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Have You Just One Look?

One of the basic conditions of fashion is that it never stays still. You can be assured that each and every season a new colour, item or look will be pushed on the runway and reported as a trend. Whilst many will make only fleeting visits, others are here to stay. Here at Mark My Style, I am a unabashedly vocal advocate for the timeless, classic and versatile capsule wardrobe. I place a lot of emphasis on wearing what you know and what you are comfortable in. There is a wealth of knowledge available on these pages (I think!) that would help even the most fashionably incompetent person transform their image, but offering just one take on what is a vast and ever changing social schema is not the way I like to do things. 

The world of fashion and style is about much more than just the little niche we carve out for ourselves. It is much larger than this blog and it is much more than the collective image we, as a community, have created. As well dressed humans, we know what we like and we like what we wear. But in a world that offers so much more – which requires so much more – is being a one look man/woman enough? 

Let’s preface this by saying that there is much to be said for being someone with just one, solid look. You are almost guaranteed consistency, because everything in your wardrobe works with everything else and it is all geared towards one purpose: making you look good. You will always be comfortable and confident – the reason you've constructed your look is because you like it and it suits you – and this will make a huge difference to the way you perceive yourself and the way others perceive you. It cannot be underestimated how much of a difference confidence makes. Honestly.

Being a one look person shows an understanding of style and clothes. It also shows you can pinpoint certain items, trends and styles that you can work into your own look whilst carefully considering fit, fabric, quality and colour. You certainly shouldn't feel inadequate or under dressed if you fall into the ‘one look’ category. On the contrary, you have achieved what a vast swathe of the population has either failed to do or are currently blundering their way towards. Being well dressed is nothing but a positive.

But what if you want more? What if you need more?

No situation will ever be the same as the last. Every social event has different parameters and asks different things of the participants. You may very well look great on holiday in Paris, complete with your sharpest tailoring and vibrant bohemian flair, but try wearing a double-breasted jacket to a sweaty gig in a pub rammed full of dirty teenagers and you’re going to look out of place. This is, of course, quite an extreme example but it’s just as relevant in everyday situations – it is possible to overdress. Being able to modify your style, making it more formal or more casual at the flick of a switch, gives you that edge that most others lack. You are adaptable and versatile and able to react to any situation. Keep your roll neck jumper, tweed trousers and brogue boots and wear them as much as you like but don’t throw away your skinny jeans, battered Vans and plaid shirts; you never know when you might need them.

The world of clothing and everything associated with it is bigger than any of us can ever hope to comprehend. There is so much going on that I think it would be naive not to take an interest in what is going on outside the bubble you have created for yourself. Whether you take influence from heritage looks, the prep scene or street style - looking past the things you know you like to the things that might challenge your perceptions or are a little out of the ordinary is a great way to expand your horizons and discover something totally new. You never know what might jump out at you.

Pushing yourself to try new things will take your wardrobe to a whole new level, it will make it more exciting and more varied, it will throw up new possibilities and give you the freedom to wear whatever you want, whenever you want, without being restricted by your style. A varied wardrobe offers you the opportunity to mix and match and change things to suit not only your situation but also your mood. If you want to dress like a Hipster for a day then you can, if you want to look Mediterranean the next, you can. It makes your style, truly yours.

There are no right or wrong answers here. I am completely a one look guy and that gets to me sometimes but there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a one look person; consistency, proper dressing and a sense of style is something most people would kill for. But there is also nothing wrong with pushing things a bit further than you normally would. Being able to appreciate and comprehend at least some part of another style or someone else’s look is a great way of rounding out your own image.