Who. Where. Wear.
How Place Impacts our Style
When reading this GQ article, a remarkable blending of personal essay on major life changes with a profile of designer Hiroki Nakamura of Visvim, I was struck immediately by this reflection on how location and life circumstances influences our style:
As an immigrant, a woman who inhabits, sometimes successfully, most times rather confusedly, two worlds, this spoke to me. When I first arrived in Germany, I found myself struggling to make sense of fashion here, to choose my wardrobe wisely so that I might better fit in more quickly. But I wasn't quite ready to toss my flouncy skirts aside for an A-line pinstripe skirt with matching two-button blazer. Nor was I interested in adopting black as my own personal dress code. Once I did start adopting the fashion trends I'd seen on the streets here – scarves, anyone?--I would fly back to the US and be immediately overrun with questions about where I'd come from. “You don't look like you're from around here,” people would say and I would find myself heading to J.Crew and Banana Republic to stock up on khakis and cardigans.
What I hadn't considered was how this polarity might've been impacting me emotionally, as Zach Baron talks about happening to him. As he writes, the designer Hiroki understands this well:
“The way who you are seems to interact in some deeper way with what you wear, how one influences the other. He’d built an entire life around that idea.
“Sometimes you’re thinking too much,” he said. “Like, ‘Is it okay? This is maybe too much.’ ” But there’s something about that feeling—the one that says Wow—that is worth following, he said. “You build up stuff in your head. When you were little, you just followed your heart all the time.”
So what does my heart say? It's been almost a decade and I'm still not sure. I love the elegance of a scarf thrown around my neck, European style, and the American casual style of black leggings and a hoody. I guess maybe, if I had to define my style – and my emotions – that's what I'd have to say: a mixture of both is what defines me best, keeps me most comfortable.
What about you? Have you noticed your style change based on where you live? (ct)