseball cap. Layer a hot pink blazer over a hoodie. Tuck your shoelaces willy-nilly or wear a black earring in one ear with a turquoise one in the other. If it makes you smile a little to yourself, if it makes you feel like you, if it causes a few double takes on your morning commute, if it's happily imperfect... congratulations. You've got style, and it's all your own.

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