Monday, May 24, 2010

Men's style: The dilemma of dressing thoughtfully

In her new book, The Thoughtful Dresser: The Art of Adornment, the Pleasures of Shopping, and Why Clothes Matter, Linda Grant writes that “Clothes are not everything, but you cannot have depths without surfaces."

No depth without surface. This may be true, especially in the inherent flux and seasonality of women's fashion. But for men the opposite holds an even deeper truth. In other words, you cannot have surface without depth, at least in the long haul. If you are a young guy, it's fine to experiment left and right with trendy brands and diverse looks. But as with every journey, the compass eventually needs to point somewhere and that directionality requires a certain depth. This depth and direction, in the end, is generated by you, assembled over time and through experience.

When the time comes, your sense of style should strike a comfortable balance between consistency and experimentation. Some may favor consistency, others experimentation. Either way, the result should be fresh and appealing yet somehow consistent. But not rigid. Just as life changes, your sense of style may evolve once, twice or more. Your sense of style should be steady - until it is time to change.

Contra Hamlet, the readiness to change is not all, but it does matter a good deal. More on this aspect later.

No comments: