Sartorial Stuff

An old friend, who’s interested in cultivating a personal sense of style, once asked me:

How would you describe your style? What are trying to do when you dress? 

A style manual — I don’t even remember which one — once presented a useful exercise: pick adjectives describing what I’d like to convey with my  clothes. I’ve been thinking this over for a long time now and it turns out that all the many adjectives that originally came to mind boil down to just two: creativity and power.

Dressing creatively means dressing differently then other people. It means picking and choosing the trends that work for you or having a style that’s not trendy, but expresses your feelings and point of view.  It also means taking risks. If you stand out some people will invariably knock that, but you can’t live your whole life pleasing other people. Besides, the benefits include attracting folks who are close to you in spirit — people who are artistic or creative themselves.

Power is a many-splendored thing. Sometimes I want to express an overtly subversive attitude, like “I’m perfectly capable of following your sartorial rules but I choose to bend them”. Other times I just want to appear capable and smart. However I don’t want my sex appeal to be subliminal. Toned down for work, or formal engagements, sure, but there is power in looking attractive. I enjoy turning heads.

Mr. Tungsten enjoys it as well. He finds amusement in the envious or incredulous looks he gets from guys who they realize that limelight-chick and the unassuming man next to her are actually together. He likes being the one looked at second. There’s a quiet power in that, too.

Featured image from Lip Service via Science for a Star

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