Style Inspiration from Unfashionable Men

We often hear famous couturiers and fashion icons being quoted on style. Their opinion is interesting and important because they are the living embodiment of their own words. But how about hearing from people, especially men, we wouldn’t immediately associate with style?  Is there any wisdom or inspiration to be found in their words? Let’s find out.

Here are my three favorite quotes -all of them from men not directly associated with the  fashion industry, nor particularly famous for their own dress sense:

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn”

– Gore Vidal, American writer and political activist

“Create your own visual style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others”

– Orson Welles, actor, director, writer

And finally, my personal favorite:

“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things”

– Jean Cocteau, French poet, playwright and artist

It’s true that none of these men were particularly active in the fashion world. And yet, their words have weight. Personally, I felt inspired and uplifted after I read them. So, what it is that  makes their point of view valid and interesting? Is it the fact that all three were talented? Because they were creative men who used both words and visuals  as a means of self expression? That’s probably part of it. But I think that the most important factor was that they all lived full, complicated lives. In his own way, each man found an outlet for his creativity and claimed his own place in the world. Genuinely and with no apologies, all three  lived their lives and left a mark. In my view, this vitality, this commitment to passionate purpose, is what makes these men imminently qualified to speak about style. Knowing who and what you are; embracing your uniqueness in a creative way; and channeling your own complexity into relatable simplicity – in my humble opinion, these are the three keys to personal style. And fashion? Well, in the words of another famous man, fashion fades, but style is eternal.


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