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28-05-2009
  61
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designerleather's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Boston
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What is style? What is personality? Can you really change one without the other?

I discount any discussion of work clothes. Those have some personal elements of style, but for the most part, work attire is a predication of the industry. A dark suit in a business environment can be as much as a requirement as khakis and a logo polo shirt and hat at a McDonalds. They are uniforms nonetheless. In some industries we have more flexibility to personally tweak these images to be more expressive of our own tastes, but corporate culture in and off itself generally dictates an acceptable image.

What I consider a change or style as posed in the question would be more globally sweeping, such as being a prep and then having to dye your hair purple and green, get a ton of piecing and dress completely goth. That is an extreme, but the distinction between jeans and t-shirt on the weekend and suits at work again I see as expression as work uniform and home clothes.

My style, as well as personality can be a bit of a chameleon. I enjoy opera and classical music and own several very nice tuxedos. I have been in the corporate environment and always expressed my style through touches with extremely nice ties and shirts, but kept the suits toned down and classical. A fair amount of my wardrobe are jeans and t-shirts and again can span from $50 levis to far more expensive 7FAM jeans.

As my name implies, I also have a lot of leather. I ride, have raced, and am comfortable at get togethers of the sport bike crowd as well as hanging out with the rough and tumble Harley riders, though all my bikes are Jap bikes (Power cruiser, sport bike and race bike) I have a ton of dressier leather as well and also think of nothing of throwing on a pair of Gucci leather pants, Abboud silk t-shirt and hanging out at Borders flipping through magazines or walking through the city.

And as well, have also had friends and acquaintances in the goth and fetish scenes, man I have seen some real out there things, but that is by far a bit past the limit of my comfort level. A nice place to visit for a diversion down that path for an evening, but I could not hang out in Harvard Square during the day so attired.

To the point. I can be an omnivore... In the same week I have gone to the Opera and an AC/DC concert, I love to learn, express and explore. My range of fashion as such does similarly cover a fair amount of ground, but at the core always does remain true to my personality.

I have always seen clothing as a means of expression and an extension. It does not always have to be so at all moments, but in the long run, it generally does. One can refine these tastes, which I believe is also different than the original intent.

I do not make a distinction of one trading labels and getting better clothes as necessarily a change in style, but really a refinement of taste, but in the end, if it is uncomfortable or not true to the nature of the person, it cannot last in the long term.

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28-05-2009
  62
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Melisande's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Paris/Tokyo
Gender: femme
Posts: 1,549
Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
Well, as I suspected, I have not had the experience you are talking about I suppose it's because I haven't had anyone in my life with a really strong aesthetic sense. The men in my life have commented on what I wore that they liked ... I remember once I asked about a favorite color & wore it. But they haven't made suggestions. About my appearance that is ... I believe there were suggestions on other topics Oh, once a boyfriend commented that he liked my hair the way I had it before ... which completely annoyed me because he'd never said so :p

The red lipgloss feedback was definitely all about judgment (tarty) ... and I grew up in an environment where I was told exactly what you're saying ... there was a lot of judgment around women wearing pants, I had to have long hair, and there were brownie points for 'looking feminine' (well, that apparently was natural ). I'm sure all that has shaped my attitude to this ... in fact, I once worked someplace where women had to wear skirts, and I definitely did resent it. That company was so old school I can't begin to tell you ...
Wow, I would so resent that as well... It's hard to fathom that such a company exists in modern culture. Like Joie mentioned, I had also heard that women should wear skirts to an interview, but I could never grasp why . Reject me for my pants any day!

Hmm, you are right, I can see how our early environments can shape our experiences. Even now, my grandmother who just barely remembers my name and hardly responds to conversation, immediately brightens and makes a comment if I wear something nice. Yesterday she fondled my Issey Miyake skirt and mentioned how lovely she thought it was. I mean, honestly, I'd wear a garbage bag just to see her smile.

My parents do also have certain fixed old-fashioned judgements about their ideas of tarty, but I just ignore those. My boyfriend has fantastic taste, and although he never ever complains when I look like crap, his sheer childlike delight when I dress elegantly is incentive enough for me.

Ta-ta, not everyone may know to respond, but I know for a fact your beautiful style (and red shoes!) brings joy to people who spend time with you.


Last edited by Melisande; 28-05-2009 at 09:49 AM.
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28-05-2009
  63
Power to the 99%
 
fashionista-ta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hardly ever at Barney's
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^ Thanks, so sweet

I love the story about your grandmother ... isn't that great that she is still responding to beauty most of all ... it clearly runs very deep.

It seems like most of the women in my family are very utilitarian about clothes. My grandmother would say things like, "Look at those shoes ... oh my." I don't know what it meant, and I didn't ask for a translation I did have one female relative who loved clothes--I remember her in YSL. But as she's gotten older, that has gone by the wayside. (Too bad ... I definitely don't want that to happen to me! But don't think it will.)

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28-05-2009
  64
trendsetter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Europe
Gender: femme
Posts: 1,410
Quote:
Originally Posted by designerleather View Post
What is style? What is personality? Can you really change one without the other?

My range of fashion as such does similarly cover a fair amount of ground, but at the core always does remain true to my personality.

I have always seen clothing as a means of expression and an extension. It does not always have to be so at all moments, but in the long run, it generally does.

If it is uncomfortable or not true to the nature of the person, it cannot last in the long term.
Beautiful post, DesignerLeather, I really love the way you express yourself.

I thought this thread addressed changing your style specifically for your romantic partner, but it's nice to see that others have interpreted it differently. So if we're talking about changing our style for a wide variety of people and circumstances (family, friends, hobbies, work), then it gets a lot more complicated, doesn't it?

I wouldn't even know where to begin on this, but I think what you wrote about personality and staying true to oneself are the central issues. Being open to change but not losing sight of your own ideals and preferences.

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30-05-2009
  65
flaunt the imperfection
 
softgrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: downtown...
Gender: femme
Posts: 50,749
hmmm...it's usually the person i am dating who adapts......
with a little help from me, of course...

i will tone down some of what i wear, if i feel the ocassion calls for it...
but if it is demanded of me...
i tend to rebel and purposely wear something 'edgier'...
:p

which usually backfires, because then everyone just says how much they like the crazy thing i am wearing...
probably because they are so used to boring outfits...
and then i become the 'entertainment committee'...
...

ah well...
you can never win...
i just try to be comfortable and not make a fool of myself...

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