Yesterday Susan at Une Femme d’un Certain Age put up a post on authentic style. She was kind enough to include one of my outfit photos – and she chose well to illustrate her point. For fun, you might want to guess what I’m wearing before before you look. I’ll comment over there on why I think the clothes are a good example.
An entire discussion could ensure, to see whether our points of view align.
But more importantly, I’d say the style bloggers I like most write mostly about authentic style, each in his or her own way. So of course we have to ask, what does “authentic” mean, in this case? As Susan points out in her usual measured, well-written, and friendly way, it’s not necessarily the same thing as “natural.” Were that the case you’d find me ubiquitous in flannel pj bottoms and a tee.
I think authentic means fully inhabited. In order to really live in a space, psychic, physical, or aesthetic, you’ve got to explore it inside and out. So we come to know our authentic style on two roads.
- First, we cover every inch of what we know and love, small step by small step. For me, that meant identifying the absolute best cashmere v-neck. For you, it might mean finding the perfect vintage store, or that certain pattern in printed tunics.
- Second, we explore at the limits. Mine are cordoned off with motorcycle boots, biker jackets, purple anything, and 70mm heels. I go no further.
Style is so fascinating because it’s so like life. Our singular self manifests in the balance between acceptance and effort, comfort and adventure.