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How Do You Dress?

Everyday it is so important that we constantly push ourselves to challenge our expectations.  Like for example, reading the same thing in magazines or on blogs or using the same outfit ideas becomes so boring.  Questioning ourselves, our style and even being critical of what we write is what keeps us driven.  Nobody's words are gospel and contrary to what you might think, everybody loves to here some feedback on their actions so they can improve.  If you disagree with something, why not make your thoughts heard? 

Personally, I blog, not because I think I know everything, but because I would like people to think about more than the clothes you throw on your back each morning.  I want you to give a little thought to why you wear something, why you like something more than something else, why you follow certain rules and  why you judge someone for what they are wearing.  Questioning every aspect of your style and your clothes only forces you to rethink everything; it makes us wonder why we bought something, how will we wear it, do I really need this and where you are going.  It continually pushes each and every one of us in a world that is constantly changing.  That can only be a good thing, right?  But that's enough about you and I, the real reason we are here is to question why we dress the way we do.  So, which do you prefer, to dress up or dress down?

Beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder and style is without a doubt a subjective creation based solely on personal taste.  We go into a store and pick the clothes we because we most likely feel a connection to them - whether that's pattern, colour, shape or fit.  But like everything in life, there isn't just one set of guidelines that we all follow; it always comes down to the individual.    This means that we all dress differently, even if the difference is the smallest of details.  The way we dress boils down to many influences: the people around us, the magazines we read, and the products available in the shops.  So, whatever appeals to our personal sensibilities really.  Like I have said, there isn't a set concept of style that we all follow, but there are niches that we always find ourselves drawn.  In the broader spectrum however, most looked are categorised into three sections: smart, casual or smart-casual.  These categories can and will divide many of the well dressed men, but one thing they can't tell us is why we dress the way we do.  To understand that we have to question the reasons we each have for choosing to dress the way we do. 

I wanted to talk about this issue because recently I have found myself question what I wear and why I am wearing it.  I always have that feeling of being under dressed , and specifically how a t-shirt and jeans combination just doesn't seem to cut it in the majority of situations for me anymore.  This piqued my interest because it is one of the clearest examples of the huge divide between the aforementioned styles (that being being between smart and casual).  For instance, while the simple t-shirt and jeans combination would insufficient for one person, it is completely acceptable for another.  For the former, it could simply come down to the need to introduce something else; that the outfit feels incomplete with just those two pieces and there is a need for an extra layer.  For the other person, their acceptance could be a clear case of how you wear the products and not what you wear.  I, for example, as of recent, have to agree with the former.  I hate having that feeling that my outfit is missing something and I can't figure out what it is.  It sets me up for a bad day.  However, yesterday, I chose a tee with pattern and it made so much difference.  I think the question is why does the formal feel so under dressed?

What is most intriguing is probably the reasons why people choose to dress up or dress down.  What is it that grabs people's attention and makes them want to dress in one particular way?  It isn't as clear cut as it might seem, because some people are more fashion forward or casual in their style but can still appreciate the qualities of fine tailoring or smarter dressing, and vice versa.  It could be argued, and often is, that there actually is no clear cut niche into which we can place ourselves; the fashion world is just too variable.  If we cannot place ourselves in any specific category then it is perhaps more prudent to look at the reasons why you dress the way you do.  For example, I dress the way I do because it suits my lifestyle, it suits my personal tastes and despite trying countless times, I've not been able to work with a style other than the one I have now.  Having said that, I have never really been able to categorise my style because my wardrobe is so versatile but for the sake of this post I would say that my style is often categorised at smart-casual.  I hate feeling to smart - it makes me feel so uncomfortable.  Having said that, there are exceptions.  But while I was in university, I opted for a smart-casual look - a shirt, dicky bow, skinny jeans and a pair of vans or high tops.  In summary, I don't dress up (apart from the odd occasion) because it doesn't suit my lifestyle, it doesn't suit my social circle, it doesn't suit my financial situation and I'm pretty with my current personal style.

I have clearly defined my reasons for not dressing up everyday and these dictate the purchases I make, the sources I take inspiration from and the way I develop my wardrobe.  There is little point in me investing in another facet of style when it just isn't applicable right now.  However, this works equally well the other way around:  for someone who loves tailoring, probably looks to Italy for inspiration or abhors street wear in almost all it's guises, buying bold prints and oversized cuts - inspired clothing is redundant - but that doesn't mean you can't appreciate it for what it is or how it's being used.  Being narrow minded restricts your opinions and makes it much harder for you to develop your wardrobe; there is a whole world of inspiration out there that goes beyond the little piece you choose to take and trust me, it would be foolish not to explore it, even a little. 

Questioning why you wear something or why you dress the way you do can do wonders for yourself and take your style to the next level.  You can save yourself so much time, effort and money when you know exactly what you want, when you want it.  There is no point in trying to force yourself to wear something because somebody else said it was "essential" or because someone else is wearing it.  Anything you wear, you should be wearing it because you are comfortable in it and you know you can work it.  Now, go strut your stuff, just don't trip while you do it.  That would be embarrassing.