Who decides what is considered ‘stylish’? Dina Toki-O believes that everyone’s style is unique and it is yours to define.
‘Fashion fades, but style is eternal’
If you’re a blogger, fashion fiend, lover of all things pretty, and/or a social networking enthusiast, you’ve likely come across that wise little quote at some point.
It makes a whole lot of sense to me, personally – fashion comes and goes; there are always trends being plucked out of nowhere every other week, and you are either a follower or a trendsetter. It doesn’t matter if you have all the money in the world and can afford all the latest designs, thinking that you’re keeping up to the trend, because if you don’t know how to put an outfit together, those pricey pieces will mean absolutely nothing.
I’ve come across people who wear designer gear, literally from head to toe, but they have no sense of style whatsoever – well, at least to me. They’ve simply gone to a store, picked up what’s on display and wear it because the industry has effectively told them:
‘That is style’
‘That’s in fashion’
‘If you wear it, you’ll be hot’
Which leads me to my next point: just because I think a certain individual has no sense of style, it doesn’t mean that it’s true. I may not particularly like a person’s style, but others may find it interesting, pretty, daring and so on.
So who’s to decide who has style and who doesn’t?
Being active on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Blogger, I’m clearly in the firing line for criticism. It comes from overnight ‘style experts’ or fashion gurus with a sudden urge to share their ‘professional’ opinion that my style is ‘no style’.
‘This is what fashion has come to in today’s world,’ they lament.
I find that many people tend to misunderstand my style, and I’ve come to notice that the ones who do understand, appreciate, enjoy or simply respect my style are those who have a similar creative character or background to me.
If I’m comfortable, confident and happy in it, then who’s to say it’s ‘ugly’ or not stylish?
There are a lot of ‘fashion snobs’ out there with very close-minded ideas on fashion. Some follow whoever rules the roost, while others simply stick with the norm. If something is slightly different, then it’s not accepted. People just want to see ‘pretty’ and if it’s not the generally accepted definition of ‘pretty’, then it’s deemed ‘ugly’.
I’ve been contemplating this for a few months, and it has led me to try out new things – things that were judged to be ‘ugly’ or completely out of fashion/style. This frustrates me; I mean, if I’m comfortable, confident and happy in it, then who’s to say it’s ‘ugly’ or not stylish? Even H&M, one of the biggest high-street stores internationally, had a caption on their walls the other week which went something like this:
‘Who cares about the rules; if it makes you happy, wear it.’
And that’s the quote that inspired me to vent a little through writing this week’s column.