Style and its true meaning is a very intriguing topic. In the early stages of my career in fashion, I discovered there is quite a difference between style, and the act of getting dressed; or, Having Style verses Being in Style.
While most banish the subject into simple sartorial pursuits, the true meaning often eludes, and continues to be placed within a context that’s one dimensional, and much easier to understand.
After graduating from the prestigious FIDM in Los Angeles, California (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising), I began my pilgrimage into the world of fashion as a manager of a popular trendy fashion chain store.
Part of my job description required ensuring everyone adhered to the company dress code. We were offered steep discounts to make sure we were able to dress in the latest garments sold in the store. We were, in essence, cloned walking advertisements.
While most of us failed to step outside what was expected, there was one employee who deviated from the norm to dress in a way that told her story. I was by no means infatuated with her fashion choices, but her clothing definitely offered a glimpse into her world.
My experience with this fellow employee marked the beginning of my careful (and often scrutinizing) analysis of the meaning of true style. Countless books and articles have been written about the subject. Most keep the meaning within the realm of garments, and how we choose to wear them.
While some may choose to believe style is only about getting dressed, it does, in fact, have a more complex meaning. How does one explain someone who has that certain je ne sais quoi, like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Michelle Obama, and Audrey Hepburn?
All three of these women come from different backgrounds, have unique stories, and have different tastes, yet the majority of people would describe them as having immense style. What is the magical element they each possess?
In my latest book, True Style: A Look Beyond the Surface, I’m uncovering the meaning of the word by carefully removing the layers that make up this unique individual, and then slowly weaving them together again. In the end, you’ll see a beautiful tapestry to behold – one of depth, character and meaning.
In January I shared a month-long series titled, Style Is… on my blog, So What To Twenty. The series was created to give a glimpse into the character of this unique individual. Be sure to check out these posts for some style insight.
During the series, the ground work was laid to begin uncovering the masterful person who captivates us with their style. I labored for nine months to bring this thought-provoking subject to life. Together, with the beautiful illustrations of Allison Lawdanski Taylor, we capture the essence of this person. After reading True Style: A Look Beyond the Surface (available February 2017) you’ll never view the subject of style the same again.
Stay True, Glenda
Thursday 16th of February 2017
Yup, style is above everything. It's fascinating how some people look so good with almost no effort at all!
Friday 17th of February 2017
Absolutely, Grace. It's a beautiful thing.