Try being someone else
I tend to fall back on the mantra of “dress for the day you’d like to have” or even better, I’ll dress for the mood I’m in.
Really enjoyed this write up.
Wow this is great writing and I agree 100%. I'm definitely going through a heavy style transformation as of recently because I'm putting a lot of work into researching style/clothes/history, which I never really did before. I actually found your blog through someone on IG who inspires me heavy style wise. I've been slowly drifting away from an exact copy of his style by being exposed to other cool people/clothes you write about and I'm kinda combining it all creating my own style so thank you for all you do!!
Congratulations on your write ups!
I've found "KNOW yourself" to be a much more helpful dictum than "BE yourself" because the former implies some effort needing to be expended figuring shit out (and casts a nice wide net from "know that I prefer tops and jumpers that can be buttoned up to ones that have to go over my head" to "know that whatever top layer is closest to my skin must be natural fibres only" to "I like to look like a cricket player c. 1983 sometimes" "I deal with anticipated rough days by dressing like some interwar college student" etc etc, they're like markers for where your head is at?). also people who are really into fashion do seem to have a good 'style bullshit detector' where you can sort of read whether the fit on someone is clothes (early Sartorialist fits, Bill Cunningham's NYT stuff) or cosplay (pretty much anyone outside the Fashion Week/Pitti circus now or who looks like they dressed straight out of a lookbook).
The thing is, that effort expended on knowing yourself is something some people consider vanity - yes, instrinct is helpful but you have work a bit to figure out what's going on in your own head because that shit translates into comfort levels in your own skin. Sure, some people don't seem to need any work and it's effortless enough for them to not even realise they did it, but the rest of us are, as you said, a bit more of a work in progress and that's normal too! I wish I could do the Bill Cunningham thing of just wearing the same French workers' jacket every day but that's Bill, not me, and I save it for certain frames of mind, ykwim?
I love copying style icons looks. Especially from old films.
I definitely did *not* completely switch to American apparel clothes when i arrived at college 🥴 🥴
People would always accuse me of going thru clothing “phases” but what if my *personality* was just changing more rapidly than everyone else?
This reminded me of some interesting advice from another context—The Inner Game of Tennis (which is actually a lot about mindfulness and nonjudgmental awareness) where the author notices that many players fall into a a certain style of play (defensive, offensive, stylish, competitive) and he encourages them to role-play as a different type of player. He notes: “The defensive player learns that he can hit winners; the aggressive one finds he can also be stylish. I have found that when players break their habitual patterns, they can greatly extend the limits of their own style and explore subdued aspects of their personality.”