Monday, November 24, 2008

The Sweater Effect

Sometimes I wonder what the definition for "stylish" is. (Before you keep reading, I just wanna say, Im not rambling, these pictures do have something to do with this post, and the title is completely awesome.) Or, more so, what can be thought of as "stylish." Im not talking "fashion" here. This is style. When I think "fashion" I think "runway," and the only way to be "fashionable" is to be one of the models walking down the catwalk, and any inspiration that stems from that is purely "style." Just because you took inspiration from the latest Comme des Garçons (look I can do the little "ç" as opposed to "c"!) collection doesnt mean youre instantly defined "fashionable." I half think that the only way you can be "fashionable" is by being approved by Marc Jacobs or nodded at by Anna Wintour.
Then yet half of me thinks that that is incredibly superficial, and just plain wrong. Somehow I wanna say that "fashion" and "style" should not be something that you are judged or approved on, but I think we both know that that is not true. I think that anyone says that their style should not be approved is someone that is just an artist. Its an art to them. I know of a few self-proclaimed artistes that are bloggers. Im not saying they are bad, I just know Im not one to make a blog and parade around in wearable imagery. Im no statue, I aint a picasso. Im here to show you my everyday outfits and what makes me giggle.
Okay, now Im just rambling. To get on with the point. What outfit passes the line from "wearing something" to "stylish" ....? What defines it for you? To tell you the answer, or at least in my head, let mepresent The Sweater Effect. I think you can guess what this means. My line from "wearing just anything" to "stylish" appears and is crossed over when a person wears a sweater as a shirt. There is just something about it. Its my fallback outfit. Any time I really wanna wear jeans but not just a plain ole tshirt, I reach for one of my handy sweaters. They are super comfy and look oh so wonderful when belted.
These pictures posted are a few of my favorite "instant style" pieces. I love them. (And I feel so avante garde when taking these pictures this way :P.) I think many people would not agree with me. I can guess that she would think putting on a tall pair of heels would do it. And she would profess anything with Rick Owens in it has crossed over into the style border.
Getting back to my first point, maybe, when you become truly fashionable, or stylish, is the day you can tell the difference between the two.
What do you think? What is the line between the two things, "just wearing something" and "style?" What are your opinions on my post? Think Im insane? Tell me!
(For most accurate Stylish Wanderer experience listen to: Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge over Troubled Water)


chessie said...

3 things are factored when transcending into style. The garment has to be
1. Flattering.
2. Exclusive.
3. And you have to wear it with Confidence.
Ideas of what flatters you varies, and this is where the judgment comes in.
I see no niches.
Everything fits.

Nita-Karoliina said...

well my opinion is that all is about persons individual style. like she/he dont have to fallow fashion too much and make every piece look like her/he. and its not about the brands, its about the clothing, was it primark, dior, it doesnt matter, its all abot that persons personality and what she / he founds stylish. and that person dont give a fuck what other people says. that person just want to express him/herself in style wise. some people would think thats not good at all, some people not, they can think wow what a style icon! i think thats all about fashion and style. individualisim.personal style, not giving shit just wears what he/she likes. and make it work.

The Clothes Horse said...

To me style is a reflection of self and built on interests and lifestyle. I won't be a piece a haute couture anytime soon, but I do dress consciously and am inspired by clothes, colors and such. Dressing is an expression, not just clothes on my back...
It's all hard to express.

Misha said...

I was reading and reading and waiting for an explanation to the pics... :)

If you ask me, style is more what is the result of the combination of clothes, your appearance and your behaviour, or rather how one carry oneself in those clothes. Dress two people in the same outfit and you are bound to find one more appealing than the other...

makemoremistakes said...

I like this post a lot! It's thought provoking. I one hundred percent agree with your definition of "fashionable", but I think that the definition of style is much more complex. I think that it is what makes each individual feel good about themselves, whether it be with taller heels, or a sweater, or a tablecloth worn as a dress. I think that style exists for the wearer, and fashion exists for the audience.

I hope that makes some sense...


atelier said...

I really think the best is having your own style, and make it clear to others

Bella said...

I'm thinking the line is best when slightly hazy... if you like it, wear it and embrace the self-expression. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder... and I on many levels, style and fashion and all the silver linings in-between are too.

Wonderful post!


love these shots.
style is about your mood that day, what you feel good in and what truly flatters "you" in the entire sense of the word.

style does not equal trend.


this wheel's on fire said...

yes! sweaters are the best & so is bridge over troubled water :)

J. said...

First off, this is possibly and very probably the best blog post I've ever read. I mean that. This was really lovely.

I'm kind of on the same page, blog-wise. I dress like your average person, I guess. As for the sweaters? Yes - they CAN add a little something new to an outfit. (Very clever title, by the by :) It made me smile.)

And as for a definition for real style? I think it's when you wear what's right for YOU and you don't worry about the brands or any of that nonsense. And you're confident enough to pull it off.

Tavi said...

I can't tell if this is supposed to be an attack or not, and find it difficult to respond to this post because I just don't understand the point you are trying to get across.

First of all, I hope we're clear in that I am not a self-proclaimed artist. Neither is Belle. I think that fashion is a form of art, but I have never claimed myself to be fashionable or an artist. Like you, I'm no statue or Picasso-I just post what I wear, and never have I deemed my outfits to be of any significance. Yes, I have tried incorporating Comme des Garcons into what I wear, but I never said I did a good job. And I sure didn't.

Everyone has different ideas of what is stylish. It's not a technical, yes-or-no thing. There's no code. It's in the eye of the beholder, as a commentator above said. Neither Anna Wintour nor Marc Jacobs are stylish for a fact, and a nod of approval from a designer or editor doesn't justify something as stylish.

It simply comes down to what you think.

Anna Shapiro said...

Style is what expresses you.
cliche, trite, stale, whatvever, but true nonetheless.

one should always wear what feels right for them.
flattering, comfortable (to them), gives the confidence, expressive of their mood, their maturity level, and somehting that just shows their preferencesm and makes them stand out.

Gerry said...

Admittedly, I don't understand how the pictures relate to the post at all, but...

I'm going to try not to get into the definition of fashion, but fashion IS defined by a ruling group of people, the same way art is. Style differs from fashion in that it has nothing to do with this "canon" created within the fashion system.

I think style cannot just exist in what people wear. I think that there has to be at least a smidgeon of emotion and thought behind what the person is wearing. I think style differs from "just clothing" in that style is a reflection of who you are – the way you live, the way you want to live, your thoughts, dreams, etc, whereas clothing is just what's on your body.

In my humble opinion, of course.

thedrifterandthegypsy said...

Hi! I just wanted to say that I love your style and I love your blog. I just created a blog today, so if you have the time, I would appreciate it if you would check it out and tell me if I need to make adjustments on anything because you are such a successful blogger.

Amelia said...

This is really interesting. You're definitely not insane. The Sweater Effect is a phenomenon recognized by the scientific community, for sure.

Brigadeiro said...

What a great post! Trying to be succinct:

To me style is about self-expression. Clothes will often tell you a little about the person wearing them.

Ella said...

Style is you through clothes. At least, that is what i think.
I also think sweaters are the best garment after dresses.

And i'm glad you found the c with a cedilla or whaterver it's called. Being someone who speaks french, it annoys a little to see a lot of people saying the equivalent of comme des garkons.

sarah said...

i've been asking myself those questions too!

i think that true style comes from inside. one has to be comfortable with following trends if they want, know what looks good on them, and also pioneer new things that others haven't seen. but mainly, they need to be a great, inspirational, artistic person!

Val said...

I think fashion and style are two completely different things. Fashion a bit more superficial, and style a bit more personal and artistic.

As to the difference between "wearing something" and "style", i think that you can make anything look stylish if you wear it with conviction.

And thanks! I bought the AA Shirt online. I live in the depths of suburbia, where AA is kind of overpowered by the usual mall brands, so there were racks and racks of them at my AA. I'm not sure about the one near you tho! And I got my bag from a store in Hong Kong.

Isabel said...

These are good questions. I just wear what i feel like and hope it looks good!

Ms. Butterfly said...

stylish involves the attitude in which you wear your clothes and the choices you make in assembling a 'look'

Maddicrig Lowe said...

Tavi, I dont think this post is even about you. And only you noticed the "self proclaimed artist" thing as an attack. Silly, that's all I gotta say.

Stephanie said...

Maybe you didn't mean for this to come off as rude, but that's what it sounds like to me. Style is whatever you make it, for christsakes, and wearing things that aren't necessarily fashionable just because you like them doesn't mean that you consider yourself a artist! (Or artiste, as you so pretentiously put it.) Having ridiculous criteria like sweaters or the approval of Anna Wintour just completely defeats the purpose of "personal style" all together.

I think Tavi said this a bit more eloquently, actually, but this post kind of pissed me off. Especially the irony of you thinking you are so "avant garde" (i.e. an artist/e?) for taking blurry photographers of your outfits to show how truly fashionable you are.

Don't take this personally - I'm sure you are a nice person and everything, with excellent taste - I just really needed to state my opinion here.

Anonymous said...

you sound so pretentious