There seems to be a preconceived notion that personal style is, or rather should be, confined by a set in stone set of rules that dictates what one should be wearing at any given time or place. While clothing most definitely portrays one’s vision and individuality, I find it limiting, restrictive even, to assume an immutable image for any individual – if style is in fact one of the purest reflections of personality, isn’t it only natural to expect as many variations as the mood swings and daily alterations human psyche entails?
I’ve been dwelling on this issue out of my personal experience for some time now…it seems our peers are quite trigger-happy when it comes to labeling people according to their personal style, inherently developing a stereotypical notion of how they are expected to look, regardless of time or occasion. If to some extent this behavior is a natural consequence of human nature, to another it dictates a most underwhelming understanding of one’s complex personality and sense of style. Mind you, this reflection on the subject far transcends the concept of clothing suitability to specific places and occasions: it addresses our behavior as social and individual beings.
As an aficionado of classic men’s style and the art of bespoke tailoring, it’s inevitable I own several pieces that materialize such aesthetic (even if to a much smaller extent than my peers). However, one’s passions and interests are usually not confined to a single subject, nor are they unilaterally translated into everyday life as a rule of thumb. The case at hand? I’m as passionate about bespoke as about the historical value of vintage pieces or the unique interpretation Japanese brands portray of their country’s invaluable cultural heritage. As such, is it so odd to assume I would own as much bespoke as vintage or Japanese garments? Or furthermore, that I would actually mix and match them to create my personal interpretation of contemporary men’s fashion?
As much as I want to answer that rhetorical question with a blatant “OF COURSE NOT!!”, the truth is whenever I incorporate unexpected elements or transcendent aesthetics into my attires, there seems to be somewhat of a judgemental opinion that reflects the disparity between reality and people’s mentally projected image of how I should look. That being said, my opinion on the subject is that a rich personal style that covers opposite ends of the style spectrum should not only be encouraged but looked upon with greater acceptance and open-mindedness. Now, I’m not advocating one should alternate between totally unrelated interpretations of style, but within a conceptually coherent vision, freedom should be embraced.
As a matter of fact, from an historical point of view many of the currently embraced menswear movements present similar elements in its origins, despite having evolved to distinct approaches. The result is that the aforementioned coherency is inherently present. Again, this is a very personal opinion that translates my personal experience when portraying more casual attires, some of which received strong opinionated criticism. As practical examples to support my view on this subject, I’ve chosen 3 individuals whose personal style accurately portrays a transversal approach to men’s style: Alessandro Squarzi, Daniele Biagioli, and Jared Acquaro. Considered by many as adamant style icons, this unparalleled trio’s common ground is its ability to merge a vast array of styles and influences that ultimately results in a unique personal style.
What’s your opinion on the subject?