Can Style be judged Pt. II

Diving more into my love of style and fashion, I did a post last week called “Can style be judged?”. It was greatly received. So I decided to do another round with others opinions I respect in this field. Once again the answers are eye opening. Reserved a portion of your day to read them over and do not hesitate to leave your thoughts on the subject. With out further ado. . .

Ryan M. Beshel of Thebowtiememoirs and director of runway at Agency Galatea . Also do yourself a favor and check out Ryan’s Podcast Speaking of Fashion. Follow him on twitter @bowtiememoirs

“I believe that even the most non-judgmental human beings do judge based on the visuals they are presented with – be it the color of someone’s skin or the brand of shoes they are wearing. Often, this judgment happens first on an level which we may be unaware of. In that right – I believe style can be judged – more specifically style is judged – just as much as the characteristics and physical features of an individual are judged almost immediately. My belief is that human nature, in itself, has conditioned our minds to judge and therefore, the style of an individual is not subject to exclusion from this conditioning. Style, to me, is an external expression of the internal – and in that right – it is a visual statement (and choice) that we make about ourselves, telling the world around us “this is who I am” – even if for that day. Unfortunately, sometimes “who you are” externally may not positively agree with the eye of the beholder. Your style may offend, intrigue or excite – but either outcome lends itself to the idea that style is, in fact, subjective.”

Nasir Abdul-Aleem creator of and follow him on twitter @_TheInfluencer

“I smiled when I received this email. I appreciate the fact that my fashion sense is respected, but more importantly, I appreciate when fellow creative types can dialogue in this manner devoid of egos. To answer the question of the idea of style being subjective and people making fashion mistakes, I would have to say the word style lacks the meaning it once had. In my opinion, style encompasses the ability to dazzle onlookers and set a precedent with your fashion. Labels are not style. Too often, we allow ourselves to believe that the label on our clothing makes it stylish. In my time, I’ve seen a ton of “so-called stylish” labels that have horrible designs. I like to call it expensive BS. Fashion mistakes come from people reaching in the name of style. There is a thing known as a fashion risk, but when you totally abandon all of the rules of fashion for the sake of trying to make a statement and it comes of tacky, that’s when you leave yourself subject to be judged, even though fashion is subjective. Some people may think that plaid pants, a polka dot shirt, and a pair of Uggs are hideous, but someone in the same room may think the outfit was genius. Bottom line; wear what looks good on you and what is a adequate representation of your character. Don’t think a label is going to make you stylish because it isn’t. Your flair and vision is what makes you stylish.”

Sean Brown – Brand Director of The art of reuse
“I think people make fashionable mistakes only when they step outside of their own comfort zones. As in what works for them. Some folks just don’t know what looks best on them, they see a style they like on someone else and try to emulate that. When the skinny jean epidemic came back a few years ago, huskier dudes with bigger thighs were trying to squeeze into Cheap Mondays. You can tell when someones not comfortable when they are always looking down at themselves, fixing their shirt, pulling up their pants and its because they aren’t quite sure. Sure about their fit, and sure about how they look. Confidence, and comfort are the foundations of great style (in my opinion) and its that feeling when you have on an outfit and want to be out all day in it. Just before you step out and think “I feel great!” It’s crazy cause the more comfortable you are with your look and more confident you are. Now, if you feel confident, comfortable and people think you’re outfit is crazy, wild, too out there; thats on them. At that point, you’re just being you…no one can take that right from you.”

Quintel Harcum creator of Quell Collections follow him on twitter iQuell

“Style is essentially art because it’s an outward expression of what’s inside. I don’t think it should be judged because artistic expression is subjective. Personal style shouldn’t be judged as right or wrong rather, it should just be assessed by what you prefer or don’t prefer. I do believe that there are basic understandings in style that keep us within the range of appropriate or inappropriate. For example, wearing sneakers and baseball caps to a black tie (formal) affair is inappropriate. However wearing a bowtie oppose to a necktie is simply preference but its still appropriate for the occasion. Outside of being appropriate or inappropriate style shouldn’t be judged.”

The Style Gurus at Astor & Black follow them on twitter @AstorandBlack
“The way we dress is very personal because it is developed from years of experience, yet it is also very public, as it is one of the few things that is always seen by the public eye. Style, by definition, can and will be judged. It’s all about choices and intentions. When you select a piece of clothing, whether it’s a suit or a cufflink, you make a stylistic choice. When we make decisions about what we wear, we make a choice about how we want to be judged. It is intention that separates the subjective from the objective. Without the proper intention, there would be no stylistic choice or decision.

Perhaps the only occasion when style can be “bad” is when a garment are worn without intention. While your personal style can be as specific as a thumbprint, dressing with intention shows that you care about your appearance. As long as you are aware of this, and you put your clothes on with purpose, you will hard-pressed to make a fashion mistake. Fashion, like art, or grammar, or music, derives from a set of hard and fast rules. Knowing the rules of your craft inside and out is what gives you the ability to step out of the expected and create something truly unique.”



Corey Knight

Founder of A&H Group.