Getting to know yourself has all sorts of benefits. It’s your best tool to have ties that bind, get life satisfaction, happiness, forward movement…and great style. This means figuring out what you like, what represents you, and gauging how you feel donning new looks. With increasing awareness you gain the confidence to please yourself in your fashion choices. Showcasing your personal brand, aka style, speaks to who you are.
There is value to letting ourselves be seen. As a fashion-lover, I get a lot of enjoyment out of using my imagination to create looks, connecting with people based on the way I look, and on good days, even inspiring a few style ideas for others. I feel more complete, enriched in my everyday experience, when I risk a little to test out my notions of who I am at this stage in my life.
It turns out that putting time into the way we look, and buying beautiful things to style ourselves up is ingrained in us. “What is Beauty?” is the title of a NPR TED Radio Hour production that explores our ancestral predisposition to connecting to beauty in art, nature, people, things. I’ve long thought that God has given us beauty for our appreciation and enjoyment. The TED talk explored why we’re wired to value it. We are drawn to familiar sensory experiences to attach to, and we recognize the craft and artistry we innately know went into producing it. There is deep allure behind the desire.
Artists Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid, who founded the Soviet Pop and Conceptual Art Movement, conceived the People’s Choice Project (1994 – 1997). The idea behind it was to paint the perfect painting for each of 11 countries, based on favorites polled from its masses—things like color, setting, people, wildlife. The American painting incorporated the favorite color, blue, a landscape of savannahs, George Washington and a hippo. Apparently, we are deeply coded with a bucolic connection to flowing grasslands, born out of the seat of all migration from Southern Africa. In simplistic terms, the popularity of a teardrop-shaped diamond ring is due to our connection to that shape, and the work behind it.
We can feel frivolous, or shamed for the pursuit of beautiful stuff to present our image. Take the hygge-hip movement, and the trend of dollars diverted from luxury shopping to experiences. We can blame the Millenials for that! The spirituality of simple living can feel like a lording over of we vacuous, shallow, empty ones. To be sure, I grapple with trying to find the right balance between accumulating stuff, it’s impact on the environment, where my priorities lie, and the time and energy I put into it. The joy, the usefulness in beautiful things is there too.
Each Sunday of this new month of the new year, we’ll be exploring how to evolve our personal style with beautiful things. First up, I’m bringing sexy back. This is a tone of style that aging has given me permission to ignore. To be continued.
Check out the beautiful thing gracing our Flock To This Section.
Photo: Tyler Joe