The Aesthetics of Fashion Part 1.
Understanding personal style to build a cohesive closet
Personal style is reflective of your taste and aesthetic sensibility. Everybody has their own sense of style, a unique way of putting their individual look together.
Have you ever wondered when you were shopping, or perhaps delving into your wardrobe for your next outfit, what was it that made you pick those clothes?
It may not be immediately apparent why, but if you were to think about it long enough, you would start to see the many minute nuances of your decisions. Your favourite blogger was wearing an eye catching top two days ago, so you bought something similar. The print and style of the dress were trending for that season. Or the fabric and embellishments were appealing, the silhouette worked for your body shape and it made you feel good.
This intangible appeal of the garment is what we call the ‘aesthetic’ and aesthetics are what constitute personal style.
But what are aesthetics?
Aesthetics is the study of beauty and it’s perception.
Your aesthetic is your personal “look”. Drawn from what is perceived as beautiful and appealing to your eyes.
Research has shown that creating good product aesthetics leads to better usability and user experience. Good aesthetics usually evoke a positive emotional response from the viewer which in turn makes the product desirable to them. That is why you picked out those clothes from your wardrobe, but it’s important to not mistake good aesthetics with good design.
One example of where aesthetics can influence an opinion of a product are jeans that are “battered”, “distressed” and “torn”. They could be perceived in a negative way, provoking discomfort in our emotions. However, when the same look is associated as the “latest & hottest” look to wear, then our perceptions change accordingly, making it acceptable and palatable to our personal aesthetics.
Every garment you see subconsciously evokes a response from you, an association with a fashion style, a feeling, a subculture, an influencer or perhaps a designer, a brand or celebrity.
What is a fashion style & does it influence my look?
A fashion style is typically a way of dressing. A specific combination of products styled together relate to a fashion style. For example, when a biker jacket, ripped jeans, combat boots and a basic t-shirt is styled together, you immediately associate that look with the Biker style.
Fashion styles are usually open to interpretation and can be influenced by anything from a peer group, to subcultures, movies, bloggers, stylists or models. You need not be a purist and belong to any one of them solely, your personal style can be a combination of them. Although you can associate yourself with a certain ‘fashion style’ and subconsciously seek out clothing that you think fits that image in your mind.
Some of the common fashion styles are:
And the list goes on…..
Why do you need to know your fashion style?
Choosing what to wear in a morning can be problematic if you are unaware of your style sensibilities.
Discovering your style & defining it is a great starting point to looking and feeling good on all occasions. Once you discover your style, you will learn to pick the right products that will help create your specific look. Over time it makes your closet cohesive and you will be able to look well put together all the time, effortlessly.
How do I discover my style?
In order to discover your style, a great first step is to think about the prints & colours you like to wear, then begin to look into what kind of products you find appealing. Ask your friends and get them to describe you. Match all of this to your self-image and it may even map to one of the fashion styles stated above. It will give you a fair idea of your style or the blend of styles that you identify with!
Shreyas is a Fashion Associate & Stylist at Streamoid. He’s been at the crossroads of fashion and technology for the last three years.