I was on the Sartorialist the this morning looking at this photo and skimming through all the comments (both incredibly defensive and mercilessly vicious) and a simple but curious thought was triggered through my mind: what exactly is style?
We throw around the word 'stylish' (and I put this in inverted commas because the word is so transient you can't really categorise it) so easily to a point that it is an overused all-encompassing everyday adjective to describe anyone who looks like they've walked out of a designer store head-to-toe in a super expensive, super chic outfit; in other words, someone who dresses in a branded garment and believes that designers at the top dictate what style is and how clothes can be worn is 'stylish'. This to me is a very narrow-minded view of what I think is 'stylish'. Wearing designer goes not guarantee that you will be stylish. Think of all those top designers that create low quality product lines that are splattered with a humongous label across the chest or monogrammed all over, shouting the label but nothing else? Designer in its pure sense has nothing to do with a label; it is about innovation, quality and design, not about promoting the image of luxury on a plain cheaply made screen-printed promotional t-shirt.
What is often overlooked is that style has nothing at all to do with fashion, it is simply an expression of the way a person puts on clothes in the morning in a way that they like. The clothes themselves become irrelevant; the expression alone gives the outfit 'style'. It is something completely innate. Style is something that stands out from the crowd, a way someone puts an outfit together regardless of what is trendy, or popular, or socially acceptable. It is the confidence to put taste and courage into clothes.