I’m interested in making MFA one of the best resources on the web for beginners – part of that is cultivating a welcoming environment, part of it is attracting (and retaining) a large and diverse group of regular contributors, part of it is developing a deep and broad set of resources, and part of it is encouraging newcomers not only to nail down the basics but also to develop their personal style.
With that last goal in mind, this post will be a fourth bullet for the Getting Started section at the top of the sidebar – it’ll join fit, color, and basic wardrobe in The Very Important List of Things MFA Newcomers Must Read.
I don’t claim to have any personal insight into how to develop a personal style, so I’ve aggregated some of the best resources out there. One thing I would encourage is image collecting – our list of blogs, inspiration albums, and monthly “Top of WAYWT” compilations are a good start. Save pictures you like to a folder – don’t overthink it, don’t dwell or deliberate. If an image appeals to you, even for reasons you can’t put your finger on, just right-click and put it in there. Going back through a folder of images can reveal patterns and preferences you might not have been able to articulate. Figure out what you like, then why.
Note that the quotes below are excerpts – it’s worth visiting the links for the full text.
Fashion and a Cup of Tea (/u/Syeknom’s personal blog) on the value of understanding, then breaking, “the rules”
The common analogy (itself almost mnemonic) compares dressing well to any other form of art – music, writing or painting for example. In order to break the rules and be creative it is important to fundamentally understand the basics. Picking up a guitar, rejecting the notion of chords, rhythm or keys and just hammering away at the strings with a bunch of effects pedals switched on may be fun but will rarely lead to great development or the ability to express anything personal or honest. John Cage didn’t simply stick a bunch of spoons inside a piano and compose avant-garde masterpieces – his prepared piano pieces were an organic development out of years of studying, performing, experimenting and the influence of Indian musical forms and philosophy.
/u/TheHeartofTuxes on developing personal style
This question goes far beyond what you wear. It points to how you engage with life and how life unfolds through you.
This is a question of perceiving something that is already happening, not about trying to find the ‘right’ idea. It’s about seeing into an organic process rather than deciding something out of the blue….The central point is that your style should come from you and your actual life. And in fact, it’s already there if you learn how to see it. The more you can look unflinchingly at your own values and beliefs, your own personal qualities and interests, the better you will know your personal style.
Put This On – S1, Ep7: Personal Style
Episode seven of Put This On explores personal style – elegant, quirky, distinctive and everywhere in between.
Art of Manliness: Three Steps to Building your Individual Style
My advice: do not chase the whimsical winds of fashion. Doing this is like trying to catch a shadow; the faster you move, the faster it evades you. Instead seek to understand what styles, colors, patterns, and fit best compliment you. Armed with this information, you will save yourself time and money by immediately eliminating 90% of the clothing out there and focusing on the 10% that highlights your strengths.
“Building a personal style, creatively understanding oneself, seeking out those whose work and vision coincides – this is not something that can be accomplished overnight, or by giving in to the ever-changing whim of the moment. It is the work of a lifetime. And it is only possible when a sense of self is present: knowing every facet of oneself, trusting one’s “eye” and heart, and being fearless.”
Permanent Style: Clothes Should be Worn (found through this MFA post by /u/djmykeski)
Clothes should be worn. They should be used. They become more personal, more distinctive and more beautiful – for me – when they have been worn lovingly for years.
Fuuma at Stylezeitgeist tells you how to get started (from the same post by /u/djmykeski)
- Go to many fashion forums, that way you’ll be exposed to different groupthink. Try reading fashion magazines, watch movies, people-watch and generally seek various sources of info in a not-so discriminating way. If you don’t know exactly what you need it makes sense to say you’re not set on where it is. Sadly, a negative externality of this approach is that might include sending some money to Condé Nast unless you can find ways to steal their overpriced mags.
- Go to loads of different stores and try garments on, getting a feel of what’s available, once again without discriminating too much. Try to get feedback from other people, unless you plan to live on a deserted island you’ll have to deal with the all-seeing eye of the multitude.
- Get inexpensive items in various styles that interest you and experiment with different looks. H&M, Uniqlo, discount shopping, thrifting and ebay are your friends, and might remain so anyway.
- Avoid deciding what your style is without having worn that stuff for a while!
Put This On: Personal Style through Elimination
So in continually editing out things that don’t feel right, I think I’ve come to a better sense of personal style.
Which is to say, if you’re just starting off, perhaps it’s not as good of an idea to “buy less, buy better.” Instead, dabble around and shop in the middle-tiers of quality. That way, you don’t lose out on too much as you try to find your own sense of style. Let your tastes slowly mature, be honest with what you wear, and cull everything that doesn’t feel like a natural extension of yourself. That’s the best way, I think, to find your own personal style: through a process of elimination.
/u/GraphicNovelty on finding your style by buying cheap and experimenting
Personal style is not something you can develop by lurking and looking at pictures of strangers on the internet–that’s a recipe for empty hype-cycleism and trendwhoring. Clothes are meant to be worn, and when you put something on that is essentialy you it feels right on some subconscious level. And, with the proliferation of fast fashion outlets that allow you to experience a wide variety of aesthetics at a relatively low price, it’s never been easier to buy a bunch of random shit and see what actually works for you.
Effortless Gent: Defining your Style
Don’t feel restricted by certain style archetypes. Don’t copy each look piece by piece. Invest in the basics. Grab a great leather jacket, a tweed sport coat, and a well-cut navy suit. Buy a pair of standard black lace-ups, some walnut wing tips, some tan brogue boots. Find a ton of handmade bracelets and silk pocket squares, discover your favorite pair of sunglasses, try on a pair of go-to-hell pants. Experiment with fabrics and fits, colors and patterns. Steal inspiration from each of these guys and come up with a look that’s all your own.
Most importantly, have fun.
Matt Smith on the evolution of his personal style
What I learned most from them is that caring about whether a jacket is full or half-canvassed doesn’t make you stylish or better than the average, flip flop wearing dude next to you on the subway. Style is a process, you drew influence from a multitude of places. It’s about your passions, where you come from, how you see yourself, and how you want to see yourself. It’s as much about the things that made you feel like you were cooler than everyone else in fifth grade, as it is about the things that make you happy right now.
It’s about evolving and finding new influences and interesting ways of expressing what you love. It doesn’t matter if you can tell someone exactly how many stitches per inch their shirt has or how that amazing Neapolitan shoulder was made. That doesn’t make you more stylish, it just means you know about the clothes, not how to wear them, and let me tell you that’s much more important.
Finally, /u/Syeknom on the danger of letting clothes become your personality
[A unique item of clothing, e.g. a fedora, a wolf t-shirt, or novelty tie] is not an extension of his personality or natural in any way, it is a clumsy (yet understandable) attempt to graft a personality onto himself much like a facade. He has a preconceived notion about what personality such an item has and may confer, and is hoping to have this external presentation magically alter and define his actual personality.
These are often the actions of one who is insecure about themselves and lacking confidence about who they are and their personality.
original Source : http://www.reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice/comments/17mn5x/developing_personal_style_a_collection_of/
Thank the autor if you find this article interesting : http://www.reddit.com/user/jdbee