The Essence of Style
What is style? Does everyone possess it? Or is it obtained only by those who choose to actively cultivate it? Since almost the beginning of time people have been revered for their personal style. Everyone from Jesus Christ to Mick Jagger can be identified by a particular aesthetic that characterizes his or her self-being. Yet, with so many strands stemming from its roots, I’ve learned that style is a world within itself, a realm that everyone enters, whether willingly or not.
I remember the first time I saw A Hard Day’s Night. I watched as John, George, Ringo and Paul casually ran from a mob of screaming fans through city streets in perfectly tailored suits. This, all filmed in black and white at the height of Beatlemania captivated me at a young age. At the time I couldn’t tell you exactly why I liked the film, I just knew I did. The older I got, the more I was able to depict the characteristics of the film that enticed me. It’s true, the suits were shrunken, a look that would go on to inspire young men for generations to come. And yes, the black and white aesthetic did compliment the backdrop of 1960’s Liverpool. But what I realized most was that this movie felt stylish for many reasons, because style is composed of many different things. It wasn’t just the color and contrast or the suits, it was the personality and charm of the people sporting them, their humor and mannerisms that all added levels of depth to the film. This is because style isn’t just sartorial; style is about your essence and your very being.
We’re all born with a natural sense of self and with this we’re given instinct, from which I believe taste is derived. From taste style is birthed. It’s the reason why two people can wear the exact same outfit and look completely different. It’s why you ditched the tie and went open collar with the sleeves rolled up for your mate’s dinner party, or why you like black over navy. It’s an innate trait that makes you gravitate towards one thing over another or allows you to mix a plethora of different things together cohesively. This isn’t to say that some people are born knowing the difference between a blazer and a suit jacket. Because the great thing about style is that it develops as we do, within its domain we can all progress and move in any direction we choose. Style is personality, it’s your brand and fingerprint in society. It’s what you can tell others about yourself without ever saying a word.
From sartorial preferences to culinary choices we’ve all been compelled to move in one direction or another by the exposure we’ve had to others. A large part of why we’re drawn to certain people or things is by their aesthetic. I think whether we’d like to accept it or not, a great deal of emphasis is placed on presentation. I’ve found that cultivating a unique and progressive appearance can propel you in ways that denying its importance cannot. In essence, style and substance need to coexist, as each should be used to strengthen the other. Style is dynamic; it’s about living up to your potential and being the best you that you can possibly be.