What Style Means
by Chanelle Naidoo
(Pretoria, South Africa)
What Style Means
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It seems legit but really it’s a ridiculous question that we often ask about what style means, what style is to an individual, etc. We then proceed with a check list of what one does right and what the other one does wrong. The Fashion Police way. And we label people according to whether in our shallow opinion they have it or not. Seriously, how does one reach such conclusions without understanding the meaning of style first? Let us research further on what style means.
A plain and simple definition of style, according to my trusty Oxford Mini-dictionary published in 1991 (Old, I know) - is that the noun “style” is a manner of writing, speaking, or doing something – so in simpler terms style is the manner in which we as people present ourselves in any aspect of our lives.
The affinity between style and fashion is strong and unbreakable. When we use the term to refer to someone as “stylish” or to someone as having “style” – What are we really saying? Are they fashionable or do they actually have style?
In my own, possibly viable opinion – everyone over a period of time either gets brainwashed by the media about what style is conceived to be (in most cases getting caught up with trends, fashion, etc.), or they form their own conception on how to view, and appreciate style.
I believe style is exactly that – a person staying true to his or her self, naturally having a vying way of making even the most awkward of garment items look good together as a whole. A stylish person to me is someone who doesn’t necessarily follow trends, but rather contributes to the innovation of one. Someone who doesn’t allow the media to dictate what he/she should be wearing at that specific moment for that specific reason, but rather wears what they feel like when they feel like it.
With reference to that last sentence, anyone can throw on anything and claim they have style – but that’s just it, you can’t willingly command style to be in your possession that day or moment, like most things in life you either have it or you don’t. I also feel, that style comes from inside, but resonates through a person’s manner in doing things, clothes for example is a means of self-expression like art or music. Style is having that untaught ability to put on clothes effortlessly, make items with no relation to one another look beautiful – style is a lovely thing. It knows no age, or colour – nor brand, or price – it is just what it is.
And, for those without style, well… that’s what stylists are for.
Scouting street style these past few days also opened up my eyes to a whole new world and idea of thinking – believe me when I say the most poorest of people have the most exuberant attitudes towards style. Which brings me to this - everyone has style deep within them waiting to erupt (and some are just lost causes, I commend you for trying though), all I can say is that you should stay true to yourself, and bask in your style for what is it.
We live in a world where we are getting to express who we are more and more each day. You can express your style by any means possible. Some may not care about style in a fashion sense – but as the late and great Yves Saint Laurent once said: “Fashion fades, Style is eternal.”
Think about that.