Slow and Steady Wins the Race... Or How the Tortoise Beat the Hare
There is one quality that I have realized is the most important foundation for developing your own style. It’s not huge wads of cash. Nor is it frugality, though both can help. Likewise, an innate taste can help, but that is not what I think is most important. What you absolutely must have, as you discover your own style, is patience.
When I started getting into fashion and spent more time everyday thinking about what I wore and how I presented myself, I was very obviously a long way off from the guys I was re-blogging pictures of on Tumblr. It’s simply impossible to become an impeccably dressed person overnight. It takes time. You have to develop your wardrobe. You have to discover how you want things to fit—from the break at your shoes, to the length of your jacket sleeves to the width of ties—and you have to see what works on you and what doesn’t.
I have been on this journey of personal style for about two years now. For the first 18 months, I would get upset from time to time when I felt like I wasn’t living up to my own style expectations. What I realized was that those expectations were unrealistic. I’m not Nick Sullivan. I’m a 19 year-old-student. T-shirts and jeans make much more sense for me than an Isaia suit most of the time. I also live in central Indiana, not Florence. These things color my style. So does my expendable income and my constantly developing taste.
Eventually I learned to embrace those realizations and it allowed me to develop a style that was truly my own. I had to be comfortable with who I was and also confident that I was dressed well and appropriately. So if you find yourself considering a style upgrade, prepare to build a wardrobe slowly and patiently, with a view to eventually rivaling those icons you see on your Tumblr feed. You can’t be Josh Peskowitz overnight. It’s not an immediate transformation. Discovering what works for you and then acquiring a wardrobe to match takes time.
The point is that it is a journey. If you really enjoy looking your best, if it really makes you excited to find that perfect garment, then the time and work will be a pleasure. For me, that’s certainly been the case. I know I still have time to grow and develop my style even more, but I have learned many things and I’m certainly a better dresser than I was several years ago. I have a better eye for quality and construction as well, one that I’ve honed by reading blogs and men’s magazines like Esquire. I know now that I am well on my way to a more complete understanding of men’s fashion as well as a better sense of what clothes make me look best and feel most confident. Only through patiently trying out different looks, and being honest with myself when things did not work, have I been able to come this far.