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The Art Of Reinvention

Henry Rollins once said: "I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention.  To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends.  To be yourself.  To cut yourself out of stone."  

I would honestly challenge any man to not feel liberated by those words.  Without a doubt, I am a big believer in timeless staples and curating a personal style that withstands any passing trend or fad, this is not to say that I don't see the importance in reinventing yourself.  Whether its through subtle wardrobe updates or a complete style overhaul, reinvention is a powerful tool both on a physical and psychological level.  It is also something that helps us form our own personalized and unique identity.  I think Henry Rollins reinforces this idea.

When we look at reinvention, I think it is important to look at one man, who helped shape the worlds perception of identity transformation, simply through constantly transforming himself.  We are, of course, speaking of music legend David Bowie.

Having first caught the eye of the public with his song "Space Oddity" and his slight hippy style, he re-emerged a few years later during the glam rock-era as his now iconic, androgynous alter ego, Ziggy Stardust.  Complete with pale skin, fire red hair, and a lightning bolt painted across his face; the master of reinvention had well and truly arrived.  After killing off this flamboyant character, Bowie continued to alter his ego throughout his career, going from a blonde haired commercial superstar, to an underground electronic minimalist living in Berlin.

Ok, so I have an idea what you are thinking right now.  That's all very well for a successful music artist who has used reinventions as part of his stage persona, but how does that relate to the average guy on the street?  Am I right?  Well, its all about taking elements of this dramatic end-and-then-begin-again strategy to keep your own style fresh and exciting.

When it comes to your style, reinvention will help keep things interesting.  Nobody wants to be pigeon-holed as a 'one trick pony', so why not inject some excitement into your new season wardrobe?  There's only one rule:  try something new for you.  Are you a city slicker who sticks to monochrome?  It may sound cliche, but adding a splash of colour to your working wardrobe will reignite your confidence in the office and banish the boredom in getting dressed.

Have you jumped on the wacky print bandwagon?  Why not consider stripping your look back with timeless basics like oxford cloth and classic tailoring.  Not only will this clear all the clutter in your wardrobe, but the clutter from your head too.  A minimalist mindset comes in hand in hand with a minimal look.

Festival season is well and truly over so why not use this as an opportunity to update your weekend look?  Maybe consider sophisticated 1920's inspired looks, taking a modern take on the trends and a modern take on you.

Of course, the flipside to this argument is the notion of sticking to one look.  We all have our staple pieces we reach for season after season; we know how they work and they make dressing effortless - so why fix what isn't broken?  Having one look can be simple, easy to maintain and effortlessly stylish.  It can show how a man has experimented enough with his image to now be in a place where he is comfortable (and confident) in his skin.  If you prefer to be consistent and stick to one strong look season after season, you'll want to stock up on basics and create a timeless capsule wardrobe that will see you move stylishly from one season to the next.  If you do prefer to stick to one signature look, why not try simple and subtle ways of updating your style without having to give your wardrobe a complete overhaul?  The best way to do this is through the use of accessories.  Other easy ways to update your signature look could simply involve adding new textures or cuts to your wardrobe.

When it comes down to it, reinventing your style is really all about reinventing your mindset.  Life is constantly moving and we are continuously changing to adapt to this.  We change our style because of the experiences we go through, both good and bad, either to make us feel better and more confident about ourselves or as a reflection of how great we are feeling.  Whatever your reason, just remember to enjoy each reinvention and embrace the experiences you have along the way.  Its better to look back and cringe at that printed sweater or spontaneous new hairstyle, than look back regretting not taking any risks at all.