Lately I've been suffering from a slight loss of mojo regarding my wardrobe. It happens to all of us and during dry spells, I usually take a 'keep calm and carry on' approach and settle down for a flick through The Cheap Date Guide To Style which usually serves to re-inspire. This time though the spell has expressed a stubborness stronger than usual and I've found my go-to formula of New Balance, skinny cords and a rotation of faithful light knitwear and a sleeveless blouse a little lacking, as if we've passed the honeymoon period. In addition to this my head has become muddled by ultra-analytical questions about the definitions of style as a way or conveying identity. What follows are my extremely muddled and uncollated questions which by sharing has me teetering on that slightly unattractive first-person Carrie Bradshaw 'narration' style.
The little catalyst of a thought regards the references we have in our heads- our favoured aesthetics, the interests that define and inspire us and how these are shown through the way we dress-or whether they even need to be. I think it came from me feeling that my go-to formula had become too casual; lazy even and that it wasn't a suitable representation of the things that excite and inspire me. A sense that somehow because there are gaps in my wardrobe, a pair of shoes or a dress that I've desired but haven't bought, I'm not fufilling 'my own potential'. I say this all with a pinch of salt, firstly because although style is one of my great interests it's never something I like to dedicate all of my energy into and also because the thought of needing to achieve your own 'style potential' is quite frankly silly-besides, what does it mean? Still I thought it was an interesting concept, maybe even a thought that is embarrassing to admit to.
Should the way we dress be an aesthetic representation of ourselves to the extend that when it doesn't exactly reflect our current sartorial preferences we're somehow 'letting ourselves down'? I don't think so, but it is something that crosses my mind on numerous occasions.I have friends who will put together a fantastic outfit, compiled of current objects of affection. A buttery leather clutch or some suede trousers-newly bought after watching a film whose heroine kickstarted a love of brown trousers. But deep down I know that I can't afford to be supplementing my wardrobe with every little thing that inspires me. More significant is the fact that a year from now I may not hold the same teenage-style pangs over my 'current favourites'. And so I tell myself that I'll hold off, that I can still love a pair or strappy sandals from afar and I can still love the old magazine clipping that initiated my love of said sandal without having to wear them.
But then I come back around full circle, my mind clouded and starting to wobble under the weight of these questions that seem to be heading towards the dangerously elusive 'so then, what is the point of personal style if not to showcase what excites us?' or 'showcasing? does 'showcasing' suggest I am dressing for others rather than for myself?' to which I can offer myself a 'don't be so naive' retort something along the lines of 'but if dressing as a way of telling others a little about ourselves truly doesn't enter into the process, then why doesn't everybody find themselves in an eternal state of pyjama-dom?'
I think theres a bit of a stigma attached to having short love affairs with different trends or looks. I myself always admire people who have to a consistent style. I regard my own style to be pretty linear but maybe consistency is something that increases with age and experience. Still, being seduced by a little trend bubble is a perfectly natural event when you're interested in fashion and shouldn't be something to be afraid of. Trends can be like the lessons we learn at school, and in the same way that a history lesson at the age of 14 may establish a life-long interest in the French Revolution, a commercial peak in all things 'Nude' may encode a love of off-beige knitwear which will serve as a personal go-to for the rest of your days (aw). I'm not someone who flits between different looks a lot but I have found myself almost afraid of inconsistency as if it is a flaw.
I suppose there isn't a conclusive end point to these rambing questions. What started out as an innocent pondering over the temporary loss of style mojo has developed into a set of thoughts that have stumbled down into a neverending rabbit hole. This is more of a 'these are my unorganised and uncemeted thoughts-what do you think?' call for help. I don't think there are definitive answers about the extent to which our style should reflect ourselves; this is what makes individual style so fascinating and ambiguous and personal.. and ever so occasionally, so mindboggling.