The True Fashion Aficionado Wears a Costume?

          Eric and I are preparing a massive piece on Fall/Winter 2008’s biggest trends. Since it is so large, its taking us some time to figure out exactly how we want to present it to you.

          In the mean time, I’d like to talk about costumes. In Elle’s September issue, Anne Slowey proclaims that one should avoid looking like one is playing dress up in favor of a more uniform personal style. This is not a new idea, and there is an unspoken rule of sorts that we all want to avoid looking costume-y. Although I understand why one might say this, I have to disagree and look to a personal icon of mine: Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie is the queen of the costume. One day she is a bohemian goddess or a rock princess, and the next day she is a congressman’s wife. Her ability to transform and be a true chameleon is absolutely enviable.

          Let’s look to another pop culture example where men’s fashion is concerned. Justin Timberlake is a pretty snazzy dresser. He prefers to look business-man-chic all of the time by favoring slim suits, a neutral palette, and minimal accessories. I would say he has pretty great style, but he’s kind of a one-note and his casual wear totally lacks imagination. You can almost anticipate what he will wear to any given event. On the other hand, think of Kanye West. He has fantastic personal style, but I wouldn’t say he favors one particular look. He’s done the business suit, but he’s also looked just as chic in a casual blazer, jeans, and just the right accessories. He can wear anything, but everything he puts on looks entirely him. Sure, having a signature style like Timberlake is cool, but why not try out a few others? We need not limit ourselves to one particular style, because it can get dry and boring (just trust me).

          Personal style doesn’t mean wearing the same thing everyday. I think it is more about mixing your taste with other styles that are already out there. Let’s face it, innovation in fashion is few and far between (although I would not assert for a second that it is non-existent). What is out there, what is being put out as “new” every season, has already been put out there or already been “done.” Being able to change it up but still keep it you, in my opinion, is much more fashionably skillful that keeping to the same thing everyday.

          Don’t put words in my mouth. I am not telling you to wear a pirate outfit to class (Seriously, DON’T). But what I am saying is, adding a little western feel via cowboy boots or torn jeans and rugged plaid is fun and acceptable. Dressing up like your grandfather with a cardigan (or mardigan, short for male cardigan, as Eric and I prefer) and tortoise shell glasses is great. Even a sailor-inspired cap or head-to-toe nautical-inspired pieces work.

          I am not denying that the way we dress says a lot about us, but fashion is meant to be fun. Don’t take yourself so seriously all of the time and play a little dress up. I am not suggesting you look like an extra out of 3:10 to Yuma, but throw on some boots with your all-time favorite outfit and ride ‘em, cowboy.

By: Meghan Leary- Style


1 Response to “The True Fashion Aficionado Wears a Costume?”

  1. 1 The True Fashion Aficionado Wears a Costume? | Eleven Magazine Trackback on August 21, 2008 at 4:29 am

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