Fashion, Wardrobe Development

Are You Replete with Great Style?

This year’s annual New York Fashion Conference is now complete, leaving me with a question for you. Are you replete with great style? It’s a question well worth asking, and it’s well worth answering. And in between the asking and the answering is the perfect moment to explore the answer that’s true for you. Sitting and listening to luminaries speak for two days of information overload, this is really the question we ought to explore about personal style beyond any else.

When you are replete with great style, your wardrobe is filled with special pieces chosen with great care. – White shirt by Zac Posen

Practically speaking we should evaluate whether you are replete with great style. Very simply, if you can answer a resounding “yes,” then your wardrobe is brimming with plentiful choices that reflect the various facets of your personality and strengths. Truthfully, though, very few people actually are replete with great style, and it has nothing to do with buying expensive clothes. The critical quality of the clothes has to do with whether the clothing you own actually helps you to accomplish more of your goals.

The White Shirt was a focus at the conference this past weekend. It’s amazing to think of just one item that a person of any gender identity would wear. It’s about the most neutral clothing item I can think of. The White Shirt can be made of virtually any fabric material. It can have virtually any kind of embellishment, whether buttons, zippers, ornamentations, lace, ruffles…you name it. It can look entirely utilitarian, just as it can be totally sumptuous. It can look frivolous or fanciful.

So many white shirts, so few are actually ideal for your wardrobe. This is true, not just of white shirts, but of all clothes. Without such discernment, can you be sure that you are replete with great style? – White shirt by Ralph Rucci

Zac Posen spoke about The White Shirt and said that it’s one of his most favorite items to design. Later in the conference, designer extraordinaire Ralph Rucci spoke about the power of The White Shirt. He referenced the deft designs of Gianfranco Ferre, a champion of this article of clothing during his lifetime.

The White Shirt represents both democratization and choice. Democratization because The White Shirt is for anyone and everyone. Choice because there are countless permutations and possibilities.

With so many choices, the right set of choices await your discovery. But, when it comes to my original question, are you replete with great style, do you have the best pieces?

When you are replete with great style, you’re closer to fulfilling a pursuit of being your best self to date. In the example of The White Shirt, there is at least one bona fide example that ideally exemplifies your persona. The same is also true of all the clothes that you ought to wear. Once you know what those parameters are, it’s merely a matter of finding those items.

Check out this artistic photograph, an x-ray of an iconic shirt created by Gianfranco Ferre. It’s not a shirt for just anyone. But for the few people who could pull this off, it’s a white shirt that demonstrates how unique our wardrobes should be. Make every item special and let every item say something special about you. When you do, you will be replete with great style.

Sometimes it takes years before stumbling upon the perfect item. It even happened to me.

Some years back, I began an earnest search for the perfect rain jacket. It had to be something chic enough to wear over a suit coat, but without the formal structure. Plus, it needed to be light weight, but retain heat. And, it needed to be waterproof, and have a functioning hood in case I got caught in a downpour. After literally two years of looking, I popped into Issey Miyake in Paris. The threat of torrential rain was in the forecast. I strolled in, not knowing what I’d find. And, there it was! The very rain jacket I had been looking for was right there – in my size, no less! It was a kismet moment for sure.

As soon as I tried on my size, my wardrobe took a notch up allowing me to be even more replete with great style. It’s become a signature piece of my wardrobe that capture the attention of clients and people on the street. Clients want one for themselves, and people on the street want to know where to get it. There hasn’t been anything like it since the season Miyake produced this item.

Looking for the ideal items that elicit your personality qualities is one of the things I do best. But, to do it well, it requires knowing what to look for and why. This strategy never fails. Maybe it’s time to try it out.

My role, as a personal brand and style strategist, is that of a storyteller. I learn about a person’s personality and strengths, translate that into an appropriate personal style aesthetic, and help each client to visually and non-verbally tell her or his story with ease and authenticity.