A few weeks back, Make Do Style left this brain-bender of a comment:
I worry when someone tries to link style with science. Science is the old paternalistic logical view of the world and fashion is a feminine space and offers a challenge to such traditional imposed views. Each to their own, but give me downright frivolity, creative indulgence any time – when it comes to style and fashion be inspired, take risks and avoid logic!
I completely agree that trying and experimenting and going with your gut are all vital to exploring personal style. If you only ever do what books or experts tell you to do, you may look as tall and thin and young as possible … but you might look deadly dull as well. Splashing out, being frivolous, and unleashing your curiosity and creativity help shape a style that is living and unique and vibrant.
However, there are reasons that certain garments look good on certain people, reasons that divvying up proportions in certain ways is effective and flattering, reasons that certain colors look absolutely smashing together and others don’t. And a little background on the whys and wherefores never hurt anyone … especially if the person in question is timid, confused, or lazy. As I’ve said before, understanding what flatters you – the logic and science of it – helps you feel more comfortable bending and manipulating that flattery.
So I guess I’m a believer that style is a mixture of art and science. Someone who just haphazardly throws on garments and hopes for the best may have lots of fun, but might only look good in one out of ten outfits. Someone who only ever wears exactly what Stacy London tells her to will maximize her assets, but never figure out her authentic, personal style without a little experimentation.
Originally posted 2009-09-08 05:42:00.