What is This Thing Called "Personal Style?"
For those of you who have seen the beginning portion of my new webstore, Luxury Basics, you know that “Personal Style” is really the premise of both my theme within the site as well as my jewelry collection. Early in my career, when I was working in my first job as a corporate banker, I called on many companies in southern California in the consumer products sector. A fast-growing company at the time was Vidal Sassoon, Inc., founded by the famous hair stylist and salon owner. Though I never did meet him in person, I was struck by how his charisma permeated the company. Everyone in Vidal’s company was fond of quoting him, but the one quote that has stuck with me for all of these years is the following, “ You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” The implications of this statement are truly far-reaching. Many of us grow up watching a steady diet of TV and reading a steady diet of monthly fashion magazines. It really doesn’t matter which ones. But what does matter is that the images of women pictured on TV and in print do have a subliminal (at least) influence on our idea of beauty and style. After all, these women get the men, wear beautiful clothes, become rich and famous, etc. Many of us are really adrift when it comes to actually knowing what our individual personal style is. Some of us try to avoid the subject altogether by professing to NOT have a personal style. But, I would submit to you, based on what Vidal said often, first impressions are had by everyone, universally. Most people, on meeting someone for the first time, or even seeing someone across the room, look at them first, before talking to them. (And likely decide whether to talk to them, based on that first impression.) So. There is the first impression. Not having a personal style and the implicit part of that decision, not caring about it, is a decision about yourself and your style, as well. And not necessarily the best one. Have I made my case? Another side of this coin, is the side that has someone adopting the personal style of someone else, for whatever reason. Yet, it is clear and obvious that the style doesn’t suit them. I’m sure you see this all the time, women dressed in a “style” that doesn’t : 1. Fit their body type, 2. Seem appropriate to their age, 3. Look good. Many adopted personal styles project an image actually contrary to the fundamental personality of the person, engendering confusion to the observing ones forming those first impressions. Examples abound among celebrities, and on the streets where you live. I’m brought back to a comment by Halle Berry, in a magazine I read some time ago. Halle is a beautiful woman who is consistently acknowledged as someone with class and style. She was asked by the interviewer how she selects her clothes or chooses the designers she wears. (I’m paraphrasing here) She essentially said that she learned a long time ago not to pay too much attention to the trends or trendy styles. She concentrated on finding clothes that fit her and looked good on her. Of course, she has a personal style which pulls her in a certain direction. But she insists that whatever she selects to put on and be seen in, (and make the scene in) show her off to advantage. This is the crucial point. Be discriminating for yourself. Face the observing world with your face and your style, and be deliberate about it. You never get a second chance……… Stay tuned and thanks for visiting.