I was talking with a friend of mine the other day, complementing him on his effortless style. We are in many ways polar opposites: I’m tall he is…. not; I’m black he is…. not. I’m straight, he’s…. not. He’s an extrovert and I’m not.
What we do have in common is an appreciation for style. But even here there are important differences. When I get dressed up I look like I’ve made an effort, I certainly look like I’ve tried. Even when I am not wearing bright colours I think I look just a wee bit pretentious. It’s a form of power dressing when I wear a suit, even when I’m not trying to do that (though sometime I absolutely am).
He on the other hand has the power to wear a suit which fits him impeccably, and tastefully accessorised, and even when some of those accessories express something of his extrovert personality he manages to look effortlessly stylish. There is a subtlety about his style which mean that it ever so slightly understated.
Some of this is deliberate, by his own admission. That is precisely the look he is aiming for, something that is not in your face, and which has the capacity to fade into the background. It’s a bit like The Silence in Dr Who. You only notice them when you are looking directly at them.
Some of this however, is more than his choice of fabric, colours, and accessories, etc. It is how he wears it, with a nonchalance and an ease which means that his clothes are not in the foreground; rather he is.
I suspect that we could wear almost exactly the same suit and I would look like I was poncing about (a technical term) and he would look effortlessly stylish, as though he just happened to look great without actually trying to achieve this.
It just goes to show that style goes deeper than what you wear. How you wear it somehow is also part of the equation. Just don’t ask me how it works. I’m still trying to figure it out….