Talking with fellow trend and style watchers, you learn about yourself as much as you learn about them. Much like dating, exposing yourself to other style vocabularies refreshes inward scrutiny. I’ve known for the last few years that I prefer a black-scale color palette (i.e. black, gray, dark blue), with pops of color (red, orange, yellow), and emphasis on silver-toned accessories. This lends itself to edgier, more modern cuts and motifs.
This, though, is not the standard. Most trendy young folks in the style know prefer brown to black, mixed with tans and more jewel tones. If you don’t believe me, just browse the eCommerce community. J.Crew, Urban Outfitters, and Nordstrom. They’re all focusing on a heritage, lived-in, ‘authentic’ aesthetic that is naturally paired with browns and tans.
In the past, I may have adopted such a look, and easily found things to wear. Today, I have a harder time finding affordable products that fit my style and desire for high quality. Luckily, in sticking to basics, I can find dark wash jeans and gray tee shirts easily enough, and match them with bright shoes or shiny wrist accessories.
The inky color palette appeals to me for a couple of reasons. It’s a neutral, so no piece is an attention draw, but rather a blending tool for unique accessories or shoes. It’s slimming, usually. I think it’s harder to see quality imperfections on dark items (which I’d prefer to not have at all, but some cannot be avoided). Even though it sounds crazy, I think dark has a cooling, calming effect on me. I run hot naturally, so wearing loud, patterned clothes feels like it attracts the bright, heated limelight that I prefer to avoid. Subtle details and clean lines are what I’d like to be remembered for.
The brilliance of having other friends who love fashion is that you get to dissect each others’ style…debating and relating to designers and collections. Or inspirations.
My main style inspiration is probably Alexander Skarsgard, followed by elements of Tom Ford’s A Single Man, and a lot of the things I find on MR PORTER and SSENSE. The former actually organizes its new arrivals by color! How novel. I also happened upon a wonderful stationary store in New Orleans and was struck by its edgy but approachable design (above).
What is your style palette? I didn’t choose black-gray-blue through a logical thought process. I just like it, and ultimately no justification is necessary – just make it work fabulously and no one will question. That’s my mantra anyway.