Fashion Friday: Style As A Meditation


I am attempting to live this philosophy everyday: Style as a meditation and not a mere regulatory affair.

I recently did a post on The 7 Habits of Sylish People and most of the advice was character driven. I believe 70% of style is Character and the other 30% is Clothing. Most  think clothing is important. And I tend to agree, I live and love them. They can take you places, give you access to certain environments. Yet, if you don’t have solid character to back it up you’re like a boy in his fathers clothes. You’re only playing “dress up” and that’s called “acting.” Dressing to enhance vs dressing to hide are two different things. The goal should be deeper than that. It’s about motive and intent. Let’s deepen the conversation from how we look and who we wear to how we act and why we should care.

“Elegance is a question of personality, more than one’s clothing.” Jean-Paul Gaultier

Nothing is worse than arrogance dressed in elegance. Substance always trumps surface.However, a Twitter user reminded me:

“there are far worse things than arrogance dressed in elegance, arrogance dressed in ready-to-wear would be one. A good suit is worth plenty on a rotten man! It’s usually the ONLY thing he’s worth, so he may as well look fabulous!” –  Alexander Stacey

I think he is right in of those statements, there are far worse things a person can be (I know his intent was light banter)  but I think there is something to be said for a person who gives the appearance of refinement but proves false to this by the way he acts toward people. ( I cover this topic in a previous post) what good is a new suit if the man inside is rotten? We must not use clothing as a way to deceive others by hiding who we really are on the inside.

For example: A man hires a stylist to help him pick out clothes for an interview. Together they pick an appropriate shirt and tie, pair it impeccably with a tailored suit, possibly even stir within him the confidence he needs by means of coaching and direction beforehand so that he actually lands the job. Granted, the boss/interviewer is impressed with his résumé and his interviewing skills. But soon after the boss notices things that may make him question the hiring decision. His constant tardiness, failure to meet deadlines, incomplete or inaccurate reports or even laziness may make him more of a liability. Sure, he nailed the interview, made a good first impression and was a convincing candidate. But an awesome wardrobe won’t cover-up bad work ethic. He may be the topic of discussion and even the resident expert around the office on how to pair this with that. However, his sharp suit won’t be enough to save him from a pink slip.  Even if he has entrepreneurial aspirations his behaviors won’t get him very far.

Clothing should enhance our persona, but we also need to do the work that is required to change traits, habits or more importantly, behaviors that may be counter productive to our personal development. How? Think about the last conversation you had with your boss about your performance, your good friend or significant other about your relationship? Were you listening closely to the things you needed to tweak or even change to become a better or refined version of yourself? Or did you scoff at their suggestions? Stylish people should balance what’s in their closet with what’s in their head. They know that teachers come in the form of people they meet, places they go and in events they experience. Thus, when we go out into the world dressed up or move through life rocking our killer “look” it will be far more than just mere sartorial elegance.

Start from the inside & the rest will follow. Less “clothes maketh the man” more “the man maketh the clothes.” – Dublo

Thank you MyrtleTakesTeadublonothing for inspiring this post and engaging me in some brisk debate on style.

TheStyleGent

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About TheStyleGent

I blog about character, competency and clothing. Giving back, living well and looking sharp is how you live life with style. What good is a new suit if the man inside is rotten?

View all posts by TheStyleGent

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