BY Victoria Cox
When one thinks of style, inevitably a list of those Mostly Fabulous People who grace the covers of the high fashion magazines every month (and occasionally the tabloids) instantly spring to mind. Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Middleton…. the usual fabulously glossy suspects. But I like to think of style as something that is a little more than the glamorous images gracing magazine covers. It is an imperceptible name badge that one wears. It is a way of expressing the unspoken, a silent introduction that simply states “You may not know me, but you can clearly see that I am currently having a vintage 70s moment.”
Some say that style is kind of like class, you either have it or you don’t. I’m not sure this is strictly true (unless we are talking about those who are partial to a 100% polyester lavender trouser suit). Style can come in many different shapes, spheres, sizes and forms. You may not have the snappiest wardrobe in town but you may have a fabulously stylish home.
Style is like a personal stamp. It may not be to everyone’s taste but there is no denying it. There really is no “right” or “wrong” style (well, except maybe the aforementioned lavender trouser suit), there is simply style. The majority of people possess it, in one small sense or another, whether they realize it or not. There are those lucky ones who seem to have it down without even trying; we like to call that “effortless style,” see: Mostly Fabulous People (and their Very Fabulous Stylists). However most of us regular folk can also stake our own claim to it. It can simply be the way that you comb your hair into a loose chignon with an antique brooch or the way you pair your pretty vintage tea dress with bad-ass leather biker boots.
Style is something that is deeply personal and gives one a sense of true individualism. Many people wade into murky waters when they attempt to try something that goes against the grain of their own personal style, and thus we move onto another tricky aspect of style, the I-Just-Broke-Up-With-My-Boyfriend-And-Need-A-Hot-New-Look-NOW look. This enlightened decision can prove to be very tricky in the sense that it can work out in the most fabulous way, unearthing your hidden sex kitten persona for all (especially the Ex) to see. However more often that not, going against the grain of what works for you usually just moves into style disaster zone territory and is frankly, just not very pretty to look at. After all, very few of us can carry off Lady GaGa‘s penchant for a platinum blond bob and a fierce pair of knickers.
Style is partly instinctual (with a little helping hand from our favorite fashion magazines) and if one chooses to veer from this path it can often work to your disadvantage. It has to be authentic; it has to reflect You. Most women can spot a style fraudster within five blocks, perhaps it’s the way that they continually fiddle with the hem of their pleather skirt when they are rarely to be found out of a pair of jeans. Or stumble along on their newly purchased 5-inch Zanotti’s when they live and breathe in flip-flops. But as is often the case in life, we tend to learn and grow from our mistakes and in making a few fashion faux pas’ along the way, we come to find what our true personal style is, what works for us and more importantly what does not.
Good style, bad style, it’s all part and parcel of who we are and how we choose to define ourselves. Some may love it, some may hate it and we may never get within sniffing distance of the Mostly Fabulous People, but at least we score some points for trying. Its fun, it’s frivolous, it’s a form of self-expression, its one of the few things that is truly ours. In the words of Yves Saint Laurent, “Fashions fade, Style is eternal.”