Your sense of style is an invaluable tool in moving through the world. It shows that you are at the top of your game and that you possess both visual intelligence and nonverbal communication skills. You can envision the big picture and keep the small details in mind. According to “Psychology Today,” “Style, therefore, is persuasive all by itself, before you open your mouth or present credentials.”
Style is a Way to Create and Communicate
Fashion is, by its very nature, of the moment; style is timeless. Fashion is all about clothing and accessories. Your style is how you employ these elements to express yourself. As Gianni Versace said, “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.” Your fashion sense and personal style are how you present yourself to the world. It is a form of communication. A rich, fun, and nuanced narrative. It is how you create and communicate your story. You can be sophisticated, smart, casual, sporty, elegant, or you can combine different elements to showcase your individuality.
Style is a Two-Way Street
Sartorial style affects not only the way that others see us but how we see ourselves. There is a psychological phenomenon called enclothed cognition, and researchers define it as “the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes.” This means that what we wear, beyond expressing our personality and showcasing our mood, can actually affect how we feel about ourselves and how we act.
Researchers at Northwestern University conducted an experiment where they handed out white lab coats to subjects, telling some participants that the garment was a painter’s smock and others that it was a doctor’s lab coat. They had all of the subjects perform an identical task. Guess what? Those wearing the lab coat exhibited extra attention and care in their work! Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, a clinical psychologist and the author of “You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You,” explains, “When you dress in a certain way, it helps to shift your internal self.”
Strong, Smart, and Uniquely You
Clothing and accessories are both practical and expressive. Clothing keeps us warm, safe, and confidently ensconced in beautiful textiles. Accessories also play their part. Scarves save you from the cold, sunglasses protect your eyes, and footwear facilitates hitting your stride in style. Accessories are not only functional and ornamental, but they can be personally meaningful. So flaunt that scarlet cashmere wrap that everyone compliments and that keeps you warm inside and out because it is a gift from your best friend. And enjoy the heirloom broach that you inherited from your great-grandmother and keep faithfully pinned to the lapel of your favorite leather jacket.
Fashion Shows to Advantage
Explore where your personality, values, history, and story unfolds. Display the essence of your style to other people through fashion, so that you are living your best life, and so that you are the person that you want others to see. Wear that pair of lavender-hued socks that playfully peek out from between your black boots and jeans, lifting your spirits and showing your wit, whimsey, and a bright flash of color.
Details Make the Look
Fashion accessories can be one of the hallmarks of your personal style. As the fashion icon and gifted actress, Chloe Sevigny, noted, “It’s not what you spend but how you wear it that counts. The key is often to dress up inexpensive basics with accessories. Something like a beautiful designer bag or belt can make everything else look richer and more luxurious.” Fashion is playful, and it should be easy. There’s no need to get bogged down by rules and mandates. Your selection of a woven ethnic messenger bag or one of your collection of Gucci handbags speaks volumes before you even say a word. Everything that you wear says something; it imparts a bit of information about you. When you select your clothing and fashion accessories carefully, then you are in charge of your narrative.