I wanted to start this blog, because I love fashion and love talking to people about it. There are many reasons for loving fashion: self expression, creative outlet, and its effect on culture and relationships. Sometimes, I forget one other reason, and when I spend a lot of time around the “fashion community”, I think we collectively forget it as well. That reason is that fashion is fun! Or atleast, it should be. If you spend any time around people that take part in any of the creative arts, then you have probably heard the term, “Aesthetic.” If you are a regular in fashion circles, you might even be annoyed with its overuse. Or, maybe you hear it as an outsider and wonder, “What the heck is everyone talking about?” Well, this blog is for fashion experts and novices alike. So, let’s break it down.
“Aesthetic” has several different definitions depending on the context in which it is being used. In fashion, when we talk about someone’s aesthetic, we are talking about their use of silhouette, color, texture, weight, structure, pattern, and other fashion elements in their personal style. All of these choices to include or exclude these elements, or use them in different combinations, are choices regarding our aesthetic. When going about building an aesthetic, you can be as rigid or inclusive as you wish. Now a successful aesthetic, I believe, takes conscious decisions made from a clear set of priorities. What are you wanting to accomplish with your style? Answering this question is where you need to start if you are trying to find your path through the forest of clothing brands, colors, trends, and etc.
The nature of fashion is ever evolving. At the beginning of mankind, it was out of necessity/protection from our environment. As we progress through time as a species it has become symbolic, categorical, expressive, artistic, and a way to communicate with the people around us. All of this stuff is so extremely interesting to me. I love it, and there is no escaping it (Unless you are in some closed nudist colony LOL). In my journey down a very fashionable yellow-brick-road (If I do say so myself), I have picked up garments of all types. I do not like to put myself into boxes. I think trying to deny that each one of us is a unique, multifaceted being is to deny the reality of each of our existences. What I like to accomplish with my style is very broad and can sway with my mood, if I am being honest, but that is not very helpful for you. So, I will try to produce some succinct ideas. When it comes to silhouettes, I usually lean toward things that are broad at the shoulders, are cinched at the waist, and have sleek, tight lines down to the feet. Color is an element I have touched on already in my blog and is the element that most closely associated with my emotions of the day. Textures, I find to be delicious. This materializes in the form of my three-large-bin (and counting) collection of knit sweaters in my parents’ basement back home. I love structure at the shoulders and the waist with more variance moving towards the tips of my limbs. Patterns are personal because they are so subjective. I like incorporating patterns because of their uncanny ability to hold attention. All of these ideas play into my decisions when picking out what to put on for the day.
My goals with my style vary depending on the situation for which I dress and/or my mindset in that place in time. Commonly, I like to express my interests. I am very interested in the yin and yang of femininity and masculinity in our modern age, because one could not exist without the other. I like to represent both sides in my clothing choices. Sometimes, I am trying to grow in something or reinforce a character quality. Examples of this are: wearing colors and patterns to bring me joy, a shoulder-padded, double-breasted suit to feel powerful, or a short short with an oversized sweater to embrace my freedom.
These photos are of a look that includes some of my favorite garment types in my wardrobe. I love turtlenecks, crops, and high waisted pleated pants. Here, a structured denim jacket brings the look full circle. These are all thrift store finds, all the way down to the belt. Because my waist is small and I like pants to hit me at my natural waist, I often have to spend time in the women’s aisle for pants. Sometimes I have to make some fit adjustments to make it work, but it is really just about understanding your body and aesthetic to see the potential in a garment. Turtle necks will never be out of style in my opinion, and I love anything that accentuates my long slender neck. Orange is the complement of blue, so it really makes my eyes pop. The cropped length allows me to show off the belt and pleats in the trousers. The belt acts as a pop of contrast with a stark white and vintage gold hardware. It is something I love to add to an outfit that already has a lot of color, because if I do mix colors, I like to go all the way. The jean jacket is a modern, light wash with tailored structured lines that match the lines of the pleats in my pants. A denim or leather jacket is a wardrobe necessity.
When you are trying to find your own style aesthetic it helps to find other people that have a style that you admire. Grace Jones, Chanel, Harry Styles, my Mema, and my little sister are people that I am constantly pulling inspiration from. I do this by picking and choosing parts of each of their personal styles and applying them to what I like to highlight on my body or in my personality. You can also build your aesthetic from a time period you most identify with, other artistic media, or something as simple as a color combination. It can be as narrow or broad as you want it to be. If there are explainable reasons behind your fashion choices, that confidence to be decisive will show through and can be really infectious. It also never hurts to have people in your life whose opinion matters to you having a say in what you snatch off the rack.
Photos by Moriah Roberts | Photo Edits by Trevor Brewster | Blog Editor Rachel Kater