Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Sartorialist Contest w/ the New, Signed Bruce Weber book as The Prize

I was in Miami this weekend for Art Basel and had the chance to attend the book signing for Bruce Weber’s new book “Sex and Words”.

Of course I was thinking about my readers and thought “How can I use this opportunity to benefit them and thank them for all their support?” then I got an idea A CONTEST!

A really easy contest that everyone can participate in.

Here it is
in the comments section of this post please respond to the following
“What has most inspired your personal style?”

This could be your Grandma, or a movie, a band, a designer or whatever.

I think it will be really interesting to read what inspires your style plus you can win a really cool book.

IMPORTANT – please leave your response in the comments section and then copy it and email it to me so I can match it up and send the prize to the right person. I will not post a response until I receive the email .
Please put CONTEST in the subject line

The Winner will be announced on Dec. 20th ( in time for Holiday gift giving or receiving)

I will begin with my response

Giorgio Armani ads of the 80′s were incredibly influential on my early style development. The ads then were mostly shot by Aldo Fallai and were so beautiful (usually black & white). I could relate to what I was seeing in the ads, they were full of people and place that kinda looked like my life – only better.



This is how the Bruce Weber website describes the book:

?Sex and Words? is a limited-edition book of Bruce Weber photographs inspired by the writings of D.H. Lawrence. In the context of Weber?s catalogue of publications, this delicate volume features a unique construction. Sixteen black and white and three color plates are juxtaposed with selections from ?Lady Chatterley?s Lover,? ?Women in Love? and ?Sons and Lovers.? Adjacent pages within the volume are interspersed with illustrated vellum sheets that play off the naturalism and sensuality of the photos and text.

This is a limited print run of 2000 books

ps for those of you that don’t win but still want the book I have two other signed copies that I will auction off especially for The Sartorialist readers on Ebay.
I will place the link here when it is set

Good Luck

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333 comments

  1. Stela

    December 11, 2006 at 10:49 am

    A minha maior inspiração quando vou pensar em estilo e vestuário é a pintora mexicana Frida Kahlo. Suas roupas, cores, pulseiras, flores traduzem sua vida, tanto os momentos felizes e angustiantes. O verde e o vermelho refletem muito o que eu sinto e quero, como objetivo: fazer de cada dia único, vibrante, apaixonante! Essa sou eu: Vida, Luta, Paixão, Amor!

    Stela (stelapt@gmail.com)

  2. Dave

    December 11, 2006 at 11:04 am

    For me, developing a sense of style was about overcoming personal demons. I was a shy kid and always felt unattractive. My parents meant well, but Dad dressed defensively, to be appropriate without making mistakes. One day, in my 30s, I decided I’d had enough of that and started paying attention to well-dressed men and women to see what they knew that I could learn. I bought GQ and Details and roamed the floor at Marshall Fields and Carsons, looking for great shirts and ties. I decided I would be a Gentleman, in the best sense of the word. Then one day, I looked in the mirror, and there he was, a confident, elegant swan of a man, not the ugly duckling I had seen for so many years.

  3. CG

    December 11, 2006 at 11:18 am

    What has most inspired your personal style?
    - My mon and Audrey Hepburn

    … some times I take some tips from your blog too

  4. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 11:20 am

    CONTEST

    Everytime I look out the window I get inspired to create something new. The way browns, greys, blues and greens, and all colors go together are best flaunted by nature. I often go around with a leaf to find a perfect match for a green, or a stone for a greyish-brown. Once I had to take a picture of a flame to get that exact orange. Water and air complement everything solid; the solid needs a something fluid and airy to balance things. “How can an artist be arrogent when his palette is the best thing about his work.” I am a designer and I feel just that, the hard part was done for me, I get to have all the fun with the creativity nature has to offer.

  5. Gretchen

    December 11, 2006 at 11:31 am

    I was inspired by the men’s clothing in the small thrift shop down the street from my house. I found the best jackets, shoes, dress shirts that I wore everyday. I had unique clothing and no one had the same stuff I did. Kind of like the Pretty in Pink movie, just not pink.

  6. carolinerobyn

    December 11, 2006 at 11:38 am

    My personal style is inspired by all the experience in my life..beginning with childhood. When I was 5 years old I was in love with this green dress and I wore it whenever I could with my patent leather mary jane shoes – How life brings everything full circle at 30 years old I am once again in love with emerald green dress and black patent leather shoes for this holiday party season. Everything in LIFE is inspiration for what to wear tomorrow.

  7. chloe

    December 11, 2006 at 11:43 am

    “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    I would have to say myself. Just like that changed in the past few years, I’m sure it will change again. But since I am still young, my “style” before was just what the cool kids wore. I eventually had the great idea of buying what I like (if it is my size and I look good). That’s when I found that I was inspiring some of my friends’ styles and that I was more comfortable in my skin.

    And by the way, I can’t wait to see you Art Basel pictures! I really wanted to go…

  8. Baan Sawan

    December 11, 2006 at 11:43 am

    Without question I’d say that movies have inspired my style. I’ve had a life-long love for films set in the 30s, 40s and 50s. From the clean elegant lines of Astaire and Grant to the amazing wardrobes that were like characters of their own in modern movies like Miller’s Crossing, Gosford Park and The Talented Mr Ripley. Maybe it’s the confidence these characters exude, which is all the more believable when they cut such a dapper figure or the storylines themselves that make me want to be a part of that world but my style can be quite reminiscent while being carefully arranged so as to avoid looking like I’m an extra. Vests, scarves, clean lines and suppressed waists. A tie that’s like an olive in a martini: a perfect, subtle but distinct part of an outfit that melds with the components to complete a look. These are the things that warm my heart.

  9. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 11:49 am

    As a child my grandmother introduced me to the great B/W films of the 30′s and 40′s.

    To see Cary Grant, Clark Gable and Errol Flynn (to name just a few), effortlessly move through life with a sophistication that seemed civilized and approachable had a huge influence on who I hoped to be as a man.

    If only today’s world seemed as civilized as that period did while growing up……….

    tombuy@gmail.com

  10. holiday

    December 11, 2006 at 11:50 am

    I live in a slowly gentrifying neighborhood in Washington DC. What I find most inspiring on a daily basis are the african american junior high school students that I pass each day as I walk to the metro. Even though it is a public school, they have to wear a simple uniform of a white collared shirt and black bottoms. The limits to which these girls push the boundaries to express their individuality is amazing. DC is typically thought of a conservative town with little style, but these girls inspire me to inject some creativity in my own daily uniform. Capitol Hill is such a bore, but I’m inpsired daily to add a little something extra.

  11. jj

    December 11, 2006 at 11:59 am

    The Goldenwest College Swap Meet in Huntington Beach, CA. When I was in high school I used to ride my bike over there every saturday morning to pick through the lovely vintage threads. It was the place where I learned to identify fiber content by touch, as well as recognize the superior tailoring that used to be de rigueur. For a kid without much money, the swap meet also offered me a chance to play with different looks, colors, styles and shapes without going broke in the process. I rarely do head-to-toe vintage anymore, but I’m still on the lookout for interesting shapes, good tailoring and I’ll always be a sucker for WWII era ladies jackets.

  12. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    I would have to say the biggest influence on my personal style would have to be my twelve years spent in Catholic school. You would think that having to wear the same uniform (navy pants, white button-down dress shirt, brown dress shoes, a navy tie on Fridays to go to mass) would make me rebellious in my fashion sense once I was given the freedom to choose clothing on my own, but I find the opposite has occured. All my clothing choices seem to be unconscious variations on the theme that was imprinted on me as a child, and I didn’t even realize I did this until a few years ago.

    I think it’s something about wearing the same thing everyday to accomplish what you have to do, the functionality, that appeals to me.

  13. Michelle

    December 11, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    CONTEST

    What has inspired me the most is the 1940-1950 era in New York during the depressing and alike. I think people’s outlooks on life in the times is very different to the views now and I like the composition of materials in the big coats, the trenches, etc and how it was all brought together. Subtle and understated but creates quite an impact too. I would like to think its how I dress. :)

  14. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 12:26 pm

    My mother was most influential to me. Our family was poor, so we often had to make due with hand me downs, or clothing that my mom sewed herself. However, mom would never buy cheap, trendy clothes. She always looked for quality in fabric and construction, and classic design. It made me angry sometimes. I just wanted fun trendy clothes like my classmates wore! Later, I would flip through her patterns from the 70′s and love those wrap dresses. I could tell that my mother could once afford very nice clothing and even though she couldn’t anymore, she insisted that we look well-dressed. When she was in high school, she mailed a drawing to Edith Head, whom she admired. Ms. Head sent it back with an inspiring note, and mom has it framed now in her sewing room. The only thing different between me and my mother is that I love color and she tends toward monochrome, with RED being her only splash of color. I love to mix different shades of the same color for a little more drama, like greens and blues.

    I don’t need to win the prize – just wanted to share!

  15. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 12:29 pm

    I would say that school uniform (I am a Brit) and conformity inspired me to do something different when I was younger. Now I live in a very conservative country (Denmark) and have a conservatively dressed job (Consulting) so I do whatever I can to add a bit of colour, spice and personality to my appearence. Oh and freelance socks is a quote that will always be with me!

  16. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    My style developed from accepting myself just the way I am…confidence. A few years ago I had a bad run of health, a dramatic weight loss, and a move to a boring, small town in Texas swarming with senior citizens (all at the same time). I discovered the art of fashion while convalescing…watching tons of Style TV and reading Harper’s. Understanding and caring about fashion has changed my look and how I feel about myself. I now go out of my way to stay current yet stylish in this tiny place. I have made friends through my “daily style shows” (going to the grocery store with my three year old son). These friends have since asked me to go through their closets and take them shopping. I guess, in a nutshell, my personal style is inspired by the art of fashion and the power it can have to transform not only your appearance but also transform your little world around you.

  17. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 12:56 pm

    How can you not be moved by the mother inspiration story. I wish my mother had been more stylish and risky in her choices so that I could be inspired by her too. I am glad she can inspire me in so many other ways though….

    For a long time I felt shy to “dress up” which was always my inclination. Too many girls were going around in sweat pants and sweat shirts. Finally, I have realized that my wish to dress nicely, pay attention to detail is another way to celebrate LIFE and I am not apologetic about it anymore!

  18. tl

    December 11, 2006 at 12:56 pm

    I didn’t really care about how I looked until I hit 20. Then it seemed like everything changed almost overnight. The person I credit: Paul Banks, the lead singer of Interpol. I was not only impacted by this New York bands music, but also their sartorial choices: suits never looked so cool! I never would have thought that I’d find a style that is both cool and sophisticated, I’d feel comfortable wearing almost every day, and get good remarks not only from my friends, but my dad as well!

  19. Leigh

    December 11, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    My style has been influenced by many things: My Mom and grandmother, my life in the Caribbean and just my own sense of what looks good on me and pleases my eyes.

    My family and I are from the Caribbean. I grew up there at a time when it was hard to get the stuff, much less the cutting edge stuff — the stores just didn’t carry them. So one had to be creative in coming up with one’s personal style.

    My mom and my grandmother (on my Mom’s side)had amazing style. Both subscribed to Vogue — both British and US editions — and both were terrific seamstresses. So, even though the stores in the island were a bit behind in the latest styles, My Mom and grandmother found or made patterns based on the trends and on classic styles and sewed their own clothes. They would add their own twists to old patterns that they had in order to update them. It was fun watching them create.

    My mom was such a fan of Vogue, she even taught me how to read using her Vogue magazine (in addition to the traditional kids’ books, of course). I remember when she bought me a pair of red patent Mary Janes (everyone else had black). I was three. I pulled them out for any visitor who had the patience to check them out. Hence my current passion for my new red patent leather/animal print boots!

    As a kid, I went to a parochial school — so I wore uniforms. Even then, I would shorten the skirt or lower the waist of the skirt to make my own style. I moved to the US at 14 years old, I was amazed at the freedom that school kids had – especially in developing their own personal clothing styles. I took advantage of that freedom by trying out different looks (some of us know right away how we want to look — some of us have to try everything!) I think that I was rejoicing the fact that I didn’t have to wear a uniform anymore! At one point, I went a little nuts with color . . . fuschia with acqua and yellow . . . (I missed the Caribbean) but, fortunately for all, my style has evolved over the past 20 years.

    These days, I favor clean, classic lines in my clothing but then I pair that with really fun, cool, and even outrageous purses, shoes and coats. I am a lawyer for a large firm — so I am limited in how outrageous I can be at the office — but I try to push the envelope as much as possible.

    All of that said, the greatest influence on my style has to be my mother and grandmother. They always encouraged creative thinking and making use of what we had available to us when putting an outfit together.

    Thanks Sart . . . that was a great trip down memory lane!

  20. JennyPie

    December 11, 2006 at 1:02 pm

    My personal style was defined by two seeminly disparate elements – Nylon Magazine and Renee Russo in the Thomas Crowne Affair.

    the product of a preppy CT upbringing and new england college, my “style” before my twenties consisted of nubby cableknit sweaters and whatever corduroys were on sale at J.Crew. (which I still love!) But at some point in college I came across Nylon Magazine – which was a breath of fresh air – Nylon advocates experimentation, playing with your style, and expressing ideas beyond just “cuteness” with your clothes.

    The other influence, Renee Russo in Thomas Crown (dressed in all michael Kors I believe?) is due to her ability to bring sharpness, sexiness and smarts to what is on the whole a very ladylike and professional wardrobe. She could take a camel wool shift dress, perfectly fit, and make it look much sexier than some flouncy mini skirt and patent leather heels. She showed that attitude and fit is more important than flash – and in a job where I have to dress fairly conservatively, that stuck with me.

  21. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 1:04 pm

    Bryan Ferry (post roxy music).. specifically the album “Another time, another place”. No doubt about it, eye believe my learning curve as it pertains to fashion was set in motion by this man.. The white shoes, saville row suits, trophy (ex-) girlfriend (jerry hall), the elan to pull it all off… He was one of a kind…

  22. Kyle Dreaden

    December 11, 2006 at 1:05 pm

    UK Mod culture of the 60′s –

    I was an awkward young kid. My father was one of the most charming people on the planet. In an attempt to help me out of my shy, mild-mannered nature he hired a beautiful young english girl named Aria who was on exchange for school and needed employment to keep her visa. She became my best friend and big sister, telling me stories of “the mods” and “the rockers” of london. Vespas, skinny suits, Fred Perry polos, the works.

    “Clean living under difficult circumstances” was the mantra of the Mods. I was inspired by this group of boys and girls not much older than myself at the time who dressed as though they were wealthy middle aged men, but then infused the look with edgy, narrow cuts and flamboyant colors.

    I pride my personal style on my knowledge of well tailored suits, narrow (but not too skinny) ties, and my trusty Labretta scooter.

    Yeah, that’s me.

  23. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 1:11 pm

    Being asked my opinion from an early age and thrift formed my style sensability.

    My mother always asked for my opinion even when I was a young child. I recall really looking at what she was wearing. She trusted my opinion.

    I always really looked, took in details, studied what affect what someone was wearing had on me. I’m drawn a visual that is challenging or interesting as much as what is flattering.

    As immigrants to Canada from Taiwan, my parents had very financially responsible ethic. Buy what you can afford,pay cash, never use credit. So, we shopped thrift. Thrift drew my eye to the way things were constructed and cut as opposed to the most trendy look. Thrifted clothes made me creative and unique since they were not dictated by the latest trend. I had to figure out how to wear each garment since no store mannequin was feeding me the look.

    My current wardrobe is made up of mostly vintage pieces with some special contemporary items. I’m interested in trends but trust my eye and heart above all.

  24. John Masterson Hoffman

    December 11, 2006 at 1:14 pm

    I majored in History in school, a subject that bores most to tears, but suffering an active imagination I was always able to conjure it’s presence almost holographically whenever a vintage car drove by, or whenever I found a streamlined radio at a garage sale. For me, History is a living thing, and that understanding has inspired and defined my personal style. I’ve always been unafraid to blend retro and mod, something classic with something cool because that’s life: change and continuity over time. That layering is the fabric of history. So I take my cues in part from Joseph Leyendecker, Hurrel studio portraits, Cary Grant, ads from the 50′s, George Clooney and the latest mannequins at Bloomingdales, and films like Blade Runner that imagine a smashed-up retro-future, a glorious, stylish mess. So I smash it up every day – in the here and now.

  25. Annie (scotti_land@yahoo.com)

    December 11, 2006 at 1:15 pm

    My style was definitely shaped by my grandmother’s old Vogue magazines. As a 5 year old I used to sneak them from her coffee table, get into this huge arm chair and turn it to face the wall (thinking no one would see me) and dig into it. I would love to rip out my favorite pictures and then put together “books”. I did this well into my teenage years. As a result, I have “look books” from Vogue from 1980 onward. One picture (from my “look books” I specifically remember, was one of Anna Wintour’s first covers, of this great, over the top Lacroix sweater with a jeweled cross on it.It has been a great style reference for me and as a result served as a great fashion education.

  26. Richie Designs

    December 11, 2006 at 1:16 pm

    A few things…Harpers Bazaar revamp in the mid to late 80′s the first cover with Linda Evangelista on white sent me over the moon.

    Jackie O, Early Liz Taylor, 50′s elegance and style.

    My girlfriend Tara who has more style than anyone I know, and surprisingly the honing of my design skills & eye at work [I'll give all the credit to my boss on this one] has lead me to where I’m at.

  27. Baron

    December 11, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    My father was the biggest influence on my personal style. He was always a clothes horse and told me stories about the way he dressed in high school – like the time in 1954 when he saw Fats Domino at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernadino and the crowd was so wild and sweaty that this blue suede belt bled down his new white corduroy trousers, or in the 1970′s, when he wore a Pucci velvet jacket and a blue wide brimmed hat with a gold band while sitting ringside at the Frazier-Norton fight. Or later in the 70′s, a story about trying to pick up a prostitute in New Orleans, and she accused him of being a cop, so he took off his shoes and slammed them on the bar and asked her if she ever saw a cop wearing $300 aligator shoes. I remember him taking me to his tailor when I was seven years old to get a new suit. I have a picture of myself at Santa Anita racetrack wearing that suit – a black and white hounds tooth check, paired with some white loafers.

    By the time I was growing up, he had mellowed considerably, but he was always pushing me to dress more individually. When I was worried about being in fashion, he said “you don’t follow the style, you make the style.” I’ve never been quite so flamboyant, but I definitely adopted some of his confidence and unconventional style.

  28. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    inspired by:

    definitely the victorian era with its black lace and beautiful trimmings as well as the horse riding wear of that time; the dandy of the 1910-20ies with a tailor made suit and beautiful hairdo’s; but most of all by anita ekberg and her sophisticated hollywood glamour – she’s truly a mentor of mine!

  29. whyioughtta

    December 11, 2006 at 1:26 pm

    My first awareness of style came from observing my mother. I know it sounds cheesy, but I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. This was in the mid to late 70s, and feminine was in. My mom has always had a very individual sense of style: classic with an edge. Bold silk scarves over long blonde hair; sleek turtlenecks worn with big, bold pendants or gypsy hoops; purple suede peep-toe stilettos with sexy bell-bottoms; a drapey,clingy silver lame shell: I have a photographic memory of the entire contents of her wardrobe from that era.

    Since then I’ve always been inspired by vintage styles. A big re-inspiration happened in the mid 80s when I saw Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink. Again, the vintage thing.

    Now I’m old enough to appreciate the quality of the great designers, past and present. But I remain inspired by people who treat style as a personal expression rather an expression of status.

  30. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 1:26 pm

    -the mishmash of dad’s silver and mahogany antiques and mom’s hippie handmade furniture

    -Grandmother’s perfect grooming and Lilly Pulitzer ensembles

    -dressed-down farmers’ kids (unintentional style: rubber boots, worn and rolled handmade pants, woolen jackets)

    -dressed-up city kids (intentional style: well-made shoes, color theory, tailored clothes)

    -racks and racks of magazines

  31. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    I just came by your blog by chance…and I’m sure glad I did =)

    great work and i’m a def fan…absolutley love your pictures and attention to detail!

  32. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    I have always instinctivly been drawn to the classics. Audrey Hepburn and June Cleaver caught my eye even as a young girl. But being a sad slave to wanting to be liked, I have often lost my way trying to follow trends. In the past few years I have to say Kate Moss and Sofia Coppola have inspired me to be the pretty, lady like person I want to be.

  33. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    Though I am a new reader, I would have to say that your blog has inspired me. In the past few years, I have gone through a series of personal hardships – losing my father and my grandmother among other things – and as a result, have not had the energy or attention span to consider my wardrobe. However, after just moving back to my native NYC, I find it is virtually impossible to ignore fashion. I’ve been intimidated by how much I have missed in the years I’ve been gone, and thought I was a lost cause. But quite honestly, your street photos have shown me that fashion is very much accessible. It sounds ridiculous to base the quality of life on clothing, but I think the motivation that your work has given me will push me in the right direction of feeling normal and rebuilding my life once again.

    Thank you, Scott.

    -VAS.

  34. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    My father is my inspiration.
    A tough childhood laced with tragedy made affording clothes a difficult proposition as my father grew up.He always watched the old hollywood movies and developed a great deal of his personal taste from what he saw. He grew up to work his way through college and Med school and was able, eventually, to use the sartorial lessons he learned from the golden era of hollywood.
    I, therefore, grew up seeing this incredibly well dressed man who taught me everything as I grew up. My first day of catholic school my father taught me to tie a four in hand. Middle school? The Windsor. High School? Pocket squares.
    I didn’t always get the toy I wanted for Christmas, but I was always well dressed. I looked forward to our seasonal visits to his tailor, Brooks Brothers and Harry’s Shoes.
    I think of my Dad every morning when I tie my Windsor knot and pick out my pocket square.

    lichmd@gmail.com

  35. JACK

    December 11, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    CONTEST

    My style has been inspired by the way models dress. You can dress whatever you want, and it’s fine if that’s what you really like. But being a model has given me the chance to go to exotic places, meet great people, enjoy all the fashion world, see the Eiffel Tower, hangin around towards Montenapoleone in Milan, shoot pictures at Central Park and take a double-decker red bus. But most of all it gave me the chance to wear and admire the best clothes in the world, designed by the most creative minds. The girls and the guys who actually work as models are what I call hype people. And hype is the style they own. Hype is something more than high fashion, or street fashion. Hype is wear something hot, drink a cappuccino outisde the Starbuck’s, open your laptop, cry a lot and tell your friends GQ editorial is nice but you miss them so much. Everybody can tell you different things. But what I want to tell you today is that being a model is wearing hype. And hype is not a joke. Hype is Style.

    apo875@hotmail.com

  36. jian

    December 11, 2006 at 1:40 pm

    What has most inspired my personal style?

    it has to be my mom…sewing shirts and dresses for my little sister and myself….matching little children..whom no one suspected were also matching to the home interior…as they were sewn out of curtain material…

    mom always said buy classic designs…with her italian scarfs…and her gucci shoes and bags…bold colour and motifs were not to be frowned upon in my home..not to mention big hair…that was the 80s…or was it just this summer?

    my mom never looked chinese [i colored her hair yellow when we did portraits of our moms in kindergarden]…70s studio shots of
    mom’s jet black straight ironed hair [literally on the ironing board - I quote my aunt] with a mini skirt + feather boa in tow all
    made me fall in love with psychedelic patterns

    with fading, yellowed photos of mom in hand…. i saw grandmom …scenes of old shanghai …very “in the mood for love” …hence my laments of being born in the wrong era… but would explain my love for retro….

    the equation of one’s youth adds up to a strange sum…influences morph and appear and translate into you…it has to be mom…it has to

  37. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    My inspiration: convenience stores!

    Growing up, I was surrounded by bright, bubblegum colors and life-sized Budweiser beer inflatables — needless to say, my style has always been bold and, well, a bit over-the-top. And although it’s a bit more refined these days, I can’t help but feel inspired by the people I grew up around: the lawn-maintenance workers in their grass-stained jeans and dirty cotton tees; the strippers who, in the daytime, would shop in baggy, mismatched pajamas and, come nightfall, wear slinky black halter-top dresses and heavy make-up; and all the neighborhood kids in matching sweat pants and homemade basketball jerseys (and spotless white sneakers).

    Now, as I am surviving winters in New York, I think of all the “winters” I shared with my customers and friends down home, down south: all the bright orange and camouflage hunting jackets, layer upon layer of beaten up thrift-store tees, knitted beanies and gloves all thrown together to stay warm in 60-degree weather.

    I guess it goes without saying, but it took a long time for me to find inspiration in the polished “gentlemen.” These days, I can really appreciate finished looks and intentional details, but I think my heart will always belong to the comfort and effortlessness of the styles of my childhood.

  38. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    I developed my personal style when I moved to boarding school in sweden and started to see kids where nicer clothes that I always thought was out of my reach. I started to see clothes as a way to express myself in ways I couldn’t vocalize. I started to see my clothes as an investment, sometimes I could treat myself and get something nice. Mixing expensive with bargain, or vintage with cutting edge. It was all a way for me to show people who I was, even though I’m a little more introverted.

  39. k

    December 11, 2006 at 1:49 pm

    My inspiration for style is definitely my roommate Emily. Not that I would really wear her clothes or she mine, especially since we have very different body types, but just in how she approaches fashion and personal style as not necessarily tied to spending lots of money. She is the QUEEN of finding great pieces at the thrift store, and then putting those together in a unique way that can incorporate some trends but is still very much her. She inspires me to make more of an effort and to open my eyes to the possibilities…much like this site does :)

  40. Sonya

    December 11, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    My style has always been unique, and I always loved dressing in an interesting style. I was inspired by books, and ballets when i was a little kid. When I was 10 I had about 15 different hats that I wore everyday. But the first time fashion inspired me was at age 13. A combination of Seventeen magazine and rock stars such as the girls from Veruca Salt, Kim Gordon, Courtenay Love.

  41. chuck

    December 11, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    I guess it’s more of who inspired my style than what, and for you my friend, I have two names: Bob Dylan and James Dean. Sure, now they’re archetypal icons of style, throwbacks to what seemed like a more refined, sophisticated era. But imagine them back then, I’m sure there was nothing really glamorous about them. One of my favorite images of all time is the one of Bob on the cover of ‘The Freewheelin Bob Dylan.’ He looks like he’s freezing, wearing a stiff pair of jeans and a jacket he probably bought for a couple of bucks. You can see the same thing on the photograph of James Dean walking down Broadway, hunched over smoking a cigarette. When you look at these photographs, you see that their style is undeniable. But look at them again, and you don’t see the clothes or the shoes, you see the man. I think that’s what style is all about, and every time I get dressed in the morning, I keep that in mind. Take a look again at that photograph of Bob arm in arm with his lady friend. He was 21 at the time, the same age as I am now. I don’t think he gave a shit about what he wore that day, or cared that it would be on the cover of one of the most influential albums in contemporary music. He was just enjoying the company of this beautiful lady, and trying to keep out the cold. And that in itself is stylish.

  42. Butch

    December 11, 2006 at 2:14 pm

    One, the fashion gene that, early on, had me micromanaging the creation of many a school-pageant costume (“I want a Peter Pan
    green–that’s just WRONG!”)

    Two, my grandmother, who with her sister, ran a dress shop that stocked fancy-shmancy Seventh Avenue shmatas. She’d take me to the now-defunct De Pina’s department store and hover while tailors fitted my mini-me suits.

    On one occasion a fitter was trying to get a sleeve length right, but kept flubbing it. Infuriated, my grandmother grabbed his chalk, tape measure and pin cushion, and did the job herself.

    The jacket fit perfectly.

    And she could cook, too.

  43. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    Finding inspiration for a personal style in Washington DC is hard. Half of the men in the elevator are wearing dark navy suits, red ties, and white shirts. “What are you? An American flag???” I occasionally ask them.

    I’ve looked past the usual sources and found great guidance from two natives (of sorts): Harry Truman and Duke Ellington.

    Truman showed me that a person in power could wear light gray or khaki suits with spectator shoes and a flowing handkerchief. The Duke, with that houndstooth jacket and perfect drape to his trousers, was the paragon of elegance in the pursuit of artful entertainment.

    Dr. D

  44. Miss Stylologist

    December 11, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    My personal style is, at the present moment, in development. I feel like I am just coming into my own personal style. I have stopped trying to emulate my friends or stars on TV or anyone else of the like. I take style hints from everything and everyone, but if it does not stick to me then I don’t adopt it regardless if it’s all the rage at the moment. I think personal style has a lot to do with really knowing yourself, trusting yourself and doing what works for you (and only you). And this is why I say it’s in development because I am in the process of really beginning to fully trust myself and know who I am (despite what people say or think that I am). I also think personal style changes, yet there is always a root of your personal style that will follow you through the years. I think my “personal style root” is classic no matter if I am in a grunge mood or a sweater set and pearls mood. And I think that root was inspired from everything about the person that I am today – my childhood, my parents, my schooling, my friends (past and present), my non-friends, books, movies, travels, work experience – for myself, it’s just a melting pot of life that has really inspired my personal style and which continues to do so.

  45. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 2:27 pm

    I develop my style by observing the attire of people in real life and print/film who lead a lifestyle I aspire to. I am highly inspired by the way some people can look effortlessly good because they know how to dress themselves in accordance to their overall look. There are far too many editorials and F/W ad campaigns that I really liked but if I had to describe the look and style I try to emulate most it would be one that portrays refined decadence.

  46. jlewd

    December 11, 2006 at 2:31 pm

    “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    The inspiration for my style has been the definition and evolution of myself. My life has been shaped by experience and who I am at a given point in time.

    As a child, I was defined by my parents. As a result, I wore hand-me-downs. In my heart, I couldn’t wait till the day in which I could buy my own clothes.

    In college, I moved out and broke out of my shell. With a lil’ bit of hard-earned money, I happily purchased the trendy casual clothes that everyone else was wearing – both on campus and in the fashion magazines. I defined myself by conforming to the world around me.

    In my first professional job in the big city – I wore ties, shirts, and slacks that I classified to be a little bit more expensive than what I wore in college. Though I perceived myself to have more style – in hindsight – I really didn’t, because I still defined myself by what I saw around me.

    Everything changed after coming out of the closet, losing my brother, having cancer, becoming confident, and knowing that I wanted to live life, be true to myself, and reinvent ME. My personal style didn’t come overnight. It’s evolved over time.

    I’m a pretty slender male, and the huge difference is this – baggy clothes gave way to a more fitted look, and I no longer felt like I had to be trendy or buy the most expensive clothes.

    I like to dress in what feels the best – cotton. I like to wear my favorite colors. I like to wear things that come (and go) together, and last of all, I like clothes that make me look good – because for once in my life – I feel good.

  47. designprofessor

    December 11, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    Influences? I am a painter, so any of those old photos of painters from Paris at the turn of the 19th c. They suits with boots, hats,scarves, cafes etc. In the warmer climates it was spectator shoes and white pants.
    to wear this stuff now is a real nod to history, it ties the wearer to the sepia toned images from Montmartre, Montparnasse or Barcelona.
    2. Fashion photgraphy. Though I may not buy all of their wares, I think Ralph Lauren’s ads were /are very seductive,both home and clothing ads- especially from the 1980′s, they offered gorgeous departure from the required art school black. As far as pure seduction, we could throw in a dose of Helmut Newton.

  48. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    Leaving the South to go to college in New York has inspired me to have a style influenced by both regions of the country. My all-girls, prep school background has lended itself to my love of classic, timeless pieces, while the hipster vibe of my liberal arts college has opened my eyes to new ways of dress. I mix Ferragamo ballet flats with a vintage hoodie and skinny black jeans. I wear my pearl necklace (a graduation present) with a short dress, leggings, and Converse sneakers. My style reflects my adjustment from the slower, conservative Southern way of life to the faster-paced and exciting New York routine. Going to college in New York has convinced me I want to live in the City; while I may be distancing myself from my Southern roots physically, I know that they will continue to be part of my personal style.

  49. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    The first thing I remember influencing my sense of style was when i was very little, watching Sean Connery as James Bond very suavely and casually wearing his glen plaid suit and still kicking ass. Up until that point, suits had been stuffy and boring to me. Then I saw the outlet for perosnal expression that clothes had the ability to provide. Since then, magazines such as Details and GQ have provided alot fo insight onto personal style. But for the more subtle nuances of style, things like paintings and nature are excellent sources for me. There is one painting at MoMa that stands out to me for its incredible thick black lines. I don’t recall what exactly the painting is of, but when I looked at it all i could think of was how big, thick black lines would look really cool on a shirt. The ubiquitous Cary Grant answer also applies here. North by Northwest is another great example of someone kicking ass in a suit, not something usually seen today. Looking at old photographs of my granfather is also very interesting. He wore fantastic suits to work, complete with pocket square and tie bar. There is one picture of him at a party wearing a white suit with a large-checked shirt, creme-colored tie and paisley pocket square. The outfit was just very classic and fun at the same time. Another great style icon is Vincent Cassel’s character in Ocean’s Twelve. His style was impeccable, and yet the character wore it so nonchalantly. My other grandfather dressed very steadily, wearing the same type of clothes from the 50′s on. I inherited a pair of white bucks from him that are absolutely amazing. Not because of anything but the fact that they’ve been loved.

  50. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    A. was the only girl I knew whose family was more f*ed up than mine was. We used to walk home from school together, arm-in-arm, singing Beatles songs. She let me cut her hair and we cut pictures out of books and magazines and taped them all over my bedroom walls until only the floor and ceiling were left uncovered. She woke me up to catch 120 Minutes on MTV when I fell asleep too early. Whenever we had money she bought us clothes from the Salvation Army and I bought us tickets to the movies. We kept each other company, in our little town where we wavered, unsure whether we were the most awkward or simply ahead of our times.

    Fifteen years later, she’s still one of the coolest girls I know.

  51. Claire

    December 11, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    The last few years for me have been about self-improvement–I’ve lost a lot of weight, I’ve gotten corrective laser surgery, and a lot of little things. And the interesting thing is that even though so many more options for clothing and style have opened for me over the last few years thanks to these changes (in addition to taking on extra work, so I have extra money), I think the newfound self-esteem has led me to consider more what makes me feel most comfortable and myself in my life, and not what’s most fab or fierce or now.

    Even though now I probably can pull of skinny jeans tucked into high heeled boots, I feel more comfortable–and myself–in the black and white spectator Doc Marten that I’ve had since high school, or a slim-fitting t-shirt I boght at a street fair instead of a puffy-sleeved blouse. CHOOSING my style, to wear something I love that has always worked for me even if it’s not the current trend, has inspired me recently. I walk taller and feel better.

    And also it helps to have a really sharp Burberry coat to throw on top of it all. Thank you Chicago winter.

  52. soq

    December 11, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    I would have to say my grandfather.
    Post b-boy era, I adopted a hip-hop aproach to fashion naturally for pure aesthetic reasons that were justified. The clothing had to cater and move to a certain rhythym supporting the energy I conveyed while performing.
    It wasn’t until after college that I realized that this particular beat street staple wouldn’t sit well with a Philadelphia law firm.
    Upon cleaning my grandmothers basement I came across a few pictures of my grandfather back home after serving in the war.
    In one of the pictures, he tended to a small rose garden he planted for my grandmother wearing a powder blue oxford button down, cuffs rolled mid-forearm,tucked into dark brown dockers-like slacks and chestnut colored penny loafers.No belt. Rose clippers in one hand, positioned stem in other as he puffed on a black and mild cigar. His thick marbled framed glasses were signature.
    I took a few pointers from this tiny collection of photos and adopted bad cigar habit in the process. I feel as if I’m carrying on a tradition. It’s as if he’s still with me every step of the way.

  53. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    The style that has most inspired me is the 70s look worn by the Argentine Soccer World Champions in 1978. They achieved the perfect combination of sexy latin men with the style, taste, and flair of the hippy movement both in the States as well as in Europe.

  54. cassie

    December 11, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    Style to me is my mom. Although I only got to see her style until she passed away when I was 14, I remember every single detail of her essence. Simple, elegant, natural. I gravitate towards a certain style because it looks timeless, like I could have easily been wearing it in any number of decades and it’s fresh and hip…in it’s own classic way.

  55. Kelli

    December 11, 2006 at 3:28 pm

    This is a great question, Sart.

    Genetics & music dictate my style! As soon as I could walk, I was tumbling and dancing – I grew up intending to be a ballerina. My Mom still says that as a child, I would cry if I had to wear pants – I needed skirts that would twirl! Once I hit my teens, in the 80s and grew too tall to be a ballerina, I started spending my time in punk/dance clubs where the type of music seemed to decide how people dressed – I loved the smoky eyeliners and layered goth styles but since I was on a teenagers budget I multitasked my wardrobe by doing things like wearing a simple black turtleneck upside down so it was really fitted on the waist but would fall over the shoulders. As an adult, the classic dance style stuck with me – my clothes need to give and can’t restrict me or distract from what I’m trying to do. I love old photographs of people at parties, clubs, bars from decades past. Images that capture how people got dressed for a night out with friends, the great old coats and classic sundresses, tight skirts, heels, and olives in their cocktail glasses. People always stand taller when they’ve taken the time to dress well. I love photos from midtown’s Studio 54 contrasted with downtown’s CBGBs that were taken the same time period. How could someone NOT be influenced by that?

  56. ber

    December 11, 2006 at 3:29 pm

    For me, it’s always been my aunt, I think she’s the style icon for the whole family. If my grandma, mom, sister an me have any sense of style is because of her. Growing up, I used to love going abroad to shop with my mom and aunt and I never complained if we spent the whole day shopping. I think even my carreer choice is related to that, I’m an industrial design student.

  57. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    Monica hatsumomu@hotmail.it

    I created my own style when I decided that nothing that I wear has to overcome my personality, but let it come out strong and vibrant.
    So in every piece of clothing or accessory I buy there is me but at the same time it never covers me.

    Starting from this decision I learned how to give the best of me, how not to be influenced by the latest fashion, by the country I am… everything I wear says monica… simple, impeccable, strong, humorous,….but most of all always me, coherent.

  58. Casius

    December 11, 2006 at 3:37 pm

    My style is contrived from Steve McQueen movies. The way he walked, talked, and presented himself always exuded what a “man” should be like. His look was clean, bold, and always worked and with timeless design and style that still works today and will work 20 years from now. You could tell the man had style in a black and white photograph and as a young man myself, this is something I like to portray with fashion.

  59. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 3:40 pm

    My largest inspiration so far was television. No matter what area of style, be it clothing or designing for work, writing or interior decoration – tv always brings new ideas to my mind…

  60. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    What has inspired my personal style? Me…myself…and I. It’s encoded in my DNA…a genetic predisposition. It’s funny, actually. In person I am quite shy and introverted. I do not like to draw attention to myself or stand in front of a crowd. However, I have never dressed this way. I have always been attracted to color and bold statements when it comes to what I wear or how I fix my hair. Plain and simple, I know what I want when I see it. It’s me…like looking in the mirror. Many people may not agree with my style, in fact, some may abhor it, but that’s why it’s called style. Style is particular to a person. Fashion is generic. When I dress, I dress to impress……myself.

  61. UpperWestSideGuy

    December 11, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    My dad was never into sports, but he always dressed well. When I was younger, we would bond not at the ballgame but at Burberry on East 57th street, or walking up Madison Avenue and looking in windows as he picked out tailored clothing.

    Just listening to his conversations with clerks and shopkeepers at places like Burberry, Saks 5th Avenue and Barneys always helped me understand the nuances about dressing well and what rules to follow.

    Later in life, when I got older and began to fit into his clothes, I began mixing his pieces (such as a Hermes turtleneck from 1972) with modern D&G slacks. This mix of fine vintage pieces and gorgeous modern style has made me appreciate both where fashion and style originated and understand where it is going.

    Yet, I never forgot the rules of dressing well, passed on to me through my natty daddy and via the snippets of adult conversation absorbed through my young ears.

  62. kenya miles

    December 11, 2006 at 4:07 pm

    I am inspired by subtle absences. Things that in actuality are not forgotten but left void to create their own mark. The space between lovers arms hooked together, the smile slightly parted but instensly deep with emotions. Sunlight that leaves certain spots in the sand cold and hard. I am most inspired by what people have not yet created, what they can never own, what is by design happenstance. It is infinitely hopeful.

    Kenya
    kenyamiles@gmail.com

  63. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    My personal style is influenced greatly by the people that I shop for every single day! I am launching my own online vintage clothing store geared toward young trendsetters and those who appreciate unique pieces. Each time I go out to look for new things for the website I inevitably end up buying something for myself as well and everything that I purchase (for myself or the site) is influenced by the people that my site is aimed at. From twentysomething girls waiting to get into a show to a group of teenagers talking clothes over coffee, their enthusiasm for the future of fashion and their appreciation for the timeless looks of the past never fail to inspire me.

  64. Anyman

    December 11, 2006 at 4:13 pm

    In two words – my wife. We met in college when I had no money, and even less money to spend on clothes. After graduating and getting a “real” job I had the ability to spend some money on nice things. I longed, and continue to long, to look good for her. I want her to know that I am committed to her for life. I am also not going to let myself slack off like so many guys do when they get married.

    I want her to look at me in the morning when I leave for work and think, he looks sharp. And when we go out at night I want her to think he looks cool. My wife is my inspiration for life, and she’s certainly my inspiration to remain stylish as well.

  65. Stephanie

    December 11, 2006 at 4:16 pm

    Contest

    Wong Kar Wai’s movie 2046, a moody film noir set in 50′s Hong Kong, has influenced my syle the most. The style is very dramatic, and the clothing for both men and women is form-fitting and detailed. The film is set in a very slick time and place, and the movie oozes sexuality although the women are covered except for their arms and legs. In a world full of Britney and Paris, this movie shows that one can still be sexy by holding back.

  66. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    I grew up much like dave. I was a shy girl who was the definition of tomboy. Through high school I was never confident enough to dress as my fabulously stylish friends, some of whom want to be designers themselves. I became interested in art and old movies and movie stars like audrey hepburn and grace kelly. I gradually became more confidant (it was a long and hard process!) and began to experiment with my own personal style. I learned and am learning that style begins and ends with how you feel about yourself.

    gilliano@bu.edu

  67. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    My style developed from accepting myself just the way I am…confidence. A few years ago I had a bad run of health, a dramatic weight loss, and a move to a boring, small town in Texas swarming with senior citizens (all at the same time). I discovered the art of fashion while convalescing…watching tons of Style TV and reading Harper’s. Understanding and caring about fashion has changed my look and how I feel about myself. I now go out of my way to stay current yet stylish in this tiny place. I have made friends through my “daily style shows” (going to the grocery store with my three year old son). These friends have since asked me to go through their closets and take them shopping. I guess, in a nutshell, my personal style is inspired by the art of fashion and the power it can have to transform not only your appearance but also transform your little world around you.

  68. rippedbackpocket

    December 11, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    Wihtout doubt, my grandfather, who was a painter and artist working with the great danish artists during 30′s-70′s.
    The way he wore old rugged cardigans, stained with paint and broken in chinos and jeans, before jeans were even cool. Rough boots and flipflops.
    This was a man who’s perception of fashion was,
    “I don’t care, as long as I can paint in it, it works for me”
    Style without effort will always beat style based on effort.

  69. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    in high school, i would shop at my grandmother’s house — four floors of closets, spare rooms and an attic packed with clothing, shoes, and more handkerchiefs than any woman could ever use. each time i visited, she would show me a new spot. she hadn’t seen a new fashion magazine in twenty years, so she held up for me what was beautiful and perfect, rather than what was fashionable at the time. her clothing also showed me that style, not finance, makes for the most elegant clothing. after she died, i found in her private closet a suit she’d made herself in the thrities, entirely hand-sewn from pink binding tape.

  70. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 4:53 pm

    I live in what is, undoubtedly, one of the most fashionable cities in the world: Barcelona, Spain. So I cannot give the credit for my style to anyone or anything else. This city and its mix of cosmopolitan and old-world, classic and cutting-edge modern, has shaped me and continues to do so. As I walk its cobblestoned streets and admire the centuries-old churches and houses, I also admire the people that walk beside me and, of course, their style. On the subway, at college, in a store… Inspiration can be found anywhere.

    Sophia

  71. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    Coco Chanel – Original, feminine and ultra chic. The fact that her style is immortal, is worn by all ages and can be dressed up or down. A true fashion icon!

  72. marchesa luisa casati

    December 11, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    I first began to be interested in style when I realized that I could incorporate elements of my art into clothing. I also was attracted to the idea that fashion was not only dressing well, but had a meaning behind it that presented an idea to the outside world. I found cons who showed a certain type of personality, and tried to to be influenced by them, such as Dita von Teese, or Tilda Swinton, who is an unconventional dresser but has such an extraordinary influence as Viktor and Rolf’s muse.

  73. Catherine

    December 11, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    Although I don’t really want the book, I do want to explain my style.

    Up until about a year ago, I was very experimental with my style. I bought clothing indiscriminately, and my style was a day-to-day phenomenon. While I loved clothing for material reasons, my wardrobe had no continuity.

    However, my senior year of high school, I experienced a coming of age in a lot of ways – I began incorporating my metaphysical beliefs into my style.

    My love for both human progression and its relationship to nature and reality has directed my style for at least the last year. While my wardrobe contains many extremes (blacks, whites, silvers), it also consists of many earthy colors, such as green & brown. I love blacks, navys, greys, and browns, and I love accenting them occasionally with a spurt of color (bright blue, orange, or pink, for example). Many of my outfits are generally considered “taboo”, since I tend to layer black items or mix them with brown and navy. However, I always receive compliments on my style, and while it is of course not the motivation for the way I dress, it is certainly a nice reward (especially considering how often I stick out my neck for style)!

    Sorry for the long response!

  74. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 5:11 pm

    My first influence was my father. He wore starched button down Oxford shirts that he hung in his closet. He had been the classic 50′s and 60′s preppie with navy Shetland sweaters and chinos.

    There was the lunatic 70′s when his ties exploded to grotesque widths and his sideburns grew out, but somehow he always had solid Chicagoan suits from Hart, Schaffner and Marx.

    When I went away to college, oddly one of my influences was a girl from Southern California who was tall and had a page boy haircut. She wore beat up bomber jackets, untucked Brooks Brothers shirts and a long scarf around her neck.

    I saw the Armani influence come ashore but I never felt it was “my style”. It was too slick, too Euro. When it was adopted as a uniform by Hollywood agents, then I knew I had made the right choice to reject it.

    I worked at Ralph Lauren from 1989-1994. His vision probably affected me more than anyone else. I almost think that Lauren is the single greatest stylist in the last third of the 20th Century. You cannot walk into a Banana Republic or Abercrombie and Fitch, without seeing his “stories”. He revitalized the myths of Hollywood, the old West, prep schools…and made fantasy into an attainable reality.

    I was fired by Polo because I didn’t sell enough clothes. The I left NY and moved to LA and fell under the sway of graphic t-shirts, jeans and year round shorts. It felt young, even as I got older and somehow it was a way of rejecting NYC and all that Ralph stood for.

    But lately I see a return to maturation, both in the style of LA and in my own personal preference for well tailored clothing. It feels good to be discreet, to be thin, to be in fashion with trying too hard. I don’t hate any type of style, but you have to stick for what works for you.

  75. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    My sister in law, Therese, has most influenced my personal style. Her past is French nobility, mine the Missouri Ozarks. By her example I have learned the importance and attractiveness, even sexiness, of true femininity. She has a way that is simple yet with so much flare, of mismatching without clashing. She will mix the cheap with the expensive and always tosses in some jewelry and a respectable shoe or sandal, no matter how casual the day. She is the perfect example of style over fashion. She silently demands respect and admiration, and never shows condescension. I don’t know if it’s a French thing or a noble thing or a Therese thing; I suspect some of each. But she inspires me to step it up a notch, to think about what works best for me, to dress with authenticity, to go with the trend only if I want to, and most of all to keep it feminine.

  76. Toria SF

    December 11, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    Easter, 1977 — San Diego, CA.
    A six-year-old, espresso-hued black girl with an uneven mini-afro (note: this was before asymmetry was considered ‘edgy’ and ‘fashion-forward’). The prized (way-too-expensive-for-my-single-parent-mother) lemon yellow Easter dress had an empire waist accented by a wide yellow satin bow — which I thought was The Best Thing EVER. White tights mercifully disguised ashy knees and all the scratches and scrapes earned from fearless, reckless abandon on the playground. White patent leather shoes and a matching white plastic purse (contents: cherry lip gloss and bubble gum). Big smile in spite of the fact that one of my lower front teeth had fallen out. I don’t think I’ve felt as beautiful at any time since. But I continue to strive for it.

  77. cheryl

    December 11, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    I was really inspired by a tiny card and stationery store in the funky beach town that I grew up in. It was about 1980, and there were cheeky New Wave cards, wrap sunglasses, checkered toothbrushes, it was Heaven and marks a time when I was in 6th or seventh grade and it sort of brought together all of these elements that were informing me at the time: Elvis Costello, Deborah Harry, the fifties, thrifting, funny glasses. The place is still there, bigger and in a new location, and still merchandised by talented folks!

  78. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    I would say my style is most inspired by art. I know that sounds basic and generic, but it is a very specific aspect of art that I believe leads me to dress the way that I do. I grew up with Dada and Surrealist art, and looking at these images and the way that they throw the real and the unreal together has greatly affected the way I put clothes together. Dada and Surrealism also attach intense emotion to objects and symbols that in another context would not mean the same thing, and this too has made me think about the way I compose my outfits. The way that the Dadaists were able to connote sex and/or nihilism in particular with such an adept subtle hand is a skill that I aspire to.

  79. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 5:26 pm

    My first influence was my father. He wore starched button down Oxford shirts that he hung in his closet. He had been the classic 50′s and 60′s preppie with navy Shetland sweaters and chinos.

    There was the lunatic 70′s when his ties exploded to grotesque widths and his sideburns grew out, but somehow he always had solid Chicagoan suits from Hart, Schaffner and Marx.

    When I went away to college, oddly one of my influences was a girl from Southern California who was tall and had a page boy haircut. She wore beat up bomber jackets, untucked Brooks Brothers shirts and a long scarf around her neck.

    I saw the Armani influence come ashore but I never felt it was “my style”. It was too slick, too Euro. When it was adopted as a uniform by Hollywood agents, then I knew I had made the right choice to reject it.

    I worked at Ralph Lauren from 1989-1994. His vision probably affected me more than anyone else. I almost think that Lauren is the single greatest stylist in the last third of the 20th Century. You cannot walk into a Banana Republic or Abercrombie and Fitch, without seeing his “stories”. He revitalized the myths of Hollywood, the old West, prep schools…and made fantasy into an attainable reality.

    I was fired by Polo because I didn’t sell enough clothes. The I left NY and moved to LA and fell under the sway of graphic t-shirts, jeans and year round shorts. It felt young, even as I got older and somehow it was a way of rejecting NYC and all that Ralph stood for.

    But lately I see a return to maturation, both in the style of LA and in my own personal preference for well tailored clothing. It feels good to be discreet, to be thin, to be in fashion with trying too hard. I don’t hate any style but it must work for you first.

  80. Regina

    December 11, 2006 at 5:33 pm

    My inspiration are the women in my life: my very beautiful and “golden” mother, my petit grandmother from mom’s side and my jewish grandmother. Each one of them gave me something to believe in – and not only style related. My mother is like the Sun – everything revolves around her, and she actually shines all the time. No one that I know wears green like her!
    My granma from mom’s side showed me how a petit woman can be big by being brave and kinda ultrageous with her big green eyes, her hats and scarves.
    My grandmother from dad’s side was taller, quieter and less atractive, and was very traditional with herself, but she had an enchanting way to hold your attention with her soft voice and kind of shy caresses.
    All of them used to sew clothes for me and my dolls. I miss that.

  81. jonathan

    December 11, 2006 at 6:01 pm

    There’s that one photo of J.M. Stipe from the mid 80’s curly hair flowing with a T-shirt full of holes (gasp!) and the words, “Courage, Courage, Courage” written in Sharpie across the front. That for me is where it begins and ends I suppose. I had borrowed Morrissey’s pompadour and flowing button up shirts in my early high school days. And to this day I look to former Blur guitarist Graham Coxon’s weathered take on Mod when I need some inspiration, but still…the confidence behind the shyness captured in that one photographic moment said all I ever needed to know about style.

  82. Stacy (LA, CA)

    December 11, 2006 at 6:04 pm

    Style is an evolving & moving target. Central to it is knowing what pieces are clasical and eternal for you, and then find what’s good in each season *for you*. I’m not going to name a list of the well-known. We all know who they are. The key is finding *the look* that is you, and always maintaining a high standard for your own style statement. There is a dynamic mid-point, between a stoggy dinosaur and someone whipsawed by every silly trend. When you find your stylistic core, then all fretfulness evaporates, and you *know in your bones* what’s right for you.

  83. Jacques

    December 11, 2006 at 6:08 pm

    Lors de mon premier voyage à New York, mid 80′s, portant un vieux tricot noir acheté pour deux sous, je me suis fait accosté par la préposée d’une galerie de Soho, c’était dans ce quartier à l’époque, croyant que mon chandail était un Yohji Yamamoto.
    Ce sont les photographes qui m’ont appris à apprécier la mode, m’intéressant plus à l’image qu’aux chiffons, mais quand la beauté nous intéresse, ce n’est que justice de ne pas l’offenser en négligeant cet aspect de nous-mêmes qu’est l’apparence.
    Cet événement, le point culminant de ce premier séjour dans la Big Apple, demeure encore aujourd’hui l’épiphanie d’une prise de conscience que je souhaite à tous. Et se faire dire qu’on est beau, qu’on a du style, que cet effort de séduction, envers soi et les autres, c’est démontrer, non pas de la vanité, mais du respect.

  84. dudestylist

    December 11, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    My family isn’t terribly chic. So I’m all about the old stuff.

    Hence the following list:

    Earlier:
    Diana Rigg as Emma Peel
    Monica Vitti in Red Desert and L’Avventura
    Vanessa Redgrave in Blow-Up (I love Antonioni)
    Kim Novak in Vertigo (Madeleine, not Judy)
    Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde

    Later:
    Rene Russo in Thomas Crown Affair
    Charlize Theron in The Cider House Rules
    Gwenyth Paltrow in The Talented Mr. Ripley
    Penelope Cruz in Blow

    More and more and more and more…

  85. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 6:21 pm

    My style is influenced more and more by my great grandmother. I originally began picking up the odd piece of 50s-ish clothing or jewelry in thrift stores, and my father started referring to me as “Erma,” telling me that I was following her style. So, I dug up some pictures, both of her and general images from the time, and started working from there. I always try to keep it modern – I never wear all-vintage together, or else I feel like it’s too much, but I always keep in mind her style as a guiding idea of what I like and what I’m working towards

  86. Melissa

    December 11, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    My home town, San Diego is what inspires my style. Not necessarily the clothing that is in vogue there, like the valour sweat suits that have been peppering the streets since ’03, but the general feeling of the place. Color is important to me, vivid striking colors that remind me of the homes, palm trees and blue skies I grew up with. Comfort is also important to me, because I know I look my best when I’m relaxed and at ease like I was during all my childhod summers, scampering around the beach. I carry these memories of home with me, and in a city that can be as gray and unfriendly as New York, my beach town inspired style is always reassuring.

  87. Charmed

    December 11, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    My personal style is inspired by the people on the streets. Living in a city like Manhattan where its inhabitants are as stylish as fashion editors of major magazines, I am continually in awe of how a certain article of clothing can be worn in a different way in order to convey a certain personality. People of New York are always exraordinary; so, people on the streets never look ordinary.

    Of course I do not just copy and paste what I see into my wadrobe. I borrow certain elements that I like and that I think favors my personal style. I like simple, fluid lines and solid colors, and I don’t follow trends, because they don’t always flatter my figure. Other than that, I have to say that my personal style is always evolving with my lifestyle and my personality.

    -Dene.

  88. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 6:37 pm

    Without a doubt, Kim Novak in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.”
    The scenes before we hear her speak are magical. She moves about, buying flowers in perfect fitting garments, in rich looking fabrics.
    The simple lines and the quiet elegance are what I admire.
    A sense of style is not just having great clothing. It’s also having confidence.
    Sometimes even the most stylish miss-step. It’s taken me a while to convince myself that I am well dressed and beautiful without the labels. I’ve learned that perhaps I even look better when I have less. My creativity is the best thing in my closet.
    I’ve discovered a love of vintage and hunt constantly for the perfect dress.
    I’ll never be the lavender blonde of Vertigo, but I can try. Otherwise, fit, proportion and quality are ideals that I never compromise.
    Thank you for asking.

  89. Lauren

    December 11, 2006 at 6:51 pm

    In high school, I was kind of awkward and chubby, never part of the “pretty girls”. There was this older senior girl in my chorus class named Bridgette who I could not keep my eyes off of because of her amazing wardrobe combinations. She never really talked to me, but was very nice. Looking back now, she probably thought I was a bit strange because I was always staring at her. The attention to detail she put into her clothes was so percise, yet it seemed like she threw the outfit together in 5 minutes and managed to look flawless. She always wore a black cardigan with an impeccably crisp white button down, but paired it with amazing accessories as not to look matronly. She was never overly trendy, but possessed a keen eye for fashion. One day in class I was wearing a cashmere argyle sweater that was my mother’s from the seventies with a bright yellow pashima as a scarf, and someone tapped me on the shoulder; it was Bridgette. With a great sincere smile she said to me, “I adore that sweater”. That compliment, seriously made my whole week. And to this day, because of her, I live in cardigans and crisp button downs with my own twist on accessories of course!

  90. Moi

    December 11, 2006 at 6:54 pm

    First of all, I would like to thank you for such a kind gesture of you to give away the book in a contest. I will do the same thing some day (not with the same book, of course).

    Regarding your question, there is nobody or nothing that I can say has inspired me more than other people or things in my personal style. I get trapped by little details in very different people, ladies or men, girls or boys… I have no especial predilection for any kind of persons. Just little details that I never forget: that white silk blouse under a grey wool cardigan, that frizzy hair worn so stylish with a couple of hairclips, that gentle movement when dancing with a hand, that yellow t-shirt combined with those denim shorts printed with little orange and yellow flowers, those brown suede trashy shoes… For me there is nothing perfect, as nearly every look can be improved and hence my influences cannot be individualized. My only rule is to never sacrifice elegance for giving more importance to other concepts like originality, sensuality or being-latest-fashionable.

    My best,

  91. laura

    December 11, 2006 at 7:16 pm

    I can remember my first conscious considerations of my personal style. They were at my aunt’s wedding when I was 7. I realized she was able to delicately balance a sense of elegance and class with an air of nonchalance. Nothing was overdone, yet everything was tasteful and perfect. Since then, I have attempted to find that balance for myself. I draw from an assortment of sources where I see this balance: Ralph Lauren ads, Vogue fashion spreads, people on the street, and, most recently, this blog. And obviously, I still carefully observe the style of that aunt. Finding the balance is hard, but the best way to do it is to see others that get it and adapt that for myself.

  92. Helen Gallagher

    December 11, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    my friend Nisha who said “you can wear whatever you like, so long as you wear it with confidence.”

  93. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    Hands down, the late HALSTON had the biggest influence on my personal style.

    In 1980 at the tender age of 25, I had the privilege of working for and with the greatest designer of all time. During my several years in his employ HALSTON’S philosophy of classic elegance and impeccable quality became my own and defines who I am today. Not into the busy stuff… I wear the clothing; the clothing doesn’t wear me…:}:}:}

  94. invisible girl

    December 11, 2006 at 7:52 pm

    My personal style has been influenced by rebellion against the academy and Count Dracula movies.

    Treasured elementary and middle-school accessories: an ornate silver cross, safety pins, and fishnets.

    Today, I do my own version of the Japanese harajuku-style meets bookish professional. A little bit of tweed here, I nicely turned leg, there.

  95. ThePromenader

    December 11, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    To tell you the truth, I don’t know. I grew up during the “all over the place ’80′s”, and I do remember already then wanting to get away from looks such as the red-collared t-shirt and pastel sweatsuits… black was seen as extremely negative then, but I was drawn to it all the same.

    Nor can I think of any rock stars (etc) that influenced my look – if anything, I’ve only rarely ever dressed anything like those I admire the most – I loved everything Chanel (thin and dark) and LOVED the ’50′s “Avedon” look (slim, tight, neat, white shirt, black tie) – some marked film moments such as Bowie’s hat in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” – yeah, I guess there’s some “Thin White Duke” in my look as well, but only the darker shades.

    I later discovered that the ‘black’ look brought another sort of freedom, as it is a “carte blanche” to attend any occasion: dress neat, dress black and no matter where you go – cocktail, wedding, funeral or rock concert – you’ll fit right in.

  96. Ideapush

    December 11, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    A few years ago I bought a Rolex watch, the one known as “the green Sub”. That started it for me. The watch is big and classic, yet different because of the green colour.

    The watch demanded attention, especially my own attention to how I dressed. You can put it together with everything but that doesn’t mean it feels right to do so. My new watch made me think about how very few people wear green (as in racing green). It made me think about making green my signature colour and whether I should have a signature colour at all. Which made me think more about the details. Green socks? Green buttonholes? Green ties?

    Green is not a friendly colour. It’s aristocratic and elegant. It’s classic yet not much used. Green is not a team player colour. Is that me? In other words my new watch made me think about who I am, who I want to be and how that is reflected in how I dress.

    My new watch influenced my personal style. I now wear more suits (Armani-inpired shoulder obsession), more navy and green (because that’s who I am and what I look good in), higher quality (inspired by Tim Little and Tokyo style) but also more colour in the accessories (Etro was an eye-opener). But the bottom line is that the watch started it. The watch was the butterfly wing.

  97. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    It is very difficult for me to choose one influence on my personal style, as visuals in general have been important to me almost as long as fashion has been. I am so interested in the play between different patterns and colors, whether it be in the display of a dollar store window or the trees against the sky or a Dolce and Gabbana ad in a magazine. I think it is very important to be able to look at things that are seemingly unrelated and read them as fashion. Another element that has helped to develop my personal style is my ability to work through limitations. While my limitations have mainly been monetary, I feel that many great designs are born out of the problems they face. These are the characteristics and abilities that I believe the true designers possess, and I feel that thinking about these things have allowed me to develop a personal style that is certainly influenced by other things, but truly my own.

  98. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 8:34 pm

    My parents worked for the State Department and we spent 4 years in Cameroon. Every day I saw the determined and deliberate elegance of Francophone women.

    All of my friends though were other Americans and we only socialized with other Americans. We would get together on Saturdays for picnics or screenings of football games at the Marine house. Their moms would wear t-shirts and cut off shorts and their dads would wear t-shirts and cut off shorts. But my mom would take pictures from Vogue to the seamstress and have them copy sundresses, shifts and pants suits. She would have them make a new one for each cookout, each from the latest issue of Vogue and in an incredible and garish fabric.

    One day she put a book about Yves St. Laurent on the coffee table right next to my Dad’s colllection of scorpions in glass. Inside the book were photographs of YSL’s greatest pieces: Le Smoking, Russian cloaks and gaucho pants, African dresses with beaded necklines, the Mondrian dresses and that gold plated bustier. I could look at that book for hours. I still can. I told my mother once that I didn’t think anyone could really wear these things. She told me that I was being ridiculous and that she would wear any of them. “Even the bustier with the nipples?!” I asked. “Yes,” she said without a beat.

    I learned that what we wear is important; that it means something. I learned when you get it right, it can be subversive and expressive and irresistibly attractive all at the same time.

    I also really really wanted an outfit I could wear on Soul Train, just in case.

  99. marie

    December 11, 2006 at 8:37 pm

    For me, it is not a matter of what but who. That person is my former high school science teacher & coach, who is now a high school principal. From day one, I was just completely fascinated with her clothes! I admit that before, I never had my own style/fashion nor did I really care. I was not a sloppy dresser, though. I credit her with the start of my fashion obsession.

    Her style of dress is just so “put together” ..from her hair to her shoes! At the time, her favorite designer was Liz Clairborne..this was back in the early 1990’s. I also like that designer, though now my favorites include Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Dior, to name a few. I was very drawn to her style, which tends to classic and preppy. She also has the most gorgeous blond hair, like a Barbie doll. I soon was dressing like her, but with my own variations and different colors.

    She was not actually my coach, but I was assigned as head trainer for her Girls’ Varsity basketball team as a student trainer. My uniform on game days was white, head to toe. The shirt that was the “uniform” was a white polo type that had the school name and mascot. The pants and shoes were of our own choosing, but had to be white. Most of my fellow trainers wore white sweatpants, not me. I wore white, khaki-type pants, and those needed to be ironed..unlike sweatpants! Looking back on photographs from that time, I am glad she influenced me to do that because I looked well dressed the whole time.

    Many years later, she still has that flair for dressing well and we still keep in touch. She is and will always be my first fashion icon. :)

  100. janvangogh

    December 11, 2006 at 8:40 pm

    I think what has influenced my style has been The color orange.

    Why? Because it is not the popular one and I wouldnt have to share it. I decided early on that orange would be my favorite color. When everyone else’s was blue, red or green, I chose orange. Orange because no one else would choose it and it would be wholy, uniquely mine.

    While those reasons have mellowed over the years, and yes, I do look at trends, I still choose things that feel that they can fit those perameters.

  101. Flora

    December 11, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    a huge influence throughout my life has been film. i get inspired by characters and themes in movies and then take that idea as a model for creating daily outfits.

    as an 80s kid, after watching adventures in babysitting i tucked my jeans into socks and wore red laceup shoes. in the 90s i favored some clueless looks with plaid skirts, mary-janes and knee socks or went for the little boy look w/ chucks and folded jeans ala sandlot.

    more recently i’ve dressed as inspired by amelie, maggie g in secretary, or natalie portman in closer. i like to pull together these outfits with a character in mind, like- amelie goes for an office job or alice is going to the library and then cinema…

    cinema-themed dressing is fun. it can be totally out there or just subversively tuned in to specific ideas. pulling looks i see on film is a great starting point for dressing up or down each day with a creative twist. that and of course all the W photo spreads i have absorbed in my 23 years of life… which is a lot considering my mom’s similar addiction to fashion.

  102. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    I was 6’1″ when I was 12. Tough for a boy, really hard for a girl. I was a lanky red head instead of little and blonde. The message at school was: hide, slump, be as invisible as possible. The message from my parents (and through them, my grand-parents, and great-grand- parents) was: SHINE. The message from my dance teacher was: You are a showgirl!

    My parents weren’t just well-dressed, they were glamourous. I didn’t know my grand-parents (let alone my greats), but through photographs, I saw the same style and yes, glamour. My paternal grandmother dressed like Marlene Dietrich in suits in the 1940s. My mom (who once came to a parent-teacher meeting in 1970 wearing a cream and hunter tweed cape, matching skirt, hunter turtleneck, and chocolate brown patent thigh boots) prefaced every family story with what everyone wore. During the punk years, she taught my friends to dye their hair purple and advised them on getting their hair cut short at a men’s barber’s.

    My wonderful dance teacher taught me stand up straight, strut, and not be afraid of making a statement. After all, at my height, no one was going to NOT notice me, so I might as well go for it.

  103. bon chic bon genre!

    December 11, 2006 at 9:16 pm

    I was born and raised in one of those middle of nowhere areas where the kids hit the tanning salon and hang out at Panera Bread after school and hoodies and jeans are almost a uniform. As a college student myself, I would soon, however, discover that I wasn’t so much like them. I yearned for more diversity and the kind of individuality “perfected” in New York City which was three hours away from me.

    But, I probably wasn’t going to find it out here in the sticks. I decided to take matters into my own hands and become my own actress. I have always seen life as a stage with myself as the main actress. After all, I see our lives as a stage where we are the directors and producers of the script and in charge of wardrobe. And of course, there are the supporting characters. Now we might not always get to pick our roles (sometimes it startles us by complete surprise!), but always remember that the best actors and actresses remain composed and poised in the face of surprise!

    I became my own actress. I also started pouring over past and recent fashion magazines as well as the ads, where I got ideas to write my own picture perfect fairy tale down to the exact detail on my shoes. Despite the people in my life that make me smile and despite what I have to work for, Every time I’ve done this, I’ve always felt just by paying attention to my personal style and the little details, that I’ve always had something a bit more to look forward to in life. That I have found the missing link that can make life so much more magical sometimes. I like it like that.

    Now I don’t have a specific “label” for my style because I prefer not to label myself. By saying that, I feel like I’m restricting myself and putting myself in some sort of cage. No, no.. I believe it’s always wise to approach each new day with an open mind and an open heart as I’ve always loved experimentation. I’m allover the place, based on my mood and where the scene in my life takes me. But, I’ll tell you one thing. Whenever or wherever the scene calls for in my life, I’ll be ready. You can count on it.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my opinion.

    Vanessa (eleganceisanattitude27@gmail.com)

  104. Tiffany

    December 11, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    Style for me came out of necessity.
    Having a low self-esteem kept me pretty swaddled up most of my life.
    I would wear turtlenecks, heavy tights and long skirts in the middle of summer!

    Then I found a muse…

    I was always attracted to the era of Kiki and the denizens of Montparnasse.

    The whole bohemian look, sexy, frantic, (yet put together) and singular. I think it is very important to be yourself. I believe in following trends in order to be “au courant” mentally, but true style is not just jumping into what is “in” it is trial and error. It is throwing clothes on until you figure out what cut works for you. Then colors. What makes you feel like, you.

    I LOVE thrift stores. You collect bits and pieces until you have a base and then anything else is just
    well, MORE!

    Also, find a muse?
    Everyone should have one.

  105. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 9:27 pm

    My grandmother was a fiery Irish lass who floated through life is a cloud of Joy perfume.

    Wife of a decorated Naval captain, she was schooled in the etiquette of entertaining, and she performed the task beautifully. Happy hour in her home started promptly at 4 p.m. with a round of Old Fashions, a dance through the kitchen to music that only she could hear, and murmurs of what to wear for a night out at the club with friends that evening.

    Her closet was an artfully arranged melange of bold colors; jade green silk was perhaps her favorite as it set a dramatic stage for her blue eyes, red hair, and trim figure. On occasion, she would sew her own evening gown– often a classic silhouette inspired by vintage Halston that properly insured she would be the star of the evening in a dress unlike anything seen in her town, like something that stepped off the page of a Paris fashion magazine.

    Her collection of cocktail rings mesmerized me from a young age. She kept the rings in tiny bowls that dotted her dressing table, which was laden with photographs of her children and grandchildren in heavy golden frames. As the evening wore on and Nana grew more animated, her hands would punctuate her wickedly funny stories, and the flash of diamond brilliance only added to her captivating sparkle.

    She never left the house without a tube of lipstick, and she would pause at the door to fluff her eternally-chic swingy bob before emerging for the world to see.

    Tennis whites were always ironed meticulously, and she managed to look fresh after an hour on the courts despite the withering temperatures. I spent hours emulating her casual style of tossing her racket bag over her shoulder and straightening her visor before heading to the club for lunch.

    Weekly mass attire was demure with heirloom pearls, Chanel-esque suits, square-heeled shoes, and gloves. Always gloves. The only thing I remember about her presence at my father’s funeral, which occurred when I was a young child, are the gloves.

    Dancing at the officer’s club called for skirts that kissed her knees made from fabric that whispered to my grandfather when he pulled her close.

    Lengthy car trips required sensible flats, a scarf, and a picnic hamper with fruit and crackers. Bathing suits were modest and always paired with large, dark glasses and a wide-brimmed hat.

    From Nana, I learned style isn’t rooted in the passing fashion of the day, but rather a devotion to the good life; one that is full of friendship, love, laughter, and diamond cocktail rings.

  106. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    When I was a little kid, I (like so many other kids) hated when my mom would dress me up for church of family gatherings or whatever. I felt like “those clothes hanging up in my closet” were essentially a form of punishment. When I became a rebellious teen, I tried dressing as little like those dress clothes as possible, which resulted in a strict wardrobe of a dark t-shirt and either worn-down jeans (blue or black) or surf shorts. In high school, I decided that I wanted a different style, since my current one did not seem to help me win over any of the ladies. I decided then to wear my formal clothes, and only my formal clothes, every day. And that was when I took a true interest in fashion, which persists today.

  107. ponys are people too

    December 11, 2006 at 9:35 pm

    Without meaning to sound like a total wank, I’m going to cite an early Godard short film, All The Boys Are Called Patrick (1959), as one of my most favourite and most precise style influences. I mean, I know that these days, French New Wave carries a lot of baggage, but everything about this little film, especially what it looks like, is absolute gold. In my opinion, all of Godards films are intensive style guides, but in such a perfect way; nobody is trying too hard, everything is so effortlessly breezy but incredibly sharp all at the same time. Jean-Claude Brialy with a sweet haircut, wonderfully well-fitting trousers and great shoes is a total flirt, in the cutest way. The girls in their cardigans, good waistlines, sensible shoes, sunglasses and scarves, minimal makeup… they all exude this gorgeous, fresh-faced sense of style that totally sums up everything about how to look awesome.

  108. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    My style comes from daring what “normal” people find odd. I grew up in a very strict and posh area in my country. Everyone dressed the same, no one wanted to stand out. So I went to salvation army and found cool clothes that reflected me on the inside. Later on I have traveled and lived in the big cities in the world, like New York, and found great shops and independant designers and inspiration on how much people in the streets dared to do with their style. My main inspiration these days are the elegance of our great icons such as Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Baccal etc. mixed with a casual feel and some irony. Like I love the high waist, wich makes me very feminine and then I add some lovley gloves bought on ebay with a strong colour or just some fantastic boots, and a long hood. The feeling of beeing innovative is great. Thanks for great inspiration. :)

  109. Jake Astig

    December 11, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    My personal style and grooming is greatly influenced by my paternal grandfather. He came from Xiamen, China and escaped to the Philippines during the war with the Japanese.

    Growing up in the boondocks on the Philippine island of Mindanao in the 70′s, there wasn’t any notion of fashion at all. Everybody was just trying to make ends meet. My grandfather on the other hand was a totally different animal.

    Every day, he’d get up early, take a shower, splash on some Acqua di Parma (i’m always brought back to my childhood whenever i get a whiff) and put on a crisp white shirt, sharply pressed pants or dark blue jeans, always shined Florsheim lace ups, and top it off with his aviator sunglasses. His last step would be to put some of the eau di toilette on his white handkerchief.

    During Sundays, a barber would visit our house and all the men in the family would get haircuts and shaves in the morning. We’d usually finish and be ready just in time for a nice family lunch afterwhich us children would take our mandatory afternoon naps. By 4PM, we’d be woken up, bathed and scrubbed clean and we’d put on our Sunday best to attend mass at the town church.

    Every Sunday night, he would shine his shoes by hand. When I was 5 he taught me how to do it and I’ve been a shoe fiend ever since! haha

    I never knew where my grandfather got his stuff. Living in the hinterlands there were no shops around. He just did the best he could, probably getting his kit during his business trips to Cebu or Manila. He had an innate sense of style which I absorbed growing up. He also taught us how to comport ourselves as gentlemen and how to live well with what we had. For that I am eternally grateful.

    Cheers!
    Jake

  110. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 10:22 pm

    Three years ago, my grandfather gave me a bunch of his old clothes. He has diabetes and none of them fit him anymore. He says they he is too fat and old to wear them. When I say that he gave me a bunch of his old clothes, I am underselling what he gave me and how much he valued them. He and my grandmother went into his walk-in closet and pulled out about 20 blazers and 60 ties, along with a tuxedo. Somehow, I am the same size now that he was then. I had hundreds of pieces that are as classic American as they can possibly be. I had clothes from stores like Chip and from his old personal tailor. Dozens of skinny club ties, blue blazers, even my first piece of seersucker. Many of the jackets had literally been purchased from country clubs.
    The ritual of it is what got me. Putting on a blazer, buttoning a shirt, and tying a tie perfectly gave me a sense of confidence that is hard to explain. It was, and still is like putting on a suit of armor against the slings and arrows of the world. As I have studied more magazines and blogs like this one I have learned how to wear my grandfather’s clothes without actually looking like a grandfather. I am trying to become my own man. Put my own stamp on my family’s legacy and on the world.
    I first got interested in fashion when my grandfather gave me a box of his old clothes.

  111. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    My father has lived with tuberculosis for almost half a century, and he remains to this day the most stylish individual I have ever met. He was a lieutenant in the South Vietnamese Army during the 1960s and 1970s, and when Saigon fell to the Communists on April 30, 1975, he fled the country on a fishing boat with only the clothes on his back, a picture of my grandmother, a treasured pair of Levi’s, and a can of pomade. This was the father I never knew.

    By the time I was born, my father’s battle with tuberculosis had become chronic, and he and my family lived a life marked by never-ending visits to the hospital. By the time I was born, my father weighed 110 pounds and his wardrobe consisted of patterned, backless hospital gowns and simple, solid-colored clothes in lightweight, breathable cotton. Despite all of this, by the time I was born and up until his death, my father remained unwaveringly dedicated to achieving the perfect wave in his hair every day of his life.

    Every day of his life, whether he was at home in front of our rickety bathroom mirror, or sitting upright in a waxy hospital gown in a silent hospital room, my father would spend countless minutes every morning adjusting his hair every which way – fixing the part a little to the left, teasing a few strands up and forward, warming a dollop of pomade with the tips of his fingers in his right hand, smoothing it along the right side of his head, … This was the father I knew, and the father I came to know when I visited my relatives in Viet Nam for the first time in 2003-2004. Their memories of him are of an individual singularly dedicated to what he believed was right and in the everyday importance of outward presentation and appearances. My father’s fanatic dedication to his hair when life had robbed him of his country, his family and later his life, inspire much more than just my own personal style, and I am greatly indebted to him for it and everything else.

  112. Sm.

    December 11, 2006 at 11:22 pm

    The most important influence on my style has been film noir. American noirs, like “The Big Sleep”, “The Killers”, and “The Lady from Shanghai”, are filled with great images of femme fatales scheming in high heels and rocking dresses, and gruff gents in tailored suits. Characters are always so well-dressed, elegant and full of sass. I love it! The French noir “A bout de souffle”, with Jean Seberg and her gamine styling, and Jean-Paul Belmondo in punkish tweeds, really captured my senses when I first watched it. It definitely inspired how I wear clothes and what I want in my closet. The imagery created in film noir definitely changed my ideas about how glamour and personality are reflected in how I style myself, whether I’m walking to the library or slinking around the city at midnight.

  113. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 11:27 pm

    Perhaps my reply would have sounded more genuine had the question not come from a street style site to begin with, but I would have to say that the emerging trend of these types of sites along with magazines like Fruits and Street have definitely had a large influence on my personal style. Despite the cosmopolitan nature of Miami, you rarely see the same adventure in dress that perhaps you might find in New York, Copenhagen, or Tokyo. Miami is slowly coming of age, and much like a teenager searching for social acceptance, we haven’t quite mustered up the courage to walk around our downtown in metallic pastel leggings without a couple of our friends cheering us on (or advising us otherwise) But let me not generalize, of course, Miami has had its share of influence on dress in one way or another. All I’m saying is that for those who have not had the chance to leave their cities for one reason or another, sites like HEL LOOKS, Facehunter (and this one obviously) offer much insight into global fashion that many may never have the opportunity to know, but now they do!

  114. Vinnie

    December 11, 2006 at 11:33 pm

    I believe personal style is as much about your attitude/personality/confidence, whatever you want to call “it”, then style is about the clothes you wear. So one of the groups responsible for the evolution of my style would be the guys at HK army. Now I wouldn’t say they have great clothing style, but it’s their personalities that really hit me. They are a group of guys, brothers if you will, who have fun, rise above, and in general are just larger then life. In my opinion they are real life trend-setters and that is something that I have always kept in the back of my mind, while shopping or getting dressed in the morning. It’s good to follow rules, and have nice clothes/figure, but at the same time, your personality and the way one carries themself will always be anyones greatest accessory.

    Now my other greatest influence into what more people consider style, would be my mother. She is always fantasticly dressed, and perfectly groomed and always dressed me immaculately, and forced upon nessecary grooming habits(Which I am now incredibly proud of, my grooming that is). Untill I got to that age, where I wouldn’t wear anything but jeans and a t-shirt. Now being 19 and well into my second year of college I find myself constantly trying to elevate my style, and I can honestly say I only know how because of my mother.

    Magazines and models, can show me the newest styles, but only my mother showed me how to dress, and how to present myself, and the guys at HK showed me what truely makes stylish people so ….well stylish. Of course there are movie stars, and designers, idols, and countless other things, but these are the two that have had the most profound effect, on my personal style.

  115. Anonymous

    December 11, 2006 at 11:50 pm

    My personal style lurks somewhere close to the intersection of my own experiences in life, and people I admire outside of myself.

    I’ve noticed that many of the responses to this question say something about having an awkward or challenging childhood. I have a theory that kids who were in some way made aware of the affects that outer appearances have on one’s life become the most stylish adults. Usually this has something to do with having the outcast experience, and at some point owning it and perhaps even confidently choosing to highlight it with….what? Why, personal style of course. The strongest form of non-verbal communication known to us. The thing that says, “This is who I am” before I ever say a word.

    Perhaps the outcasting is even begat with one’s style. It’s the chicken and egg question, isn’t it?

    Case in point:
    My parents bounced back and forth, two years here, two years there, between the most dissparate of places (especially in the late 70s!) Southern California and Holland. So there’s me, in 3rd grade, fresh off the plane from 2 years at Nicolas Maas School in Amsterdam, decked out in bright green tights, brown Mary Janes and a yellow gingam dress with red waffle trim (Which of course, worked great in colorful Amsterdam).

    “Who wears green tights?” mused Malibu Barbie Jr., to my left.

    I remember, that day, and many after, being emotionally protective of my outfits, like they had feelings that these cruel Cali girls would hurt. I would apologize to my dresses under my breath for exposing them to such plebians.

    When someone wonders who wears green tights, and the answer is “you do”: style is born. There has never been a day since that I’m not aware of fashion, of style, of trend, of fad, of what makes me look good and what looks weird and why I wear what I wear. And happily I’ve gotten to live through some amazing experiences as a result of my openess, and the idea that hey – if I’m the green tights wearer then, I can also wear yellow tights. And blue! And purple!

    Of course as a result of my girlhood experience combined with subsequent trips through punkville, grungeville, years of thrift-store-shoppingville and horrifying-the-parentsville, I’ve become what else but a total fashion addict.

    Top three designers: Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten and Mayle (for whimsy). No, I’m not rich, but I invest each season in a few stunner pieces. I love these lines for their subtle messages: the fem/masculine blends, the sharp lines that cut a figure of strength, the feeling that along the line of my patent leather heel lies the echo of a punk past.

    I feel that allowing myself to really love each piece that I put on, each day, honors myself, my identity and all that I know.

    My two fashion icons are Oscar Wilde and Vita Sackville-West. Both Brits who pushed towards (and in Vita’s case, jumped over) the line of androgynous, so interesting for the time they lived in. “Switchdressas”, as a Boston firefighter once put it (long story for another time, but if anyone I know reads this they’ll realize it’s me.)

    Or, I suppose, wearers of green tights.

    I know I have a zillion other icons that I can’t think of right now, but really it’s the designers themselves that I’m attracted to: their vision and sense of craft and artistry. Through all my fashion phases gender-bending is the only common theme, and I don’t just mean looking boyish as a girl but also looking hyper girly as a girl.

    Other than that, it’s just loving gorgeous clothes. For strength, individuality, and fun.

  116. AnastasiaC

    December 12, 2006 at 12:07 am

    What has inspired my style…….. From then to now……

    •Little House on the Prairie
    •I love Lucy
    •Milly Molly Mandy books
    •Brady Bunch
    •90210 the TV series
    •Designers that celebrated the body – Azzedine Alaia, Gianni Versace, Claude Montana
    •late 80’s early 90’s Supermodel era, especially Linda and Helena
    •Kevyn Aucoin – miss his work SO much!
    •Favourite Magazines – Allure(I have every single issue since its permiere March 1991!!), British Vogue and the past few years US Vogue especially Andre Leon Talley
    •Mario Testino , Ellen Von Unworth
    •Street Chic especially blogs like yours!
    •1940’s especially floral tea dresses, the Mitford girls
    •Shiva Rose, Diane Von Frustenburg, Kate Spade
    •Lately it’s the look of Jasmine Guinness
    This list could go on and on ………

  117. cigalechanta

    December 12, 2006 at 12:10 am

    When I first found a copy of the French Elle, it was not yet sold here and the Enlish version was not to appear til years later. It was so much like my style that I subscribed to the magazine.

  118. victor

    December 12, 2006 at 12:33 am

    12 years of Catholic school defined me in many ways. i either rebelled against the indoctrination or absorbed it so thoroughly that i don’t know where my ideas start and the church’s end.

    the style challenge is working within a restricted color palette and only a few basic pieces to create an individualistic expression within the guidelines of a uniform.

    20 years later the uniform changed from the needs of a schoolboy to a man. but the idea of a uniform still provides the comfort of the familiar with the challenge of subtle refinements to make a unique statement.

    now as i reply on my black suits to get me from day to night, the shoes, shirts and ties create the fun.

  119. inez

    December 12, 2006 at 12:35 am

    My personal style has been influenced by 3 icons:

    1. Amelia Bedelia, the literal-minded housekeeper from the children’s book of the same name. She wore capes, a jaunty hat, a ruffled apron, and I thought she was IT. I still do – and I can’t pass up a hat that has that certain Amelia Bedeilia quality.

    2. Going to art school in Southern California in the mid ’80′s, Exene Cervenka was the epitome of cool originality and taking it to the edge. She wasn’t beautiful, not by a long shot – but she married Viggo Mortensen… such was the power of her allure.

    3. The Godard Chick – Anna Karina, esp. in ‘Bande a Parte’ – I know, it seems to be in total opposition to #’s 1 an 2, but her insouciance, simplicity, and sexiness seemed so internal to me – style beyond style.

  120. Amy J

    December 12, 2006 at 12:58 am

    I was in London this summer and my family was in such a rush to get from one place to another, especially trying to navigate the tube.

    The single image that is most clear from my trip is not Stonehenge, Picadilly Circus, the River Thames, etc., but this aMAZingly dressed woman coming up on the escalator- it looked like she was materializing from nothing and conjuring herself in front of us.
    She was wearing buttery light brown high heeled boots, big shapely sunglasses, some sort of impossibly modern plaid wool jacket, topped off by this impeccably groomed 21st century afro. Somehow, she looked like she could be in the movies- set either in 2050 or 1949. I honestly believe I will never forget what she looked like walking hurriedly off the escalator. That kind of first impression is what I aspire to, and what inspires me.

  121. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 1:39 am

    Greetings from Chan, as ex NYer in Seoul, Korea.

    As an ex NYer (as an immigrant), love your site, as it keeps me in touch.

    My style has had two major influences. First, in 1977, I followed my father, who was a banker, from Seoul to London. There, as I was attending primary school, I wore a uniform. A cap, a sweater, gray shorts, long socks and dress shoes — a school boy look. Of course, it was topped off by a rep tie, brown and gold.

    My father taught me how to tie a windsor know, and I was the only lad who did not wear a four in hand. The school boy look with my father’s instruction laid the foundation for my preference for conservative dress.

    The other major influence was that my mother’s family was in the fashion businses as a distributor in Seoul. So, as I entered University in CA, I took a summer job teaching English at a company that was Polo’s official distributor in Korea. I had access to sample polo knit shirts, the button down dress shirts, the marketing materials. That is why I remain a fan of the “American Classic” look that is RL.

    I must admit, though, that given my physique as a decent athlete gone to seed, the FBL is my newest influence.

    Thanks.

  122. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 1:55 am

    My sense of style is something that I’m always cultivating and refining. I love watching the people around me, observing my reactions to their outfits as a whole and then trying to figure out what exactly it is about them that strikes me the way it does. I’m fascinated by the subtle ways that different factors (mood, weather, time of day, etc.) seem to effect my taste and I especially enjoy picking a photo, whether from on the runway or off (maybe one of yours!), and using it for background on my computer for a week or so, just to see how my reaction changes each time I look at it. In this respect, I don’t have any particular influence, I just try to appreciate what I see and hope that I can incorporate what I learn into my own personal style. Everyone is my inspiration (whether “well-dressed” or not)!

  123. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 2:00 am

    My personal style was developed around my early teenage years, where I was working out who I was. I was heavily influenced by the adults around me – costume designers and performers in much of the musical theatre I participated in inlfuenced me a lot, and I was wearing newsboy hats way before they were trendy. My mother has a really eclectic 40′s vintage style, and this influenced me also, even though her body type is completely different to mine. And, above all things, the types of music, art and movies I was dabbling in influenced me…mainly, The Velvet Underground, Klimt, Andy Warhol and Picasso, Moulin Rouge, The Virgin Suicides and anything else by Sophia Coppola.

  124. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 2:02 am

    hands down, it would be my two aunts. Since I’ve grown up, these two women have shown me what it is to have personal style. One aunt is an eclectic mix of practical, casual and a little bit of punk. the other is much more dressy, modern and extremely minimum. And they both stay away from trends and excessiveness. I also get the treat of generous hand me downs that include hand picked vintage and designer. I look for them for style inspiration because what they wear i actually see in French and Japanese magazines years later. From my aunt’s yogi yamamoto velcro adidas sneakers paired with vintage pink and yellow flannel shorts carried with a black army helmet bag she converted into a messenger bag and to my other aunts staple vintage powder pink dior oxford heels and super soft and slinky shirt, it is hard not to be in awe. If anything, they have taught me to wear what looks best on my body and although trends past it is personal style and personal taste that last.

  125. Cyril

    December 12, 2006 at 2:18 am

    A neighbourhood park to me is always a source of inspiration and style. People of all walks of life come and go, meet up and break up, and there is constant motion and commotion.
    Arguments you only hear bits and pieces of because you can’t find a way to eavesdrop properly, children on the swings screaming for mummy coz their big brother (not so big really) has left them helplessly stranded in mid-air, old men playing chess, stroking their beards, eyes squinting, brows furrowed.

    I like taking a closer look at gnarled benches covered with engravings or trash cans with bubble gum sticking out on the brim of the ingress. Things that look so destroyed and beyond repair without the slightest hope of resuscitation to others is so incredibly full of life and vitality to me.

    Spending time in a park, whether it’s for leisure reading or just people-watching, never fails to fill my mind with fresh ideas and notions when I walk out the gates.

    Personal style isn’t only about how you look, how you dress, it also affects your habits and actions. What you buy in stores, what you order in a restaurant, what books you choose to be engrossed in, what webpages you surf and skimp, and how you do all of these things and so many more exude your personal style in more ways than one.

  126. fashionaddict

    December 12, 2006 at 3:41 am

    “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    I have this photo I tore out of Vogue many years ago – a shot of Carmen Kass in a black Helmut Lang dress, a knee-length-sheath that ballooned gently with a long majestic train. It is stark, but has character. I want my wedding dress to look like that.

    How did I get to this point where a Helmut Lang dress defines how I want to look?

    If I thought about what my style has been like over the last 22 years, it goes like this – crisp little linen dresses and neat little shorts and skirts my mother made me for when I was little. Those were good years.

    Then the fashion pages go blank. I started on ballet when I was 6, and spent the subsequent childhood years in ballet leotards and tights, worn with skirts over them or sometimes shorts, and loose tops, because it was the most comfortable thing. That and my primary school uniform.

    My teenage years on the school track team were a wilderness of school uniforms, track suits, running shorts and sneakers.

    My mother was, and still is very chic. She bought those expensive magazines like L’Officiel which faithfully reproduced every runway show in photographs each season.

    She would then drop in on her tailor and have her favourite looks modified and reworked appropriately for our hot, Singaporean weather.

    But it didn’t rub off on me. I thought it was too much work. I wanted effortless dressing to suit my busy life. Getting dressed was function.

    Something happened when I was 14 – I discovered American Vogue.

    It was an April issue, I remember Amber Valleta was on the cover with two other models. I don’t remember who shot the cover.

    I remember the couture coverage inside. I remember it was the first time I had seen such luxury and artistry in fashion. Unlike L’Officiel, where I only saw photos, the accompanying text in Vogue made what seemed like mere theatrics to something that seemed possible, even wearable.

    From dressing for functional purposes, I discovered that the act of getting dressed is an end in itself.

    When I entered university and was free of school uniforms for the first time in my life, it seemed like my fashion pages bloomed again.

    I still gravitate towards the tomboy style I unconsciously cultivated throughout those athletic years. Lots of jeans, tattered Converses, a perfect white T-shirt. A sharp black jacket. I don’t wear make-up, and I prefer a clean, sleek silhouette.

    At the same time I like ballet-ish, floaty layers, a slim pant, ballet flats. I like clothes with an ease of movement, but with an element of grace.

    Preferred colour palette – dusty pinks, greys, navy, white, cream, the occasional gold accent.

    I think of myself as a feminine tomboy, and I admire the style of those who fit this aesthetic and attitude – Francoise Hardy on a bike, Sofia Coppola in a tie, Milla Jovovich in Prada and jeans.

    The idea is to be completely at ease in your clothes.

    A little of my mother did rub off on me after all – I am VERY particular about fit.

    Will I still dress the way I do 50 years from now? I don’t know, but I have no doubt that the experiences of the years to come will inspire me in the way I choose my clothes.

    To the sartorialist, thanks for prompting me to actually sit and reflect about my style.

    And to everyone else, love your personal style stories. Long live individual style!

    imaginetheworst@hotmail.com

  127. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 3:59 am

    I live in rural New Zealand where an awareness- let alone an appreciation- of fashion is not something that many men (or women to be honest) own. As a
    clothes-horse teenage boy in these surroundings, my sense of style has honestly been cultivated by fashion blogs like The Sartorialist and Facehunter. The internet doesn’t seem like a particularly romantic place to discover fashion but I’m sure it’s an increasing scource of inspiration.
    Also I think clothes, like architecture need to be in harmony with their surroundings. My sense of style is about ideas from New York, Paris and Europe (The Sartorialist, Facehunter and hel-style) which then need to be applied appropriately to a New Zealand context.
    The NZ fashion industry is
    super-cool also.

  128. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 6:34 am

    My father insisted I show cuff and knot my ties caringly, mindfully ensuring they dimpled. He suggested that I shouldn’t wear white shirts before dark. Now understated iconoclism defines my style. Black and white from Japan and Antwerp perpetually dressed down with with dark demin and sneakers. I thank my dad for teaching me attention to detail, for giving me something to push off against, and for still making certain that I look properly sharp when I need to.

  129. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 7:48 am

    CONTEST

    Two moments were fundamental to my style development: Escada by way of a HEAVY book/catalog that came in tissue paper and a box that had been lent by one of my mother’s friends from a trip to Europe – and I could not get over the gloves with contrast edging and of course (early 80s), the buttons. Andrew Marc by way of my getting myself grounded (1982) and on a last trip out – was at the grocery store and slid Vogue under my wraparound skirt (sorry Kroger! -Vogue was for adults and an 11 year old girl didn’t need it – per mom) I fell in love with the city scape background, man with his back turned, dark crop of hair, crisp trench blowing in manhole cover steam. Both mags were my bible in VERY small town midwest. (I ended up in NYC & worked for both companies) – your website has become my daily dose of stolen inspiring moments. – thank you!

  130. anna

    December 12, 2006 at 8:20 am

    I get inspired by beauty, nice cuts and finesse. To me, a personal style does not need to be odd or very trendy, it is about wearing (and to know) what suits you best.

    For me, a blonde swede, I look best in earthtones, so I stick to that and add small details.

    A really good personal style, in my opinion, is when someone can look both timeless and trendy at the same time, naturally. The key is a classy and timeless base, added with trendy and/or personal accessories. I do not like when it is obvious that someone tried really hard to look fashionable.

    What is fashion seem to go in cycles, but nice cuts never go out of style.

    Less is more!

    anna from sweden (anna_stahlgren@hotmail.com)

  131. Eva

    December 12, 2006 at 8:44 am

    My inspiration comes from the people in Doroatea Lange, August Sander and Jacob Riis photographs.
    In my teens it was a lot of black, white and red; I couldn’t realy control the shades. Too much hormones I guess.
    Now when I have matured the colours that adornes my body are different shades of gray, white, brown and blue in layer. Green in skirts and pants is working for me, never tops. I don’t do much patterns, some stripes, instead I do different fabric structures and materials. Always nature material; cotton, wool, silk and leather in diffrent combinations. And when I feel more festive I like some silver sequins or accessoires.
    The clothes that I fall for has often the classic workers cut but with a twist. Zipper instead of buttons, hidden pockets instead of visible or a asymmetric cut instead of a straight one.
    I try the less-is-more strategy but usually I’m on the border. It’s more fun that way.

  132. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 9:39 am

    My personal style is a mix of the conservative and avant-garde. My
    > first real sense of being aware of fashion and style came in the
    > early 1990s. My favorite designer, at the time, was Gianni Versace.
    > He made such an impact, especially with his ads by Herb Ritts and
    > Bruce Weber. At the time, I was in a private Catholic high school.
    > Most of the kids dressed in the Gap. So, it was a preppy
    > environment. I was a quiet kid and the way I rebelled or expressed
    > myself was through my dress. We had to wear a shirt with a tie and
    > pants. However, I mixed things by wearing by a lot of color. It was
    > a brave thing to do for a straight kid from Queens…lol. There were
    > some negative comments. But, most people liked it and I was named
    > the best dressed kid in the school for 1991. I used to shop at the
    > now defunct store Oaktree, that was in all the malls. One of my
    > more adventurous outfits was a gold silk shirt, with a printed tie,
    > cranberry red Ralph Lauren corduroy pants and gold suede shoes. I
    > was “Big Pimpin.” But, even today as my style has evolved, I enjoy
    > using color. For instance, a deep purple cashmere scarf with a
    > double-breasted cashmere overcoat. Today, for professional
    > purposes, I prefer custom clothes by Domenico Vacca or Ralph
    > Lauren’s Purple Label, as well as vintage stuff. But, I still have
    > my colorful ties. But, now they are seven-fold.
    >
    I hope I win…I really want that book…Donatella should get Bruce to
    photograph the ads again.

    Happy Holidays,

    Anthony from NYC

  133. SuMisura

    December 12, 2006 at 9:41 am

    As the child of a single parent brought up by a large and loving extended family of aunts and uncles, unbeknown to me my sartorial influences and education were all around me at a very early age. Whether they were afternoons spent @ grandparents or with aunt and uncle watching Cary Grant woo Rosalind Russell in impeccable double breasted worsted suits in His Girl Friday, or John Wayne donned in stunning Harris Tweeds in the Quiet Man – my aspirations were firmly rooted in the luminaries of the Golden Age of Hollywood – reinforced by my mother, who encouraged a strong outward presence of style and confidence

    My father very much a presence in my life was very functional in his dress, and had a starkly different approach to fashion – simply to clothe. He, unlike myself, I suspect never felt the need (although appreciated its beauty) or the desire to use it with any great significance as I did.

    I, on the other hand, in what was a chaotic adolescence, needed it as both a crutch, a tool, and yes, to articulate my most fantastic and perhaps even juvenile aspirations.

    As I ambled my way through an unbelievably difficult adolescence, of awkwardness and heaviness, my sense of style became the bane of my existence, ahead of my time, not only did it go unappreciated, but was the source of ridicule.

    As I stand here today, I have “no regrets.”

    Donned in bespoke menswear influenced from those luminaries, it is every bit as much my extended family, on my mothers side, to whom I owe the honor. Older and wiser, I have the black and white portraits of them in their youth, and full effervescent beauty to appreciate just how much the style mover they truly were. The epitome of elegance and grace, which as a young lad I did not have the privilege to enjoy them as.

    For them, because of them I am “with no shame” an unabashed Sartorialist.

  134. ageez

    December 12, 2006 at 9:57 am

    i think that learning about design in general that has influenced my sense of style. architecture, furniture, sculpture, fashion and fashion accessories – good design is key.

    for my own style, this translates into fit. i look for designs that will fit well (or will do so with a bit of tailoring). proportion and shape are critical (this is definitely borne out by the people you shoot) to a stylish presentation. color is the icing.

    i believe this holds true for every medium, not just fashion – even the humblest dinner plate makes a great statement when the proportion and shape are appropriate. :)

    when a design resonates with us, that’s when we find our true sense of style.

  135. Chad Moore

    December 12, 2006 at 10:17 am

    Everyone has some great, interesting replies!!!

    Anyways, Instead of posting right away, I thought a little bit before I posted.
    Many male Sartorialist readers seem to be really influenced by another male in their lives. I have never really had a solid male figure around to observe or learn from. I’ve learned most of what I know about menswear, womenswear, and fashion in general by simply reading. Whether it be going to the bookstore every week and sitting for hours reading the newest magazines or browsing the internet taking in whatever I can. I also made friends with an older gentleman who is the head sales associate at the Neiman Marcus here(I used to go in there and just look around for hours). We’ve had long talks about the current state of menswear and other things. We both agree that its hard to live in Tampa and be really into menswear. No one here really cares about the cut of a jacket, working buttonholes, or floating canvas, much less even know what any of that stuff is. Still, I read and I read and absorb as much as I can in hopes of one day producing my own collection and living in New York City.

  136. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 10:44 am

    Wow…My Mom and Dad are such style icons to me. It all started from the few pictures that I saw of them as youngins. My Dad with his bell bottoms and my mom with her her tri colored tube top. As far as I can remember, my Dad use to match his belt with his shoes and had at least 50 pairs of shoes including an Italian pink pair of moccasins. As I looked at my parents through me child eyes I saw color and beauty…Holidays, Birthdays, changing seasons, and any party were always revolving around a new outfits with the new looks and sometimes new beginnings.
    My mom told me many of times… “Enid, if you don’t feel like doing anything all day, just do one thing for me….Take a shower and get dressed and just be beautiful”
    This is what has most inspired my style. The feeling that a particular outfit gives me and the journey back to my happy childhood days.

  137. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 10:47 am

    My biggest influence in my personal style, has always been the everyday world. What I see around me, from people in the streets, clothes in shop windows and in stores, magazines, books, movies, paintings etc., they all form the inspiration for my style. As i am a designer myself, selecting carefully from the myriad of things and information around me has been a staple of my everyday life since many years ago. It is a tough process and not always succesfull but this is how it works for me.

  138. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 11:03 am

    My influences really are the women in my family.

    My grandmother is 96 years old. She has never worn pants, she wears a skirt and stockings every day. She carries handkerchiefs, wears hats and always look impeccable. Very classic. Each holiday season, I wear a costume pin on my coat of a Christmas ball that she gave me. The pin’s about 50 years old, if not 60.

    Then my mother – I am still rooting through her closets for great pieces she has saved, particularly from the 60′s and 70′s. I’m wearing a teal boucle sweater with raglan sleeves right now, that must be about 30 years old.

    Next, my younger sister – who pushes me to have a bit of fun with new trends and to not be afraid of looking at a photo of me taken today in ten years and being embarrassed!

    Finally, though neither family nor a woman, NYC itself. Living and working in Manhattan (LES and Soho, resp) gives me the freedom to take all those familial influences and make them something different and original. Not to mention, the shopping’s great. :)

  139. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 11:04 am

    such a banal answer; but everything. the elements of design (colour – especially “ugly” colours, line, symmetry – especially asymmetry); the scientific method – hypothesis, experiment, conclusion; circus trees (google it and check the first link that comes up); places i visit – new york, paris, berlin, san francisco, the middle of nowhere new brunswick; antiques and past life curiosities; photography, illustration, design – especially chairs, architecture; magazines; old cameras (brownie, diana, instamatic, polaroid); simplicity, minimalism, and over-doing it; waking up in the morning and seeing what’s clean.

  140. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 11:11 am

    “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    my style, which is, in essense a sense of self, is inspired by my desire to express myself and the freedom to cross the lines in doing so.

  141. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 11:12 am

    I grew up in a tiny (pop. 500) Midwestern town. Inevitably, my sense of style was born directly and indirectly, for better or worse, from my two parents. My mother brought home Hitchcock films and from an inappropriately early age I remember cooing over Edith Head’s dresses, particularly those worn by Ingrid Bergman in Notorious. So to my mother, then, I owe the belief that sophisticated elegance is inseparable from the personality it clothes and carries. My father, on the other hand, is the Grizzly Adams self made wilderness man type -with a talent for texture. He would fringe the tops of his steel toe leather boots and the bottoms of his worn denim work pants. The finish, though, was in the accessories: sheepskin (winter) or straw hats decked out in fishing lures, interesting bits of found metal, flowers or sticks and for special occasions a woman’s brightly colored silk jacket. I could probably endlessly describe some of his wardrobe maneuvers, which have never ceased to evolve or inspire, but more important than such specifics was what he said when he picked out that woman’s jacket at Goodwill: So what if it’s a woman’s jacket! I like it and I feel great! Whatever I wear, however classic or audacious it is, I remember to make it a part of me with a bit of confidence and my father’s broad sunny smile.

  142. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 11:19 am

    Thinking back, the time that I discovered thrift shopping as a teenager most influenced my personal style. I came to realize that clothes didn’t have to be brand name, or new, or even fit perfectly to be useful. The extremely low prices made me adventurous so I took more chances, and learned a lot about myself because of it.

    -Gabe

  143. HMB

    December 12, 2006 at 11:27 am

    The person who has most influenced my style is my mother. Growing up with Grandfather, who wears Christian Dior three piece suits of yore still, Mom really knows how to pull an outfit together.

    My mother’s trademarks- a lovely scarf or beautiful, jewelled pin. Many people have these accessories, but she knows how to make them her own (read: She’s confident).

    Coming from the Indian subcontinent, understatement was never a big priority for our ilk- but my mother made it one, and while I may not love her staid, lady-like wool suits, I love the panache she wears them with.

    I come from the generation of Britney Spears and Paris Hiltons, but Mom’s restraint with embellishment and tailoring will never leave me. What I have learned from her is this:

    1. tailoring to any outfit is key, and beautiful accessories are a must

    2. jewels are perfectly acceptable accessories as long as they are chosen with taste and restraint

    3. never buy an of-the-moment item if it doesn’t suit your personal style

    Mom’s style is very feminine, and my own is more menswear inspired, but these are rules every person, no matter their own fashion philosophy, can use. To mom- thank you.

  144. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 11:36 am

    CONTEST
    When I thought about your contest, what interested me more that the prize itself was quantifying the development of my sense of style. My sense of style is completely based in vintage clothing. That does not mean I walk around in it all the time, less and less in the past few years. However, when I get that pit in my stomach, the feeling that style is truly present, it always has its origins in clothing from past eras. New designers are still pulling from the past. Jovovich Hawk is a good example. Those girls have it going ON! Old Valentino makes me woozy. Even the occasional little crop 50′s wool jacket found at the Salvation Army can make me try to pair it with everything from dark Seven Jeans to a classic pair of Paul Smith slacks.

    I once found a Ossie Clark dress at a Thrift Store, later noted in Vogue as classic vintage, that was so amazing it was almost unwearable.

    Thanks for asking such a great question!!!

  145. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 11:52 am

    My earliest inspiration was my mother. I grew up playing dress up in her shoes and clothes, as oversized as they were for my little girl frame. My mother had fantastic everything – YSL blouses, now vintage and covetable shoes and how can one forget jewelry. When I was younger my mother dressed very simply, slacks with a YSL blouse and a single necklace. I think my style reflects the simplicity of my mother in the 80s and my childhood. Now I have simplicity ingrained in my style but today I am addtionally inspired by everything around me – nature’s colors, what’s hot on the runway now, other people but all those, as inspiring and beautiful, have to work on my petite 5’2″ frame.

  146. Misael

    December 12, 2006 at 12:19 pm

    My inspiration?

    I’d have to say the TV shows Mod Squad and Good Times. My parents propped me in front of the TV alot as a toddler. I syphoned that particular style throughout childhood. Sure I was teased during adolescence (because all the guys wore Air Jordans), but my mother was more than willing to buy me a shiny pair of Buster Browns.

  147. Andrea

    December 12, 2006 at 12:26 pm

    What inspired me? Probably the deprivation and the lack of really role models. Grew up in a small town in snowy Tyrol/Austria, so there was just Nature all over the place and probably the beauty, the intensive colours of Nature sharpened my focus, so I cultivated a strong focus on colours, mixtures and shapes. So the deprivation turned out – on the second sight – to bear a really good challenge for me.

  148. Lester Diamond

    December 12, 2006 at 12:28 pm

    I would have to thank my mother and the staff at the Ralph Lauren section of Bloomingdale’s for helping me instill a sense of style at an early age. My mother was a big shopper at that Bloomingdale’s in White Plains in those days and the salespeople would always call and invite to the store, taking us around show what was going on sale, and stash our choices for us. As I got older, I would shop there on my own; the saleswomen would call me up, invite mer to the Polo store,flirt with me and teach me how to wear the clothes and combine different styles.

  149. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    Inspiration comes from everything looks new and fresh but the moment you say it, it sounds less new and fresh than before.
    Whan I was a kid I was huge fan of Franco Moschino, whose witty and tongue-in-cheek attitude showed us that classic and eccentricity are nearer than we suppose. Even if I hate what Moschino has become today, I still search for classic with a pervert touch…

  150. breagha

    December 12, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    I probably have a very cliché response, but it’s the truth! My parents were very uninterested in fashion, and they both dressed in that conservative, typical way that a lot of people do: they always looked smart, but clothes were purely about function to them. I couldn’t have been more different. I was “designing” dresses from the moment I could draw, and trying to sew more interesting things for my Barbie dolls. (I think the best frock I ever made for Barbie was a replica of Wilma’s dress from the Flintstones. My skills at age 5 weren’t that great!) My father travelled a lot for business, and he started bringing back fashion magazines from Britain for me. I loved British Vogue and Harper’s & Queen (as it used to be called), and I would literally read every word from cover to cover. That included fine print, advertisements, everything. I just couldn’t get enough. When I was younger, my “style” was that tacky sort of thing a lot of young girls do — it was all about status. If it was designer, I wanted an obvious label on there. But it occurred to me sometime around the beginning of college that style was about much more than that, and I began to develop an ability to dig through vintage markets, pull in pieces from the likes of H&M, and selectively splurge on a few worthwhile items. I know that, because I’m still in college, there is still a lot of room for my style to develop. As I move into the working world and gain an income that will definitely help! But in the meantime, I’m still trying to define what my style is. I love retro pin-up glamour and also some of the edgier ‘hipster’ stuff, so my look is probably somewhere in between the two. I try to avoid clichés and to look original without being a slave to trends. Most of my inspiration comes from magazines — especially British and French ones, which I adore — and from fashion blogs, which I ingest religiously. (That includes the Sartorialist, though I don’t want that to come across as an attempt to win brownie points, because it’s not!) I love old films as well — the way women dressed in the 40s and 50s just amazes me. I wish women still dressed the way they did then, and that the sort of effort women put in in those days was still the standard. My story is not that original and I doubt it’s a contest-winner, but for the sake of contributing, that’s how my style developed.

  151. Braden

    December 12, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    Non-judgemental, care free, creative environments inspire my personal style. After growing up in Louisiana under strict southern constrictions I moved to the uber hippy Austin Texas for art school where this ‘anything goes’ attitude first hit me. Now in Atlanta, Georgia attending a graphic design school rightfully named ‘The Creative Circus’ – I can say that these creative environments inspire me everyday to actively explore and express myself. Fashion is now a strong outlet for my originality to spill out onto the world.

  152. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 12:41 pm

    Can we vote? I want convenience store guy (girl?) to win.

    My inspiration: women.

    Just women. I grew up surrounded by women and girls–in ballet class, in the grocery store, in the teacher’s lounge at the school where my mother worked. I would sit at the table doing my homework and they would come and go, telling stories about children and mothers and shopping and life over my head. I remember crouching on the floor outside the ballet studio, watching the older girls come and go in their scoopneck black leotards and pink tights, a curious combination of toughness and pastel, muscles and curves. Backstage, a flurry of sequins and tulle. Outside, running my fingers along the chain-link fence and peering into the church schoolyard, a sea of navy plaid, girls in skirts and kneesocks clearly different from boys in slacks and ties. I learned that every place, every tribe, had its own style: when my mother took me into Manhattan, she dressed me in beautiful jackets and shoes that clicked on marble floors, just like the women hurrying through the lobby. (I was the only child of two doting parents, and when it came to my clothing, my parents spared no expense–at five, I had a collection of leather-soled shoes, custom-tailored dresses, and velvet-lined jackets that now I can only dream about.) When we moved to the suburbs, it was Adidas for soccer players, muddy boots for the equestrian girls. It wasn’t the same with men: a suit was a suit was a suit, and I couldn’t tell from a jacket and tie where a man worked or what he loved to do in his spare time. No, my whole life, what I understood was women, the variety of them and what their clothing could say.

    They’ve taught me that there is no one perfect woman, and no one perfect style. I’ve loved them all equally–teachers with skirts draped over full thighs, ballerinas with flat breasts under black leotards, Stevie Nicks with her shaggy hair and a web of layered necklaces, and Annie Lennox in a suit and striped tee–and every day I get dressed with them in mind, hoping that my clothing defines me as clearly as theirs defined them.

  153. Superqueen

    December 12, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    CONTEST

    I think my actual style has been influenced by all my passions – music, cinema and fashion; in particular I think I have mostly been influenced by Victorian and Edwardian style, by grunge and by the 70s. During the 90s I really started to experiment with clothes, hair dye and make-up and I slowly created my own, personal, image: lots of layers, scarves and jewellery from the Middle East, Converse All Stars sneakers, vintage jersey dresses, rock metal t-shirts, corsets worn on work trousers, smokey eyes (VERY smokey) and red nails. Sometimes I am inspired by the 70s and I like wearing the clothes my mother wore at the time, like her Pucci dress, her blue velvet jacket, her striped pant suit, or some 70s inspired clothes; in other moments, when I feel romantic, I like taking inspiration from the Victorian and Edwardian age – high-collared shirts, some severe dresses and pinafores, some leather gloves.

  154. the junkie

    December 12, 2006 at 1:01 pm

    I like to be in control. I like to play it safe. I don’t do drugs, drink moderately, go to bed early. The desires and dreams I would never otherwise reveal to anyone manifest themselves in my style. The promiscuous vixen has her day when I choose a blouse that dips dangerously close to my décolletage. The wannabe hipster rejoices when I don my pink and black striped fingerless gloves. The trophy wife loves her bright orange Louis Vuitton bag.

    In short, what most inspires my personal style are the things I dare to dream, but dare not to live.

  155. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 1:08 pm

    My grandmother never threw out her Vogue magazines. I looked at the pictures over and over. It didn’t matter what year they were from there was always something that struck me.

  156. BlowHarder

    December 12, 2006 at 1:23 pm

    Not for the contest, but:

    My personal style? I spend most of the year dressed in whatever my mother gives me for Christmas. And I’m forty years old. But hey, I’ve been reading your blog regularly and it’s not too late to turn things around …

  157. Jillian

    December 12, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Inspiration crashes into me not so much in waves of magazines or people, but through feelings. Feelings are specific and very personal; certain emotions evoke different colors and shapes. Texture becomes a representation of more than fabric, but of layers of small sensations. I cannot say that magazines and pop culture are invisible on my style, their influence is embedded in it but not overtly so. I find that emotions, reactions, sentiments, or whatever you want to call them, bring new meanings to every piece of clothing and your decisions to compose an ensemble can’t help but be seen in that. Love, happiness, sadness, indifference, all of these states inspire my style.

  158. Vanessa

    December 12, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    The literary and bohemian aesthetic of Paris & New York in the 20s and 30s and the personal style of the Modernists (think Marcel Duchamp, Samuel Beckett, Mina Loy, Ezra Pound, Henry Miller, the Ballet Russes, Georgia O’Keefe et. al) has been formative in my thinking about style and fashion.

    Style is – since my teens, and thanks to an early exposure to modernism – a sensual expression of not just an aesthetic sensibility, but an intellectual or philosphical position. In my formative years, it became clear that form *is* content.

    The seamless integration of the life and the style in the “modern era”, the shock of the new, the playful approach to proportions and form –in all media, including fashion – has been the bedrock of my approach to all things visual and philosophical. Their boldness has defined who I am as a (graphic) designer and as a lover of things in the all-too-often maligned material world. The Moderns showed me that fashion – aesthetics – are a cornerstone in living fully in the world. The choices we make in clothes, the objects around us, the way we shape our world….all this deeply matters.

  159. lena

    December 12, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    there are, of course, some people that are always inspiring when trying to develop – and, not least, KEEP – my own style. jean seberg, joan didion, sarah cracknell, catherine deneuve are icons, and so are truman capote and common. beautiful people they are/were. mostly i am inspired by details, though. and the details are what I try to emphasize. it is just like responding to the looking in the way W. Benjamin wrote of: responding to a certain gaze that belongs to the urban flaneur, a gaze that scans the world just quick enough to take in the whole picture, but still not long enough to grasp it properly and reflect thoughtfully upon it. i try to respond to that with my own style, i try to find those little details that breaks this hasty glance, that makes the peripheral detail fill up the whole picture and become it. that is what details are to me – in my personal style and clothing as well as in my way to approach to world.

  160. Emma

    December 12, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    I get inspiration from everyone, it can be their hair or a pair of shoes, clothes or just a jewellery. In my school a lot of people are interested in fashion and I am very grateful for that, they inspire me and I hope I inspire them as well. Even though I get inspiration from everyone else I have my own style and my own signature in the clothes that I am wearing that just shrieks my name. No one looks like me and for that me and my style is unique.

  161. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    Growing up, I wanted to be a writer, maybe even a poet. The inner city provided shards of inspiration for my work but it was research into the personal lives of the writers and artists that I admired that has had the most influence on my personal style: Donald Windham, Tennesse Williams, Evelyn Waugh, W. H. Auden… They dressed as if suits and ties were a second and welcome skin. There was such ease in ties sometimes too short and slouchy trousers paired with jackets that held memories: cottons and wools that no doubt absorbed cigarette smoke, ink stains. Scotch. They dressed to impress the energies and experiences that could perhaps come to influence their work. Every day was thus a first date of sorts and required a rigor sometimes slyly revealed in the flourish of an beautiful bow tie, a puff of linen in the chest pocket, in Tennessee’s coif and knowing glance, in W. Somerset Maugham’s wrinkled club ties. As sartorial examples, they have all taught me to honor the unexpected and sometimes violent act of creating–of process– by looking capable, ready, eager, to adorn the body in a way that respects the seemingly limitless capabilities of the mind.

  162. cassie

    December 12, 2006 at 2:14 pm

    Style Outline of My Life:
    1. Southern California Circa 1970′s: Parents were part hippies, part friends to certain stars. I remember whites, leathers, cool hats, chic sandals.
    2. Central Florida, mid 80′s: Private school, “big and colorful” years. Christie Brinkley ruled these years of my fashion knowledge.
    3. Marriage and baby years. Mostly Anthropologie type cute, flowing clothes. Key to these years was comfort.
    4. Present: (soccer mom years)….Cute jeans and tops, an occasional splurge on a fabulous purse. A cute beret or ballet flats.

    But a girl can dream….
    cassandra70@gmail.com

  163. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 2:31 pm

    I always loved books best and took inspiration from books I loved. Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby had gray eyes. Hemingway’s women had “tawny” hair. These single images were enough to imply character. If you were a woman whose defining visual was your “gray eyes,” what would you wear? For me it’s most important to dress in a way that’s in keeping with your character.

    Every girl who loves books probably read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, and probably had a crush on Laurie Laurence, the boy next door. In the book, grown-up Amy prepares to meet Laurie for a European ball. She arranges herself under a chandelier to have the effect of the light on her hair, then thinks better of the posture and walks to the other end of the room. Laurie comes in and sees her “as she stood at the distant window, with her head half turned and one hand gathering up her dress.” Maybe he falls in love with her in that quiet, unplanned moment.

    I’ve always remembered passages like this and have tried to live and dress in a way that’s honest, private, and beautiful.

  164. Melissa

    December 12, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    I’ve grown up surrounded by an eclectic mix of clothes. Everything from thrift store finds to my Great-Aunt’s fur coat lined the closets in my house. While I spent a lot of time in various stores shopping I always gravitated to those unique pieces, both new and vintage, that you find in thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets. I think the turning point was in my early teen years when I found a brand new pair of Bill Blass jeans for $7 at the corner thrift store. They were dark blue with roses stitched on the back pockets and on the side of the left leg. This was back before stitching was so popular and I had something new, different and cool but that still was part of the mold. I guess, to me, my sense of style is all about taking what is around me, what clothes I have and making them fit to how I’m feeling.

  165. ScotSkipper

    December 12, 2006 at 2:58 pm

    My father was in the USAF, and we moved every 2 years or so all through my childhood. I was always one accent and one wardrobe behind.

    After learning to sew, realizing I’d never keep up with the civilian kids, and discovering Diana Vreeland’s Vogue, VOILA!

  166. PodPaul

    December 12, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    My mother influenced me the most. But not because she’s such a great dresser. It’s because, one day, when I was thirteen or fourteen, she demanded I start wearing some colours besides dark grey, light grey and khaki.

    The next day I think I went as far as I could possibly go, for a boy who never wore any colours: enormous red baggy jeans, black & white adidas, a lila and light blue plaid flanel shirt and a grey t-shirt underneath.

    Since then, I found many ways to introduce colour in my wardrobe: sweaters, jackets, vests, pants, socks, shirts, laces, shawls, ties, hats, shoes, belts, pins, flowers, pocket squares – anything will do. Colour’s what got me interested in this fashion thing.

    I’ve only just begun, and so there’s still a lot to learn. Also, buying anything non-grey still isn’t easy for me. (Also: a low budget doesn’t help.) But I’m catching on. Scruffy vs. preppy, irony vs. serious, designers, textures, silhouttes, hypes, fads, motifs etc. That stuff’s all coming to me, slowly but surely. Even so, every time I take something out of my closet, the first thing I think is: “There could be a little more colour in that – I guess.”

  167. Max

    December 12, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    Punk rock and vogueing are the main influences on my personal style.

    Punk rock taught me that the way you dress directly impacts the way people treat you. The day I got my first Mohawk I couldn’t get helped in a shoe store. When I stopped wearing jeans I’d made skin tight with a needle, dental floss, and a lighter salespeople started calling me “sir.” A year after I retired my studded, patched, zipper-covered denim vest some people didn’t know I was the same person.

    Punk also taught me that clothing isn’t inviolate. You can mess with it; sew patches onto it, alter it to fit the way you want, take the labels off, Frankenstein two garments together. It’s just clothing, and you can get more at the thrift store if you screw it up.

    Vogueing, and specifically the movie Paris is Burning, taught me that if you can look like what you want to be, you can be it (or at least convince other people). Clothing can give you power. Your clothing doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive. Throw on a thrift-store suit and suddenly people think you’re rich.

  168. dubarry

    December 12, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    i was 16 when i moved into my first apartment (by myself — don’t ask — rent $160 a month) on saint marks place, east village, new york city, usa in 1976.

    the 60s and 70s were wild style eras, our older brothers and sisters were hippies which was really much more than the jeans and plaid shirt look that that style de-volved into. early on it was much more outrageous — like sergeant pepper: military jackets, ostrich boas, panne velvet dresses from the thirties, black eye make-up it was all really great.

    then when the hippies got married they went disco, or even weirder like 70s swinger porn, or is there even a difference?: silver fringed dresses, rhinestone headbands, lots of white satin on the boys and the girls, but my crowd was a little younger . . .

    as a kid in brooklyn i loved what i thought of as the super-straight orange county republican look. like ethel kennedy not jackie. marlo thomas in that girl. super clean givenchy-type lines. tiny little pocket books. hats. white gloves. really up-tight wear — stiff white pique dress with matching light overcoats. of course this was exactly opposite of what was chic which i guess i’d characterize as late-jackie/yves st. laurent/deneuve-wear. much looser sexier stuff. hoop earrings, animal prints etc.

    anyway, in the east vill in 76 we were all so broke and had to save ou r money for drugs and music anyway, so we shopped the thrift stores — and there was still a lot of good stuff left in those days — not the 98% synthetic made in china crap that you find now. we dressed in mostly like the movies we liked from the fifties and sixties — mostly goddard any cahiers du cinema: lots of little black cocktail dresses for daywear, spike heeled shoes (which were SO OUT OF STYLE if anyone remembers the clunkers of the 70s). black white white black. the boys wore skinny ties and sharkskin suits which you could find for like 3 bucks. everybody between houston and 14th street looked like they were going to a cocktail party in some sinatra movie all the time. o and cocktails WERE SO OUT OF STYLE — people drank white wine spritzers. as if.

    my style derives still from the 60s. very clean lines. black white navy (underutilized color in my book) grey. i’d call it modernist of the type that repeats itself from era to era 20s/early 30s, 60s, 80s. structure. structure. structure. little embellishment. givenchy of course. mary quant. belle de jour ysl. yohji yamamoto. like that.

    i’d characterize my style as anything that i would have thought of as modern or futuristic when i was 6 in 1966.

  169. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 3:22 pm

    Your blog. I really take style lessons from your blog

  170. Grief

    December 12, 2006 at 3:39 pm

    My grandmother had a flawless eye when it came to melding a collection of styles; even in the 70s (from which I have my earliest memories of her homes in suburban Detroit), she embodied what designers in today’s vogue label “eclecticism.” She used a variety of fabrics, textures, materials and colors in order to create cohesive yet completely interesting room, merely by combining, say, a plaid, modernist sofa with a Chippendale coffee table (both of which I’m fortunate to have in my own home now) and a soothing curtain, highlighting the bolder strokes within the room. This level of experimentation and know-how for mixing and matching eras, textiles, and pattern influenced not only my taste and zeal for mixing fashion fabrics and predisposition for sharply honed interiors, but inevitably influenced my career within architecture. Today, my personal style reflects my grandmother’s sway in the way that I might layer, for example, a brightly-colored shirt beneath a gingham shirt, over which I might then wear another shirt in complimentary stripes with a classic oxford shoe and a more sedate trouser…. The evolution of my own style, and how it plays out in many aspects of my life, has become such a powerful part of my own personality that even the dour New York all-black look can take on a whimsical spirit with a mixture of patterns, textures and attitude. Or even in the materials I will implement within a space, and organization and hierarchy of a room. Grandma Schaefer had an impeccable eye when it came to the world in which she lived, and I’m certain that she would be proud indeed knowing the level of influence she’s had on her grandson.

  171. Sierra

    December 12, 2006 at 4:05 pm

    My mother has influenced my personal style the most. When I was little she would always make sure to dress me in things that I liked but were sophisticated and clean. As I got older, she was always there to make sure that I didn’t make some horrible mistakes. I remeber I once tried to wear on of my little sister’s party dresses over a pair of leggings. She told me I looked pregnant. Although it was harsh I realize that I would not have wanted to spend the day looking pregnant. But most importantly her personal style has been a huge influence. She loves classics and anything black. She knows every fashion rule in the book, but shes always trying to branch out and make her style new. I remember she used to wear big rabbit fur hat from Russia and all of my little farm-kid friends laughed at her. I was embarassed, but now I love that hat. She taught me to be daring, but never too daring with my style choices. She made sure that I went out into the world with a real understanding of personal expression and the importance of self presentaion.

  172. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    My style influence came back in my babysitting days. The mothers would usually go over long lists of emergency contacts, corn-dog heating instructions, etc. and I never heard a word because I was too busy staring at their fancy shoes and short skirts. My mother never dressed like that! & I loved it.

  173. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    She sat near the windowsill like a shadow, backlit against the noonday sun that streamed in and lit up the swirling dust particles in the air. As I neared, I saw that she wore a pistachio-green satin cowlneck top underneath a pair of high-waisted black woolen knickers, complete with suspenders. Her shoes were green suede, high-heeled with an ankle strap. And over her shoulders was draped a dark orange cape of micro-velvet that fell in graceful folds around her arms and halfway down her back. She was thin and her face was a flawless white, her blond hair tucked neatly behind her ears. Anything would’ve looked good on her. More importantly, anything would’ve looked “right” on her, when on others it may have just looked outlandish. Too much, you might have said, if you saw her clothes on someone else.

    She wore something different and daring every Tuesday night — a mustard-colored overcoat, red palazzo pants, a zebra-striped scarf around her neck (when zebra stripes hadn’t yet been taken out of their dusty, forgotten box and received on the runways with the roar of applause). She was Mary: my writing teacher, the first person who helped me, over the course of several months, write what Hemingway called the truest sentence I knew. So maybe it wasn’t just her style. Maybe I stared in awe and fascination because she could read and talk and write the way I had always wanted to do.

    But she commanded attention when she stood there by the window. Her words commanded attention, and so did her clothes. They hung on her delicate frame the way my favorite words took up space on the page: with the alliteration of color combinations, the rich juxtaposition of fabrics and delectable details — a suede heel here, a piping neckline there — that almost made me shiver with a hunger I hadn’t known before. I didn’t just want to write and read like her. I wanted to look like her, too.

    Of course, this isn’t the sort of style you just pick up. You have to be born with it, or ease into it slowly, over time. And I was afraid that if I tried to appropriate some of it, even a tiny bit, I might ruin it or call attention to it in the wrong way. So I settled for quiet admiration, and soon I began to notice that my teacher wasn’t the only one who had the gift of garb.

    It was Mary’s style that opened my eyes to the world of sartorial delicacies that surrounds me every day. It never became my personal style, unfortunately, but at least now I can really see it and enjoy it. And I can write about it, too.

  174. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 4:33 pm

    What inspires my style…hmm…
    I would have to say my future is what inspires me. I want for both my (future) offspring and for myself to look back and think “wow, she looked great!” I don’t want to look back and question “what was I thinking?!”

  175. Geoff

    December 12, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    My personal style definitely comes from my Mother and my Grandma.

    As a kid my grandma would interrupt my saturday morning cartoon watching because she wanted to watch “Style! With Elsa Klinch” on the E! Channel. Subliminally, watching all those darn runway shows instead of Spider-Man might have affected me more than I know.

    My mother and father divorced when I was 2 so I lived with my mother, grandma, and sister. My mom would always take me shopping with her, and I remember looking at all the colors of my moms Hermes scarves, looking at her Black/White Chanel flats and calling them “Channel shoes.” She has a great style, it is definitely a French influenced style and classic. She looks like one of those women you see in “Point De Vue” haha.

    In 6th grade I loved to skateboard, skate tee’s, jeans, and skate sneakers were my uniform. Now i’m in college and I have a job and can afford more clothes, and have converged styles; it definitely shows a lot of who I am.

    I look like a little skater boy that is into high fashion, the anti-yuppie yuppie if u will. My mother wishes I’d be more classic and timeless but what can I say, I’m fine mixing Dior Homme with vans slipons.

  176. Susan

    December 12, 2006 at 5:32 pm

    Without a doubt, my sister has been the greatest influence on the development of my personal style. She is one of the sharpest dressers I know, not following the latest trends, marching to the beat of a different drummer. She took a couple trips out to Japan some years back and she’d come back with the most outrageous stuff. Although it looked ugly in my eyes, she’d wear it confidently. A few years later, what she bought from japan a few years prior became the latest trend here in the US. She was always a step ahead and had an eye for pieces that were unique and had great design, material, fit.

    Her boldness in wearing things that were not trendy here would push me to be adventurous in figuring out my own style. I blame her for many humiliating days where I’d walk out wearing some crazy polka-dotted drapey top and telling me it looks fine, only to get teased by my friends later…but I also credit her for giving me that push to not dress according to trends and not being like everyone else. In addition to her boldness, she had the ability to pick classic pieces that were timeless. Her taste has affected me in so many ways and I see that when I look in my closet and see a coat that I purchased 4-5 years before and STILL love as much as I did when I first purchased it.

    It took many years, but through the critiques of my sister and through watching the way she carried herself, I dress the way I do and I feel good. I feel that I reflect “me” through what I wear. It took my sister’s influence to help me overcome my insecurities and wear what was right for MY body…not what worked for the average supermodel’s body or what the celebrities were wearing. I can be open-minded to styles that are out of the ordinary. My sister has helped me see that style is not dictated by money (she introduced me to the art of vintage shopping at a younger age), trends, nor having the right body. She would pick up some crazy piece through ebay or through travels and show me and I’d cringe and it would look like the most hideous thing to me, but she would love it and when she’d put it together with something else, I would end up liking it and borrowing it as well. This encouraged me to try on things that look “hideous” upon first glance and has led to the purchase of many gems in my wardrobe that my friends now envy.

    I also wanted to note that I stumbled upon your blog back in April 2006 when I clicked “next blog” after a blog that I share to keep in touch with my old high school friends. After finding your blog, I was led to endless other fashion-inspired blogs and I can say that these internet blogs have also influenced my personal style as well.

    I choose photos from your blog and others that I like and save those in my personal “style” folder to give me inspiration for my own look. Your blog alone accounts for the majority of the pictures in my style folder so I can easily say that your blog has been a huge influence on my style. You notice the details and you represent a myriad of different styles on your blog and it helps me to appreciate things that make an outfit unique and things that make people not look like a cookie-cutter trend-”whore” (for the lack of a better word).

    So thanks for doing what you do Sartorialist! You bring insight into what “style” is all about and it comes out in your blog and that is why your blog is so popular. You represent so many different styles that no one is left out. Keep up the great work and it was fun reflecting on this question!

    I would tell you to ask these thought-provoking questions more often, but I think that this overload of responses would overwhelm you. If you even get to read my response after these 100+ responses, thank you for taking the time to read mine! :)

  177. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 5:35 pm

    Right now, Peter Beard. Tomorrow, who knows?

  178. CSH

    December 12, 2006 at 5:38 pm

    The most powerful influence on my personal style goes back to one person, my father.

    While there have been many other influences, from magazines and movies to several stints working at Polo/Ralph Lauren stores, it always comes down to him. My father has a timeless sense of taste and a respect for quality. He is, at heart, a J. Press man who over the years loosened up and expanded to Brooks Brothers. That being said he always looked comfortable and stylish without being stuffy or off-putting. To the contrary, he has always been an approachable guy, which is very important since he is doctor. While he is a conservative dresser, my dad is by no means a sartorial wallflower. From white tie, tails and top hat for an annual dinner dance to creamy flannels, blue blazer, and a panama for a summer’s concert under the stars, he most certainly exemplifies personal style.

    If any one event cemented my love for clothing and the power it has, it was when I saw him at work but he didn’t know I was there. I was with a friend who worked in the hospital’s emergency room and we stopped there so he could drop something off. While I stood in a corner and watched the commotion, I saw my dad come around the corner wearing a seersucker suit and white bucks – downright natty. In the emergency room no less! What will forever stay in my heart and mind though is what happened next. He walked over to a man lying on a gurney parked along the wall, gently leaned over him and began to talk. Their heads close together, I could see the body of my father’s patient relax. At that moment, what he had on was irrelevant; he was there to comfort and help his patient. The style on the outside matched the man on the inside. More than any magazine or movie star, that image will always be my definition of true style.

  179. 39-3

    December 12, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    When I was growing up we couldn’t afford new clothes or even old clothes. We picked through the garbage bins behind our apartment building (a friend whose windows faced the bins would call us when he saw anything on our list of needs, like a crib or a child’s bike, or clothes) and I was young enough to believe that it was a luxurious activity, this slow browsing over clothes that already had the uncomfortable starch of newness worn out of them, that smelled faintly but sweetly of Tide, deciding and getting to take whatever I wanted, with reckless disregard for “price.” I chatted happily through my decisions with my mom, who never let the illusion slip for her daughter, but flocked excitedly to my side when I’d find something particularly beautiful. In our happy hunts for treasure, we escaped the reality of our threadbare existence and became explorers in a world of plenty.

    Twenty years later, I am no longer poor (though, living in NYC, I suppose relatively speaking I have never been poorer!). But I seek sources of inspiration with the same treasure-hunt approach. I look everywhere and at everyone for inspiration, be it the white marshmallowy sneakers of the 13 year olds at Queens Plaza or the curiously beautiful clash of colours between an old woman’s shoes and her socks on Canal Street. I peer as carefully into the windows of St. John as I do into Strawberry Jam (St. Jam?), and I even deign to note the puffy jacket choices of the mass of immovable tourists in Times Square (joking!). There’s loot everywhere and all of it is for the taking, not literally –I’m sure Barney’s would not accept “but I am a treasure hunter!” for an excuse if I try to run out with a cashmere sock– but in the intangible form of inspiration. I love the strangers who “have an air” about them even though there’s nothing specific that they’re wearing that catches my eye, and I learn from the perfect looking people with perfect magazine lay-out clothes who carry themselves in a way that keeps any of it from being beautiful.

    And through all of it, the memory of poverty keeps me humble, and I am proud to say that I have thus far sidestepped the easy trappings of commercial culture, which, to my mind, involve talking about personal style as if everything hinges on the sticker price. When really, the beauty of style –what makes it priceless– just like the beauty of those dumpster dives/treasure hunts, is that none of it costs a cent.

  180. Erin

    December 12, 2006 at 5:57 pm

    “What has most imspired your personal style?”

    I know this is going to sound really weird, but desserts have probably most influenced my personal style. Okay, now hear me out before you think I’m some crazed lunatic that just loves food too much. Desserts always look put together and have great color combinations. A Boston Creme pie taught me how great a dark rich brown looks accented with a soft creme. Pumpking Pie with whipped cream taught me that a harsh fabric or look can be softened with a delicate or whimsical accent. Vanilla ice cream with sprinkles showed me how I could make a plain outfit pop with dashes of color here and there. And pecan pie showed me how different textures can look really good together if paired correctly.

    I don’t know when I started looking at food with the potential to be an outfit, but I think it was ever since Hanes started dressing their characters up as fruit for their commercials. I started imagining what people would look like if they wore food, and after laughing a while, realized dessert makers are designers as well. Every confection made took time and effort, and a knowlege of fashion. No one would spend money on a cake in horrendous shades that looked like crap. It has to be easy on the eyes, and look pretty– just like clothes.

    Every chocolate chip cookie a baker makes is a little lesson in forming a pattern, and every lollipop handed to a kid is another color acceptable to wear. No one buys dessert that looks ugly, and if the color was hideous, no one would be eating it. So if you’re holding a new shirt, unsure if the color is ugly or not, check a lollipop. With the wide assortments and hues out there, if they haven’t made one with the color you’re looking for, it means it’s ugly.

    As much as other things inspire my style (Boston, Paris, the 20′s, the Victorian Age) I still find myself always checking with food before creating a new outfit. Does this color match with this one? Is this too many shades of one color? Is this pattern too much for this outit? Whenever I can’t seem to make up my mind, I yank open that freezer door and look to the beautifully created cakes and pies, who’s looks have never gone out of style.

  181. Fort Kiddiwanee

    December 12, 2006 at 6:33 pm

    Joan Collins bajando las escaleras de la mansión y, en general, todo lo que deja un rastro decadente.

  182. kurt

    December 12, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    In my opinion, building your own personal style is part of the process of getting to know yourself better. The more you read, the more places you visit and people you meet, the more you know who you are, what you want and, well, how you want to look like. I think those things (travelling, reading, seeing new things) have been the biggest influences in my style (can you say “my style”? I mean without blushing). As I write down some specific people, movies or places that can be considered “my influences”, many others come to my mind, and the list becomes never-ending. Let’s say men like Ed Harris, Leonard Cohen and Norman Foster, movies like Woody Allen’s, David Cronenberg’s and David Lynch’s, cities like Barcelona, Berlin and New York, designers like Lang, Saint Laurent and Ralph, my father (whose complete lack of style was uberstyle itself), my friend Iñaki and anybody who can look good at the airport when it’s monday, 23:00, and there’s nothing to do but wait.

  183. julia

    December 12, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    Being the Nigerian child of a diplomat took me away from the bosom of Mama Africa at the tender age of two. Almost immediately the constant desire to categorize and compartmentlize my essence started. I didn’t know who I was and no one knew me. Yet “they” tried to tell me who I should be. The rebel in me awoke and with my middle finger to the world I subconciously resolved to never be predictable. My style isn’t outrageous by any means but it’s never what you would expect from a tall, pretty african girl who still can’t tell you where home is. Is it so wrong to live for the word “different”?

  184. Bambino

    December 12, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    Two words: The Sartorialist….

  185. Darcey

    December 12, 2006 at 7:49 pm

    Although many many movies, magazine ads and photographs have inspired my style, what most inspires me are the people i see in each city. New York alone has many different styles and neighborhoods, but what equalizes the uptown/downtown/ect. individuals is seeing them all walk on city blocks. The anonymous people who could be going to an interview, on a date, or even out to buy groceries are what influence me everyday and push my style to evolve. While fashion magazines do give me ideas to think about my own style, what I see on the streets–on real people, with real lives and without an agenda to sell me something–directly changes my own style, which is much more dynamic than any one movie or ad campaign. In Paris, I feel the need to wear black tights, skirts, big heeels and chic, well-tailored jackets; in New York I like to wear mostly muted colors (blacks, blues and grays) with well-made boots for walking and a splash of color or a distinctive hat. In Milan, I wear pressed oxford shirts, tan trousers and the best loafers I have. Essentially, this is why I read your blog. You do all the work for me. You pick the best examples of style on the streets, where I can get my cues and enhance my own style. My latest addition to my wardrobe? A pair of black and brown spectator shoes, much like those I saw in a photo of a girl in new york, which you posted a few weeks back, wearing vintage black and brown ferragamo’s.

  186. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    Being only 23 years of age with a past behind me of fleeing my war-torn country at age 9, living in three different countries and 2 continents for the following 14 years, adjusting to everything that was new, always striving for the better tomorrow and my love for music and fashion –
    surviving all of this I FOUND MY BIGGEST INSPIRATION IN PEOPLE, all around the world, everywhere from the street, supermarket, park, restaurant, club and airport … People inspire me most, because we all are so individual.

    :DAN

  187. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 8:57 pm

    What a great contest and a chance to reflect upon why I dress the way I do, too. There is an Elliot Erwitt photo of a woman with her two dogs, one a great dane, the other a chihuahua. We see only the great dane’s legs and the chihuahua, who is lookig directly into the camara, sports a jaunty striped tam o’shanter, a scarf and a coat. Of the woman, we see only her slouchy boots and four inches of her tweed coat. I’ve always wanted to be this woman. It’s all about the details and the mystery.

  188. roxanne

    December 12, 2006 at 9:09 pm

    the earliest and greatest influence on my style was david bowie. i’m of the generation who were introduced to bowie by jim henson’s ‘labyrinth,’ but i was also lucky enough to have parents who reminded me that he was the same man who sang my beloved “spaceship song” (space oddity). they also supplied me with his albums on vinyl, for me to listen to plugged into the family stereo with headphones the size of my face clamped over my four-year-old head. he was my idol for so long that i wrote my college application essays about learning to incporporate clearly feminine, rather than strictly andrygynous, looks into my wardrobe – an act which made me worry at first that i was growing away from my first love. however, the conclusion of that essay of 8 years ago was that, through dress, i was beginning to express the spirit rather than the letter of the style law i had lain down for myself. i was growing up.

    the picture of a little kid wearing something far too big for her is actually an apt illustration of how david bowie affected my style, because the main lesson i learned from him was to embrace outlandishness wholeheartedly. bowie has tread the road of ridiculousness from top to bottom, and even gone markedly beyond its boundaries, yet no-one would ever dare to call him ill-styled. his more conventionally stylish incarnations, such as the thin white duke, were made unique by their over-the-top details: the waistcoat tighter than it should be, the pleated trousers balloon-like yet elegant. i remember also seeing him in the mid-nineties wearing skinny leather pants, a tunic-like hooded jumper, and boots fit for an anime character. and yet it looked good.

    bowie’s style, even at its most glitter-encrusted, has been consistently impressive because of, rather in spite of these exaggerations. that’s the fundamental concept behind almost everything i buy, make and wear today. i like classic shapes, blown up just a size too big or taken down one too small, and i like striking, rather than subtle colour combinations. it means i’m on thin ice most of the time, i think. coco chanel’s timeless “dress shabbily…” adage could just as easily be converted to “dress too outlandishly, and they remember the dress…” i aim to dress, as david bowie always has, just outlandishly enough.

  189. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 9:49 pm

    Manhattan!!!

    New York has been exciting and inspiring me style-wise since I discovered a stash of old Vogues at my piano teacher’s house in 5th grade. I would have quit piano much sooner except for the opportunity to sit and read the Vogues while my sister had her lesson. I noticed that much of the editorial content of Vogue, Bazaar and Cosmo (Ugh, forgive me. I was only 11 at the time) revolved around The City. I vowed to live there one day. Ten years later I did and, today I still do.

    Walking the streets of Manhattan is the BEST place to people watch and develop one’s sense of style. I’d highly recommend it.

  190. j

    December 12, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    Sartorialist, I don’t know if it was by chance or design but how perfect to relate contest about style to a book inspired by D. H. Lawrence. As well as “sex and words” Lawrence is known to use Nature and the environment as a major element in his work (see D.H. Lawrence-Future Primative, La Chapelle among others for more on this) and of course where does all our style and artistic sensibility issue from but Nature?

    My style comes from peering at the Sea of Tranquility,
    It comes from the pleasing proportions of a Sweetgum Tree,
    It comes from deep within humanity.

    My style is shaped by Zeus, and Narcissus, and Adonis,
    By Paris at Troy and Casanova in Venice,
    The marble statues of the Greek Apollo,
    The Doges in the art of the Cinquecento,

    I’ve been influenced by YSL, Jacobs, and Armani,
    As well as by my father and grandfather before me.
    So too, I’m affected by the agitated passions on the global street,
    And the bloggers Sartorialist and Face Hunter, even Eurobrat,
    Because all life is my style jurat.

    But I’m most affected by Natural style,
    The flashing eye, the charming smile,
    The graceful carriage of the people with dignity and reassuring good looks,
    That seem somehow conjoined with the Sea of Tranquility,
    And the pleasing proportions of a Sweetgum Tree.

  191. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    Ralph Lauren made me realize that it was my grandfather who inspired me to develop my personal style. When asked one day if he had anyone in mind while designing his collections, Ralph Lauren replied, “I’m dressing David Niven.”

    When I look in the mirror, I’m asking myself whether my grandfather would approve. This is odd because he was so old fashioned in some ways (for example, he wouldn’t even consider slacks with belt loops; braces buttons would have been the only acceptable means of keeping the pants on the waist). At the same time, though, he was really fashion-forward. He wore a half windsor when the full was popular and the full windsor when the four-in-hand and half windsor surfaced. His greatest influence on my personal style is color. He had a penchant for blending patterns and colors that SOUND questionable but LOOK great. When I look in the mirror, I might have belt loops (but I do have a suit that I had made specifically to be held up by braces), but I definitely (mentally, of course) seek my grandfather’s “approval” from the time that I pick out my outfit until I look in the mirror before heading out the door.

    Oddly enough, I never truly realized this until I read Ralph Lauren’s quote. Needless to say, I’m glad I read it.

  192. mariano f

    December 12, 2006 at 10:58 pm

    I have to say that the person that most inspired me in my style, I mean, actually two persons, my father and my grandfather.
    I remember always when I was a kid early in the morning taking me to school in the elevator, watching himself in the big mirror of our elevator building cheking if everything was perfect with his color combinations, suit, tie, overacting a little.
    And me there at my eight or ten years old sleepy and totally destroyed early in the morning…. like that. I have no words to explain it. I have to say that he stills do the same! Happens that in that time I don’t know why we didn’t have a dressing mirror at home and in the other hand my grandfather. you always talk about Gianni Agnelli. ok he was the Gianni Agnelli from Villa Pueyrredon.
    best!

  193. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 11:01 pm

    I’m only seventeen, and I am still in the tentative process of developing my style. However, I can say that what influences my style is mostly what I have absorbed from the photographs that I see in Vogue Paris. I remember when I first saw Carine Roitfeld’s styling in US Vogue: the crisp sharpness of Boy Meets Girl and the beautiful tailored suits opened my eyes to the world of fashion. I can express my individuality through clothing, and whenever I read Vogue Paris, I am reminded that I don’t have to dress like everyone, in the sort of homogenous tight jeans-too tight shirt combination that leaves me feeling naked. I love looking at Testino’s or Sorrenti’s photographs: they evoke beauty and taste, not the vulgarity that seems prevalent in today’s Hollywood Celebrity Club. I dress differently from most people my age, choosing my clothes for quality and beauty rather than according to the latest trends. I can only say I have fashion to thank for making me brave enough to be different, to be an anomaly and stick out from the sea of sameness.

  194. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 11:05 pm

    My sense of style is developed almost entirely from pieces I see in old films. I’m a filmmaker and a cinema obsessive, and I see much more style in older films than new ones or the people around me (even in New York). The biggest early influences were French New Wave films. At one point I might have cited my chief style icon as Belmondo in Breathless. Recently, though, I’ve grown in my appreciation for 2 “new” style icons: Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita, and (especially) the just-disreputable-enough-to-be-dangerous Serge Gainsbourg.

  195. Jeremy Lagrange Gryffoyn

    December 12, 2006 at 11:07 pm

    My father insisted I show cuff and knot my ties caringly, mindfully ensuring they dimpled. He suggested that I shouldn’t wear white shirts before dark. Now understated iconoclism defines my style. Black and white from Japan and Antwerp perpetually dressed down with with dark denim and sneakers. I thank my dad for teaching me attention to detail, for giving me something to push off against, and for still making certain that I look properly sharp when I need to.

  196. Anonymous

    December 12, 2006 at 11:31 pm

    I could write a book on all the things that have influenced and inspired my personal style, it is hard to narrow it down when you are as indecisive as myself. Before I tell you one thing that has inspired my style…I would like to focus on one thing that has intrigued me since I found out about it in September: The Sartorialist Blog.

    All you have to do is read the comments section from one of Scott’s posts and you will see how style affects us. People get angry, excited, inspired and jealous but one thing you will also see is someone thanking him for posting the photo he took. The photo made their day, it made an impression on them, it may in fact changed their life forever. It doesn’t surprise me that many people included The Sartorialist as one of their influences to their personal style.

    Scott has a fantastic eye for finding true gems of style on the street. He does not discriminate, he includes a wide demographic of people on his blog, which I think makes it special. It shows he has a great amount of respect and appreciation for all styles. When “on the street” sections in magazines tend to focus on the same looks and trends, The curious Sartorialist displays a mix of looks that will keep you interested and coming back for more. I love to see his examples of great detail in clothing and colour combinations. This man loves fashion, style and life.

    Since we are also on the topic of Bruce Weber, I chose the music video he directed for the Pet Shop Boys song “Being Boring” as an inspiration to my personal style. I was only 8 years old when this video came out and I didn’t know who the Pet Shop Boys were, I was more into Billy idol at the time. I first saw this video many years later around midnight when I was flicking through the channels and came across it on MTV. It is a thing of beauty. The song and the visuals go hand in hand. It just gives you this overall good vibe. Classic black and white film, smiles and an awesome song…these things never go out of style. At the time I had first seen the video I was really getting into fashion magazines and photography. I did some research to see who directed the video and it turned out it was Bruce Weber. I was so excited because I was always looking to see new work from him in magazines. His work is always so refreshing to see and remains very influential to the development of my personal style in life and my photography. You should check out the video on you tube:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=kTJWmhEOp3s
    In one of the comments on youtube someone wrote:
    “Fashion fades away but style remains”
    I thought that was kind of ironic at this time.
    We need to see more collaborations like Bruce Weber and the Pet Shop Boys…they go together like black and white.

  197. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 3:50 am

    A fleeting moment, a small gesture, the song of a stranger, an old memory, a stolen glance, the sweet scent of the one you love, the benches in tompkins square park, the whisper of the fall trees in october, the melody of a photograph, the crackling of an old Harvest vinyl, the warmth of red wine and friends’ laughter, the intoxicating smell of horses, patti smith’s hair, the way rock and roll sounds from the stage, heather chandler, an insatiable longing, a dare, a twist of fate.

  198. Maria

    December 13, 2006 at 3:52 am

    CONTEST
    I use to think that the fashion magazines was what inspired me the most in my choice of fashion. But in the past year or two I have come to realize that the little things I see every day is more an inspiration to me. Its not only the people with a fab sense of fashion but also those who hasn’t thought about it that much. Like the other day when a woman around 50 (Im 22) came into the store where I work, wearing a thin black t-shirt and a really wollen dark blue knitted cardigan. It wasn’t that great seen with the eyes of fashion but the combination of the colours and materials just looked amazing on her. The result of seeing her was that I tried to put my thick woollen socks in my elegant heels. Confused? -so was I.

  199. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 7:17 am

    Without a doubt, the greatest on my sense of style has been musicals and movies from the 1950s and 1960s. I remember sitting on the couch when I was little, watching those amazing performers breaking into song and dance as if it was the most natural thing to do, dressed impeccably in beautifully tailored garments. It made me believe the world was a rosy, sunshiny place with happy endings and music everywhere. I remember holding my breath as I watched Astaire float through the air in his dapper suits, and gasp at every outfit in How to Marry a Millionaire. Growing up, I was introduced to the realities of the world. Those films followed me though, made me want to re-capture that same innocence, the fairytale of life. I think that’s why my style is so focused on luxurious natural fabrics like silk, velvet and linen, and vintage shapes. Life may be mundane and monotonous, but through clothing, you can create your own music, your own fairytale, and tap dance through life a la Fred Astaire.

  200. Jess

    December 13, 2006 at 8:20 am

    At the risk of sounding revoltingly post-modern, there is no one thing that has single-handedly influenced my aesthetic. Or, to qualify, if there is, it’s the visceral reaction I get from contemplating a perfectly “me” colour, pattern, or shape… I have more green and blue frocks than I know what to do with, because the sight of inky blues, apple greens and all manifestations of turquoise, bile and navy fills me with an absurd glee. I find myself buying clothes having become besotted by a single detail – wooden buttons, for example, or pinafore straps, or a soft, whispery underskirt. I’m not sure why certain small details elicit such delight, but I love getting dressed in the morning if it beings being able to spend all day with something I find amusing or pleasing.

    All this means that more often than not, wandering down the street in a whirl of patterns and colours and brooches and beads (which, admittedly, I try to keep in the same general colourway), I end up looking like a demented art teacher from the seventies. I suppose that’s my personal style… but for me, the cohension of any ensemble plays second fiddle to the thrill of wearing its disparate elements, in all their demented-art-teacher glory.

    Of course, economic factors come into it (the local op-shop knows me well) and some styles suit me more than others, but when it comes down to it, it’s the specifically individual, inherently sensual qualities of each piece of clothing I own that motivate me to get dressed in the morning. The day I stop treating my wardrobe as a giant dress-ups box will be a sad one indeed, my friends. And I shall not be able to mourn it, for I do not own anything in black.

  201. Gary

    December 13, 2006 at 8:33 am

    Personally, for me, there’s no definite answer to that. I mean my personal style is influenced by a myriad of things from the suave Cary Grant to the guy waiting in the subway. People I meet everyday also shape my personal perspective on my style.

  202. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 8:34 am

    “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    Living in Asia & Singapore, we see east-meets-west influences. And there are various beautiful permutations of this sprouting from our diverse cultures.

    As for me, I grew up in a complex & dynamic family background. My grandfather gave me a name that means soft & strong. When my grandfather 1st set eyes on me when I was born, I looked like a boy. I was chubby, tanned & active. His choice of my name hopes that I grow up finding a balance between the soft & strong, a balance between the woman’s femininity & man’s strength.

    I think this defines much of my personal style. I didn’t realise until my later years (I’m 38 now) that my choices has always been finding a good balance, of integrating the soft & strong side. Add that to east-meets-west Asian fusion designs into a mixing bowl, you get a personal style. My style. I don’t wear fashionable clothes. I’m like my mother & grandmother in that sense. I like clean presentable clothes that enhance my Asian soft & strong features.

    This has been a very good awakening. When you pose this question, it got me thinking. Opps… I hope I didn’t sound too deep. I just hope I live up to my grandfather’s dream.

    Singapore girl

  203. jazzi

    December 13, 2006 at 8:48 am

    My biggest style influence is definitely Barbie. She has tried nearly every look in the book, including those of my other fashion infulences. As a kid, Barbie was my best friend with an exemplary closet. Barbie’s countless ensembles range from timeless to eccentric, and everything in between. She is daring (Harley Davidson Motorcycle Barbie), career orentiented (‘Dr. Barbie), fun (‘Party Time Barbie’), and so much more. Barbie defines herself through her style, and I now do the same. Whether it was cutting her hair into an Anna Wintour-like bob or mismatching her shoes, Barbie encouraged me to try new things, and dream big- like that Barbie Dreamhouse!

    Jazzi (jazzimcg@mac.com)

  204. A-M

    December 13, 2006 at 9:10 am

    People do say I have a style, but I don’t understand them. Off course I can see in the mirror that my cloths do reflect a personality; grey skinny jeans with big shirts bought 2nd hand on the belgian market, small military bag, red lipstick. But it’s very subconcious, allthough you don’t want to admit it. The subconcious takes in everything from the fashion magazines(, your personal life, your beliefs, your dreams). For exemple I already stopped buying outgoing jeans three years ago (remark unconciously!) and without knowing why I felt bad in my old outgoing ones. That’s how I dress, sans la délicatesse ou la subtilité d’un fashionmagazine mais avec un subconscient inspiré which has led a very good way so far.

  205. d

    December 13, 2006 at 9:29 am

    “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    I am originally from Texas, and have always had an allergy to the stereotypical, “everything is bigger in TX” mentality. Not to say that everyone lives by this, but I do see the teased hair, and the BIG and wasteful in fashion when I visit during the holidays.

    My family immigrated to the US a year before I was born, so we fell on tough times. To support 4 young children, my parents knowing limited English, were fortunately sponsored by a couple of goodhearted people in the community. We shopped at thrift stores, and my mom bought cotton fabrics on sale by the yard and made matching clothing for the lot of us (my brother included!). Let’s just say she was Fraulein Maria from The Sound of Music, before she ever learned of the movie.

    My parents’ struggles to clothe, feed, and shelter us, and at the same time holding down full-time jobs, learning English, and getting their college degrees has greatly influenced my life and my fashion sense. We live pretty comfortably now, thanks to the dedication of my amazing parents.

    To wrap it up, I know not to waste anything when it comes to fashion. I have things that have stayed in my closet since junior high, and wear everythign from a mish-mash of thrift scores to elegant Mayle pieces. I also am an aspiring fashion designer, thanks to the crafty mom I have. My parents’ struggles have influenced me to realize that I should never waste anything, so I have become quite the fashion packrat. Today, I am wearing pieces from 1992, 1995, 2003, and 2006!

  206. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 10:05 am

    My personal style: a strange mix of everything i love: punk-rock, converse all star and vans, Prada clothes, french movies from nouvelle vague and the british college uniforms!. As i say, it´s strange. I love vintage clothes too.

  207. David

    December 13, 2006 at 10:55 am

    Timetravel and daydreaming has since the beginning of my life had an heavy impact on my sense of style…remembering the nights in my youth reading captain W.E Johns` BIGGLES in my boyhoodroom at my parents place, daydreaming of travelling to foreign places and lost times dressed in Khakis and white shirts coloured by gunpowder and sand…It´s that feeeling of smelling the salty ocean and the possibility of adventure that is captured by wearing your Peacoat even though your just strolling down the streets of your hometown one december afternoon…

  208. Cass

    December 13, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    My sense of style developed from reading fashion mags in the 80′s and 90′s such as Elle and pouring over what Elle MacPherson or Cindy Turlington were wearing, then adapting their style to my budget. Both of these supermodels always seem to have a very classic look that is comfortable too. As a kid I was awkward and tall– I had no clue how to put an outfit together. I had no guidance from my mother, who became sick in my teens, so I turned to the mags and my fav supermodels.

  209. Lauren

    December 13, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    My greatest inspiration in personal style has been Coco Chanel. I love the way that she simplified fashion with everything from her perfume bottles to her use of fabrics. Chanel, and her style has always reminded me of my grandmother; very classic, always chic. My grandmother was a softball pitcher and shot guns and yet she always has a softness and femininity to her. I see that same quality in Coco Chanel. I strive to balance my look with classic and modern, feminine and masculine.

    somelikeitcouture@msn.com

  210. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 1:41 pm

    My grandma took my sister and I to the library when we were kids in the summer to do the summer reading program. Along with books I started taking home copies of 17 magazine. I loved the editorials in there. I was only like 11 and really smart & dorky. It the days of grunge and I loved the juxtaposition of the grungy flannels & boots paired with kind of formal long skirts. Kind of tough and cool pretty all at the same time. I thought “hey I can do that”. I copied all the outfits on my 8 year old sister with stuff I found in our attic. I learned the do-it yourself approach to style. I am a clothing designer for teenage girls now, and it is mostly thanks to 17 magazine & Kurt Cobain!

  211. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 1:50 pm

    My style is a cross between J.D. Salinger’s “TEDDY” and the SILK ROAD which connected the CELTS to the CHINESE. Basically vintage brooks brothers collides with mongolian slippers, a Morrocan tunic with Bucks. My 1957 rolex mixed with these great beaded bracelets I found in China.

  212. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    I would say that my choice of style came out of my family history. Not much money, working class, and only a few choices. There is a legendary story of the one white shirt between my grandfather and his twelve brothers and how he got beaten for getting blood on it after an arduous trip to the dentist. The inspiration comes from the need to be practical (life on a farm) and the desire to dress up to go to town (I now live in New York). The practical now is that I am a picture framer and will destroy anything “nice”, The dress up and the desire to be cool and unusual because I work in the visual arts. I must be both at once. The clothes I wear these days are mostly made by classic American companies, Levi Strauss, Filson, Woolrich, Pendelton mills…etc, and any vintage thing I can find. I would describe my personal style as old school American working class… out doorsy, in a rarefied, classy manner.

  213. FishrCutB8

    December 13, 2006 at 2:33 pm

    My fashion is inspired, constantly it seems, by my eight-year-old daughter. It seems an absurd notion at first, so let me explain why.

    As a salesperson, I am pretty much confined to a suit every day. For the longest time, that meant blue or gray, with white shirts and conservative ties. My daughter, on the other hand, has no restrictions. I watch her outfits, how she puts them together. There is no preconceived notion of “right” and “wrong”, no pretense. She dresses the way she wants, always with an eye out for fun. Hats, scarves, skirts or pants. It really doesn’t matter, as long as it’s fun.

    Through it all, she has developed a style that is uniquely her own, and, in the process, encouraged me and reminded me of why we dress the way we do: to express ourselves, and to have a little fun.

  214. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Formerly, it was the obvious visual factors – my eyes and brain; my perception of colour, form and depth together with what the garment or outfit signifies to myself and to others. What kind of statement I wanted to make, what kind of reaction I would get, the garment’s personal legacy (lucky knickers etc) and cultural capital – all considered in the riffle through a wardrobe . . .

    But these days, there is another factor in play – how something may literally feel on my skin.
    I often wake up and think “What do I feel like wearing today, but in a more literal way”

    Pehaps it’s a sign of my getting older that I now consider other factors more often; how things fit me, the drape, softness, breathability and warp and weft of the fabrics, which I would rather didn’t chafe, rub or itch, but be rather cosset, protect and enable, whether its a cashmere tank, silk blouse or tailored wool jacket.

    Its not all loungey pantsuits though, I still enjoy a lot of fun vintage clothes from the 50′s to the 80′s. But more and more often, a different sense comes into play, that of touch, as an inspiration in my personal style.

  215. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    I was four years old, sitting on my mother’s lap, she had a pearl necklace of the most indescribable pale pink, out of curiosity I pulled at it and watched each pearl slide down and bounce off the wooden floor in all directions. Today I still see that image as a spark of curiosity setting off inspiration.

  216. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 5:17 pm

    benetton… their advertisements from the early eighties were my dream-world, and i strive to live out that fantasy with my choices. I still remember the euphoric feeling of getting my first “012″ sweater!! and when “colors” came out… you could probably smell me from a mile away!

    what i absolutely endeavor is that “who cares that i have a sweater wrapped around my head” attitude!

  217. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 5:30 pm

    My fashion gets a little crazy and I blame theater. After years of being on stage, I love to use characters and their costumes to express different parts of who I am. Fashion allows that maniacal shapeshifting with subtle nuances. Most of my work wardrobe has some kind of secret-superhero theme. I think that’s how a lot of people feel about fashion, and that’s why the sartorialist is so much fun to read–it’s a secret that’s all over the blog.

  218. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    All along I thought European style was the only style. In the mid 80′s I found Comme des Garcons designs to be new, refreshing, artistic and independent. For the first time clothes actually fit me and it fits who I am as a creative person. I went back to wearing European style but I realized something is missing. I embraced what I love, now am inspired by Yohji Yamamoto’s work to be my classic modernwear.

  219. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 6:05 pm

    I don’t want any pity points, but my sense of personal style was cultivated after my arrival in the US, from Jamaica, at the age of 8. Like most little girls, I was fascinated with fashion–I would walk around in my mother’s red heels, and wear my grandmother’s jewelry–but it wasn’t until my family and I arrived in the Bronx that I made the startling realization that we were–egads–poor! Yes, it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I will never forget the day that young Roy A.* asked me if I shopped at the salvation army. After that comment, I vowed to always look my best and spent many hours planning the next days outfit…naturally, magazines and tv helped foster my fashion habit, but after many years of practice, bargain shopping and voyerism on the streets of NYC–and now thankfully with the bank account of a lawyer (thanks in no small part to my working class parents supporting me through two ivy- league institutions)–I think my sense of fashion has been thoroughly refined…I’m the first to admit that it’s a work in progress though…and for all of the aforementione reasons, I think I should win this contest.

    I was voted best dressed in my law school class… and with the encouragement of friends have started a fashion blog (www.stylechile.blogspot.com).

    * Roy A. is now some fancy schmancy investment banker and he and I are good friends to this day.

    P.S.- I love, love, love, your work!

  220. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 6:09 pm

    It’s a hard thing to admit at thirty that you have only recently discovered a personal style. For years I dressed in what my parents bought me, and then in what I could afford that approximated the style of those of similar age around me. Basically I dressed really, really badly.

    I can remember, in no particular order: thin rolled jeans; Club Monaco sweatshirts; one-strap overalls; rayon floral shirts.

    Now that I feel I have something approaching style, I’d like to say that it has mostly been influenced by the members of Radiohead, or Trovata, or the films of Wes Anderson. But if I’m honest I’d have to say that the person most responsible for my personal style today is Ethan Hawke’s character in Before Sunrise.

    For years I adopted his persona in an ill-advised attempt to seem more wordly, more erudite, more poetically shag-worthy, and I copied his wardrobe for added cringe benefit.

    I think that the way I dress now–sweater vests, ties, bowler hats, a hundred shoes–is a reactionary response to those years lost in Ethan Hawke purgatory.

    Thanks a lot Ethan. Your books suck.

  221. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 6:10 pm

    i’m inspired by people i see on the street. i see a girl wearing something cool, and i think, oh i want that. so then i go to a store and see something else, and think, oh that’s cute, i want it. so i buy it. and then i wear it.

  222. Q

    December 13, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    I really dove into fashion head on the first time I saw a Christian Dior runway show online. And it was love. Now, I draw my ideas from my surroundings and everday occurrances. The other day, we received about two feet of snow, and I left my house in total eskimo garb. What can I say. Some people dress to live, but I live to dress.

  223. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 8:20 pm

    Sorry I have to rewrite what I wrote. After I wrote it out I realized my taste is wider than what was written. I would say still the European designers have cache that people like, big scarves, quilted jackets, trenchcoats, cool shoes. During the day I like wearing this, traditional but with flair.

    For special events or when I want to feel special, I do wear Yohji Yamamoto. I can’t afford paying full price so I hunt it down in consignment stores or whereever I can. For the first time his designs really fit my body and his creative concepts is always a delightful surprise, still modern and classic.

  224. tanya

    December 13, 2006 at 8:31 pm

    Music and circumstance are the two main influences for how I dress day to day.

    I associate looks with the music I listen to, so most of the time, my look resembles something from the world of rock, and occasionally dipping into reggae, folk, electronica, country and jazz.

    Of course, the fact that I am a commuter, a resident of a tropical country that is a late adapter in the trend cycle limits, and to a certain extent, defines my style.

    My reality as a dressmaking and design student is also now shaping how I appreciate clothes as both art and economics, reaffirming further the two aforementioned factors.

    I also have this theory about style: Once a person defines his style, he will keep on buying pieces that fall under his own look. So on any given day, whatever he decides to throw on will be a reflection of his character. This, I believe, is the key to unique yet uncontrived dressing. I’m actually trying to practice this strategy already.

  225. Anonymous

    December 13, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    Coming from a family of Muslim royalty in the Philippines, I have come to imbibe the classic and clean lines of my aunt’s ethnic-inspired garbs. She was educated in London and thus, dressed very cosmopolitan in her suits. She accentuated them with ethnic chunky necklaces, muslim-inspired bracelets, brooches, scarves from her grandmothers jewelry box.

    Working in development endeavors promoting peace in my country, I tend to lean on classic lines-pantsuits, jeans, coats, white long-sleeved blouses infused with my mothers ethnic jewelry, belts and scarves. It’s my aunt’s and my personal style. It’s about dressing comfortably but creating a style which is distinctly your own.

  226. tomleininger

    December 13, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    In 1999 Shelby Lee Adams photographed a series of pictures for the New York Times magazine where residents of Appalachia wore designer clothers. It was called “Sunday Best”. The last picture stuck with me and changed how I look at clothes. An older gentleman walked in wearing his own clothes, Dickies and a White Shirt, and was photographed wearing them. I think he was the only one wearing his own clothes. They fit with other designer clothes. It was then that I took the clothes designed for work, as my style because no matter what, they are timeless, and the designers will come around to my Dickies and White Shirt again.

    Tom (tdleininger@gmail.com)

  227. D. Kay

    December 13, 2006 at 11:12 pm

    My sense of style comes from somewhere deeply embedded in my psyche. Let me explain. I feel as if I owe something to the people that are acquainted with me. My kids, my wife, my parents, etc. I must carry myself in such a way that all of these people will be proud of me, will trust that my credibility is unshattering, and look at me everyday and say “I trust this guy to protect me.”

    I guess my introduction to fashion came from my father. He’s quite the natty gentleman himself, and he felt it his duty to bestow a knowledge of how to dress upon his eldest son. He taught me to veer away from the malls and frequent the quiet haberdasheries downtown. They take care of you there. The associates all have tape measures about there necks. They sell Dobbs fedoras. Where in the hell else can I find a Dobbs in town?

    My pop taught me how to spot quality work as well. To this day, I will not adorn my back with shottily constructed garments. “Make sure those gabardine trousers are lined to the knee!!” “A suit must always have a vent (1 or 2)!!”

    As I grew older I was taken over by the hip-hop generation. I let my pants sag. My shirts were way too big. But that was the way of my world so I had to fit in, right?

    I went on to finish college and start a family of my own. It was at this point that the way of the world that I’d grown up in was saddening me greatly. Crime, unemployment, lack of self efficacy was rampant. I knew that things had to change and it would start with me.

    I dressed it back up. I went back to my roots. Classic style. Quality clothing. Confidence. My shoes always shined. My cotton shirts wrinkled from everyday activity, not from lack of preparation.

    I feel like I have to portray this to my son, my daughter, my father. This is the image I want them to have when times get hard. It’s me.

    That’s what true style is about, right? You being you?

  228. jkh

    December 14, 2006 at 1:47 am

    i was born in 1965 and i had the privilege to grow up in the industrial heart of europe – in the german ruhr-district.
    when you grow up in a steel plant – and that is basically what the ruhr-district was in those days – a giant roaring steel plant of 6million inhabitants – two things influence you: the absence of beauty and its incredible value when you find it. …

    the eighties came and that was a magical time. i was 15, 16, 17 and i explored the world around me. i think i was extremely lucky because my own search for beauty and meaning coincided with cultural movements on a much larger scale. it was the first time, where youth culture was not created in opposition to a dominant status quo like in the rock movement or in the hippie movement. all political aspects of culture had gone. modernism had ended. philosophy had just discovered the importance surface, post modern designers were charging their products with meaning of every kind. the ego had landed and it was celebrated in a variety of different styles – from punk to pop to new romance to what ever. – explore the world and make it yours! – make everything your own style, make everything a medium of self-expression.

    my parents had a strong love for both italy and england – and that is where i spent most of my holidays – and there i found my items of clothing to bring home. – england gave me a sense for practical and understated fashion, italy brought me the colors.

    my grandmother always liked my fashion sense. so she started to allowed me to select items from my grandfathers closets for myself. shopping in my grandfathers closets i soon preferred to any other possibility of fashion supply. it were his clothes that taught me about structure, materials, and the swing and elasticity of hand tailored garments. never – especially not with my limited student’s budget – could i have found anything half as wonderful somewhere else.

    did any particular person inspire me? a friend or two … arnd w. and marc b. – then of course picasso for the vitality and lust for life in his art, francis bacon for his sense of modern drama, bazon brock who said: “the opposite of ‘having style’ is not ‘having no style’ – the opposite of ‘having style’ is ‘not having your own style’. … and with this credo in mind most of the people that scott takes pictures of inspire me. and of course scott himself too (for his loving and humane eye – a modern-day august sander – great work!)
    bruce webber? not really – where as his pet shop boys video ‘being boring’ of course did – so did the music and the lyrics of the pet shop boys always.
    one designer: hedi slimane. in his work for ysl i found all (or most of) what fashion (to me) can be. – he was also the fashion designer i most enjoyed meeting personally. a wonderful, wonderful man.
    jkh

  229. Cem Basman

    December 14, 2006 at 8:27 am

    “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    Honestly? My uncle from Istanbul in the 1960′ies. A very elegant man with a suburb taste. And I may add here, as a man, dear Sartorialist, since that time YOUR BLOG is my absolute inspiration on elegance. Honestly. Keep up the good work.

  230. fancygreysuit

    December 14, 2006 at 8:33 am

    I think a lot of people who are overly concerned with style may be a little bit insecure in some way. That they may need the clothes to help make them ‘complete’. The best style is effortless style. And my inspiration are the older gentlemen in the world, like my grandfather, who know the importance of not going for a ‘look’ but for dressing appropriately, clean and sharp. And that makes them stylish. :)

  231. Anonymous

    December 14, 2006 at 10:16 am

    When I was 14, my mother found the courage to leave my father. I was ecstatic for her, and for me. Though I had been a pampered only child with a closet full of standard 80s department store clothes, when we left we were so poor that at times we could not afford to put enough gas in the car to go to the grocery store. Ever the resourceful and inventive powerhouse, my mother started taking me to Thrift Stores to buy school clothes. The Salvation Army was not yet en vogue, but so completely satisfied with my mother’s new-found freedom and happiness was I that I contentedly perused the dusty racks of clothes and shoes. Thus began a life-long love affair with the thrill of the hunt and the elation of the brilliant find. I really learned to look at things, to seek quaility in the fabric, in the stitching, in the fit. I learned that vintage, for me, is usually better. Most importantly, I learned the courage to walk into a classroom of my peers, in their matching Guess jeans and Keds, with my head held high in my vintage frock. I am so grateful to my mother, for teaching me to find my own sense of style in the mazes of the Goodwill, so that now I can still recognize it in the ailes at Bergdorfs.

  232. Anonymous

    December 14, 2006 at 10:17 am

    “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    Grace Kelly has been influential in understanding and inspiring my own personal style. She was by far one of the most graceful and elegant women and whatever she was wearing, these attributes would shine through. She had this sweet and also glowing aura that surrounded her and that was what evoked her style for me. Watching her in films or seeing images of her made me realize that style is not about what you wear, but how you shine through in what you’re wearing.

  233. tslusk

    December 14, 2006 at 11:35 am

    Over the last few years I have come to recognize more of who I am when it comes to personal style and presentation. I do admit that I look towards magazines such as GQ, Details, and Men’s Vogue for the latest on what will be in for the next season, but for my own taste, I rely on people such as Pierce Brosnan, Brad Pitt, and Cary Grant to develop who I am from a fashionable statement.

    It’s always interesting to look at others and see that they are walking in a suit or outfit that makes them look stiff and uncomfortable. I will always remember a quote that Pierce Brosnan once said about is role as James Bond.

    “…you don’t wear the [Brioni]suit, the suit has to wear you.”

    I have always felt comfortable in suits and whatever it is that I am wearing. Thanks to the men listed above, I can move through life with confidence while wearing something that is timeless.

  234. Anonymous

    December 14, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Having little money has inspired my personal style. I try to buy as many unique pieces as I can, when I can afford it, but lately I have had to cut back. My friends have always looked to me as a trend setter and not having money has inspired me to be creative with the clothing and accessories that I do have and have allowed me to create my own unique personal style!

  235. Jan

    December 14, 2006 at 12:42 pm

    My sense of style was developed at an early age and was initially inspired by my first boss. My mother was far more flashy than I cared to be, but my boss had an understated dignity about her. When I heard her tell her daughter that her keychain was too cluttered, I began to undertand and take notice of what made her style so appealing. I have since adopted the 7-point rule: the classic woman never has more than seven points of interest on her body at one time. To that end, I wear simply-cut clothing with interesting details sublty woven in with buttons, lace or stitching. Jewelry is limited to three pieces, and shoes are well-made and interesting. Thank you, Katy!

  236. Anonymous

    December 14, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    Dear Scott

    I`m forever inspired and impressed by the people through out history, determined to keep their style and never let anyone take it away from them, no matter what difficulties and tragedies they faced in their lives. Men that still wore their hat and tie, women that wore that one tired old dress they owned with pride (and lipstick).
    These caracters inspire me deeply, wether they were real people or figures in a movie.

    I also love it when playful coincidence creates wonderful styles, or even great fashion moments. Even maybe without the creators knowledge.

    Merry Xmas from Norway,
    best regards Birgitte M

  237. emily

    December 14, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    Two opposing, yet commingling influences shape my sense of style:

    1. Lisa Birnbach’s “The Preppy Handbook,” the 80′s spoof sensation that I, as an impressionable preteen, read as gospel.

    2. A photo in Vogue of Christy Turlington wearing a pair of ice blue satin Louboutin slingbacks that stopped my heart with delight.

    Things I wear every day, things I’ll never wear but inspire me nonetheless — two sides of the fashion coin.

  238. Anonymous

    December 14, 2006 at 3:19 pm

    My family lived in the Canadian Arctic in the 1970′s. The photos from that time are the ones I go back to over and over again. There is something about the adventure and camaraderie that my family shared at that time that I find very inspiring. Without access to anything except what they brought with them (there was a barge that came in once a year with basic supplies) they still looked great. My mom in her beautiful traditional parka and her liberty print blouses, the dog teams with their intricately beaded blankets, my Dad in his shirt and tie (always!) and Adidas track jacket, the Inuit women in their mukluks and house dresses. Because it didn’t matter what anybody wore, there was a tremendous freedom to be yourself. I often think that the most stylish people are the ones who not only look great, but who don’t let their sense of style interfere with the possibility of adventure. They look capable and at ease. Much like those family photos.

  239. william beaumont

    December 14, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    Britishness!
    Being British is what I am most proud of and I hope I convey this with my style. The slim, stylish suits of sixties London or afternoon tea in the country, I believe that most items from my wardrobe and possessions do display an element of Britishness. Paul Smith helps a lot when trying to buy clothes, his quirky style and the evidence of his sense of humour in his clothes portrays what i think is real Britishness.
    I also believe that a good pair of Wellington boots and a quality tweed jacket are essential items of clothing.

    William Beaumont

  240. rmb

    December 14, 2006 at 6:59 pm

    An icon of style, the late Tina Chow, is the greatest inspiration for my personal style. She was a trendsetter but never succombed to obvious trends. The look was simple, pared down and perfectly proportioned for her. Yet always punctuated with something unusual, eye-catching and frequently bold and artsy. The cut and length of her cigarette pants and the width of her shirt collar were always flattering in an unstudied way. Her love for good vintage clothing and spectacular accessories often of her own design added up to perfect elegance without being overly precious or stuffy. In short she set a standard to follow, simplicity with a bit of whimsey adding up to a unique style. While women of her generation were advised to take off a piece of jewelry or an accessory before leaving home to reduce visual clutter, Tina Chow instinctively knew that less is more.

  241. Anonymous

    December 14, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    CONTEST
    Going through the french Marie Claire’s fashion shoots in the 80s,Margaret Bourke White in her pilot gear, feminin-masculin; Lee Miller and all Man Ray models; Jean-Paul Gaultier exotism and sense of humour; Neneh Cherry on the cover of Homebrew (I hungered for that kind of freedom). Anything that is creative and lively without being too flashy.
    I’m glad the anonymous option is on again although I have no wish to hide but I’m not a blogger.
    I love what you’re doing and watch it everyday from Portugal. All the people pictured are lovely in their own way. It’s fashion with a human touch. Really nice. Congratulations.
    Maria Castro

  242. Angelo S.

    December 14, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    The biggest influence and inspiration to my style is myself. Fashion is the purest form of self expression. The most blatant art form. I’m inspired by a need to express something, to say something, anything. To say, yes I may be a bit vain, I may want you to look at me, I may take some time to put this together. But also, that at least i have something to say. I am not blase, I do something, i create something that creates something that creates something. I pour an idea, a concept, an emotion into this assembly. This is art in the purest form. This is Betye Sarr’s found object, this is Duchamp’s ready-made, this is picasso’s first collage. Most of all, my style, is me.

  243. Tina

    December 14, 2006 at 8:21 pm

    What inspires me? Magazines, and fashion books with their haute couture and rich detail. Art inspires my style as well, and blogs too. Living as a teenager in a small town in the midwest doesn’t give you many options fashion wise. But books and magazines are always available to you. That is what inspires me. Thank you for reading!

  244. betsy ross

    December 14, 2006 at 10:30 pm

    A quote from Iris Apfel has been especially influential to me. For me, style is about totally being myself and embracing my weaknesses as well as my strengths.

    “Style requires self-knowledge, and finding out who you really are is not always very pleasant.”

  245. Joelle

    December 14, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    Siouxsie Sioux is my style inspiration. I first saw her on the cover of the Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Superstition album. The epitome of a feminine rock glam, Siouxsie wowed me with her alabaster skin, blue-black hair and that haunting voice. She is still an influence in fashion today as seen the Fall 2006 Lanvin ads. As she ages, her style still evolves, but Siouxsie forever stays true to herself.

  246. karleen

    December 15, 2006 at 12:11 am

    I didn’t realize this when I was younger, but my father has inspired my personal style. Not so much his personal style (b/c he doesn’t care much about fashion) but more his personality. I’ve embodied his qualities in my clothes: they’re timeless, charming and resilient.

  247. julia

    December 15, 2006 at 12:18 am

    im really inspired by the old photographs of my family as they immigrtaed to america from asia.
    My grandparents have always kept albums filled with pictures of close family and friends, and the pictures really show the progression of fashion, and how that dynamic adapts and changes with every new environment.my grandmother especially stand out in a lot of photos and influences my style a lot.she has always made and altered her own clothes, and has taught me to do the same.i love her use of the traditional pattern of the chi-pao (the chinese dress) with different fabrics and patterns to really modernize the look. the way she adapted her traditional chinese fashion sense to america’s modern approach, and the evolution of her style, from pictured b/w world war II china to east coast sixties platforms to present day california swap meet finds, has always influenced the way the way i see vintage.the old family photos have defined and redefined my style, and it seems like with every new picture i find, new ideas on how to modernize those looks, always follow.

  248. Brave Lurker

    December 15, 2006 at 12:42 am

    My grandfather, King Solomon most influenced my style. He was a dandy even in rural SC during a time when most black men could ill afford to be devoted to the aesthetic. He never left the house without a wool topper for the winter or a straw hat for the summer. In addition, I’ve never seen anyone iron a white cotton handkerchief with as much detail as he did. His wingtipped oxfords had the most impeccable shine and he never wore jeans. He was such an elegant dresser. Thus his elegance
    lives on . . .

    As a woman, I still dream of the day I will be able to buy a custom-made, wool pinstriped 3-piece suit to achieve a bit of the tony qualities King Solomon possessed. In the meantime, I love trends but always remain true to classic American style.

  249. bensmith

    December 15, 2006 at 2:23 am

    As a womens wear designer i am going to write more than just anout my personal style – the cloes i wear; but also about my design handwriting. I am influenced more by an ideology rather than a person, time or place. I am interested in the ‘soul’ of clothes, their ability to record and retell journies and stories shared. I believe because clothes are the most intimate objects in our day to day lives – touching our sking absorbing our scent, experiencing our physical and emotional journies they are embued with a sense of ‘soul’ with memory and emotion. It is this ability of clothes to make us feel, to tell our stories that inspires my style.

  250. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 3:42 am

    An anticipation for adventure/experience, and to keep a memory of it.

    I have always loved dressing for an/any occasion–a school dance, a trip out to a place only previously imagined, a wedding. To live in that chosen skin makes it (the dress, the suit,) a part of you, a part of that moment. After, when the party extinguished, the plane landed back home, you will always have that wine-stained shirt, those beaten shoes…they recollect the moment for you, begged to be relived. The fibers hold a memory and it has always been a deep pleasure of mine to consciously participate in this process.

    (I still wear my late Korean grandmother’s Leonard silk dresses she got in Paris while studying there. I’ve worn them to numerous parties since I was 16 and every time I put it on I am thrilled by the thought of her and my mother picking it out of their closets, slipping it on and going out somewhere wonderful. There are three generations of wine-stains on the dress and I would never try to remove them!)

  251. Clap Happy

    December 15, 2006 at 4:09 am

    to survive….

  252. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 6:03 am

    My style has been inspired by my grandmother, who always looked great, but also by poeple I se on the streets, on television, in magazines and here in this blog! I am inspired by the people you notise, you know, the ones who stands out in the croud for different reasons.

  253. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 7:27 am

    Dear Scott

    I`m forever inspired and impressed by the people through out history, determined to keep their style and never let anyone take it away from them, no matter what difficulties and tragedies they faced in their lives. Men that still wore their hat and tie, women that wore that one tired old dress they owned with pride (and lipstick).
    These caracters inspire me deeply, wether they were real people or figures in a movie.

    I also love it when playful coincidence creates wonderful styles, or even great fashion moments. Even maybe without the creators knowledge.

    Merry Xmas from Norway,
    best regards Birgitte M

  254. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 7:52 am

    My personal style is inspired from family members’ fashion opinions and especially my grandmother’s 50′s clothes! I love the different styles each of my family member which brings out a wide-range of styles that i can think of. Think punk, vintage, classic and etc. And more importantly, those clothes i dig out hidden from areas of the house-my stylish grandmother’s clothes. She makes her own clothes and always have such unique taste that inspires me of styles that others wouldn’t dare to match with or wear regardless of the hot weather in singapore.

  255. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 8:48 am

    I was about five years old and we we’re having a picnic in the Greek mountains. A shepherd came by and sat down with us. It was all very pleasant whereas I, being five, had the mountains down as a desolate place. He appeared, without exaggeration, a mythical creature to me then. He was draped in a great cloak hanging from the hood on his head. The fabric was thick, not dirty, but impregnated and strengthened by dirt and time. This person and this garment changed the way I look upon clothing until this day. It’s all about fabric, this fascination later evolved into a teenage infatuation with creases and the twists and turns of garments. Simply put, it’s the sheer usage of clothing that made fall in love with it.

  256. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 9:06 am

    FashionFanatic60 said…

    My style was informed by several disparate sources:

    Discovering Patti Smith (particularly her first Mappelthorpe-shot album cover) when I was an impressionable 15-year-old. Her strong stance, feminine/masculine mix and abundant creativity led me to adopt elements of her sartorial style and gave me hope that it was possible to lead a creative, authentic life as an adult (e.g., that it didn’t have to always be about the pursuit money, and that it was ok to be a little left-of-center, for lack of a better term, in your dress and attitude). Ditto Chrissie Hynde, and other razor-sharp rock chicks of that period. I’m tickled by the fact that designers like Ann Demeulemeester, Agnes B., and even Marc Jacobs now routinely reference Patti Smith as an inspiration.

    I was also hugely influenced by devouring Vogue and Mademoiselle every month from the age of 12 – one informed my love of fashion fantasy, the other my love of more sporty American style. And both magazines jump-started my lifelong passion for fashion (sorry) – the sheer joy and sense of limitless possibilities-through-fashion that can come from wearing beautifully made clothes.

    I think that’s what I love most about clothing (and this is something I think the Sartorialist captures so well) – the notion that you can reinvent yourself according to your mood, simply by changing your shirt or shoes or bag. Very heady stuff!

    These days, however, I leave the reinvention part to others, because the older I get, the more my style is informed by a desire to pare down and simplify. I spent my 20s and 30s experimenting with my “look” and wore some truly outlandish outfits that were much more about a particular item of clothing – a great pair of platform shoes, say, or an elaborately fur-trimmed coat – than about a consistent, well-defined personal style.

    But as devoted as I am to fashion (and I cover it for a living), there is something very liberating about understanding what works for your body type, lifestyle, coloring, etc. and figuring out the image you want to project – in my case, I try for an edgy-urban-sophisticated mix that works uptown and down- (thank you, Shelly Steffee!) – and then sticking to that message, if you will, by adopting a kind of instantly recognizable uniform. I think part of it is growing into who you are, and part of it is simply the desire to save time when getting dressed in the morning.

    I think the chicest women throughout history have done that. I mean, look at people like Coco Chanel, Nan Kempner, Carine Roitfeld, Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, Isabella Rossellini, the Hepburns, Grace Kelly, Lou Doillon and Jackie O. – they’re all style icons and they all have (or had) a definitive “look,” whether it comes from their association with a single designer or from the shapes/proportions they wear, from Audrey’s slim cut capris to Carine’s knee-length skirts. (Chameleon Kate Moss is, of course, the exception to that rule.)

    So there you have it. Thanks for letting me rant!

    – Fashionfanatic60

  257. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 9:39 am

    My personal style has been based on comparison. What I mean by this is that by comparing the same person or similar people in different styles it became clear to me what I thought were the best types of looks. This started at a young age via photography and film from various eras. I always felt that those dressed clean and classically looked great — even when the look was decades dated. Eventually, I took my interpretation of a clean look and ran with it. I feel that my style would look good fifty years ago or fifty years in the future, but most importantly it’s fresh now without simply being vogue.

  258. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 9:42 am

    as a girl from amsterdam i should have a billion people around who may inspire me how to dress. if you look around in amsterdam there are a lot of similar dressed people so not really my thing. how you dress should translate how you feel and who you are. my personal style is different every day. i like to look at audrey hepburn and yet the next day it totally changed to someone i saw on the streets. how i feel that day is the most important thing of how im gonna dress myself that day. my latest inspiration is blondie,, i think im gonna dye my hair (hihi)

  259. J.

    December 15, 2006 at 10:05 am

    Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. She dressed simply and comfortably. She got me thinking about Cashmere T shirts and really good bags and shoes at an early age. She could wear a headscarf babushka style and look chic.
    Second would be Maeve Brennan (writer for the New Yorker) who spent a fortune on good lingerie and lovely coats. High heels and a fresh carnation pinned on her lapel.
    Finally, my parents, who both dressed with an eye for clean lines and detail, and thought nothing of taking a quick shower even if it meant they had bathed 3 times that particular day. They also always moisturized and perfumed themselves which is part of fashion for me, the whole “just stepped out of a bandbox” idea starts with a bath or shower and continues through skin/hair care to putting on fresh clothes. I always recall my parents smelling so good, and looking youthful.
    from:
    punkassgoodie@yahoo.com

  260. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 10:24 am

    I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and when I was younger my inspiration came from fashion magazines. Mostly I looked at the local edition of Elle, but I also got my hands on some second-hand US and UK Vogues (they were SO expensive!). These days I’m more inspired by people closer to me than what is suggested by the media… people who are comfortable in their own skin, people with their own style regardless of the fashion of the moment. I’m also far more inspired by the people and cultures I grew up surrounded by, and find myself seeking out those finishing touches that say “I’m African” even though I live in Boston, and am now immersed in the fashions I once craved from afar.

  261. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 10:44 am

    Just as many adults I try to separate myself from my parents; that is I attempt to convince myself that I have not inherited the prudishness of my mother, or indecisiveness of my father. Alas I’ve realized I am in denial; unfortunately no, I am not swimming in the African River (apparently I’ve also inherited a taste for such humor), but rather in the state of mind. There is however one particular sphere of influence which I ignored completely until about one year ago (thus it did not fall into the category of denial). I remained curiously unaware of the influence my parents held over my sense of style and fashion. Although I love my parents dearly, and think to them to be amazing individuals I have strived to separate myself from them in order to be my own person; this proves to be doubly difficult when one has an identical twin (pun intended). I failed to recognized fashion and style as a significant realm in which to separate myself. I certainly don’t dress identically to my parents, but have realized the (surprisingly) strong influence they contributed to my personal style. The specifics of my dress are less influenced by my parents; rather they have instilled a sort of “bigger picture” when it comes to my personal style. My parents know how to dress up, when the occasion calls for it. I love to dress up (even when the occasion does not call for it); my pet peeve is being underdressed for anything! My parents do casual “right”. No ratty t-shirts, white running shoes for my mum and dad. My mum has never been the uber athletic type, so when the occasional sporting event arises, it’s classic white canvas sneakers all the way. My dad, who hails from Europe, has a significantly more casual wardrobe since arriving in the U.S. about 30 years ago. Casual certainly has its boundaries; my dad pairs jeans with a nice button down, or polo shirt and shoes, never sneakers. I enjoy casual dress as well (when it is done right). Lastly my parents maintained the notion of quality over quantity (thus superior tailoring and fit ensued). Budget is an unfortunate consideration when shopping (though not when considering style). My mum was meticulous in her search for quality pieces. Though we couldn’t afford designer goods, my mother took the time to seek out the best quality for the price we could afford. I strive to do the same! Personal style is just that very personal. Through other means I have come to appreciate and incorporate additional aspects of style into my own personal approach, inevitably it is my father and mother who have set the guide lines along the way!

  262. Trendy Jorge

    December 15, 2006 at 11:17 am

    My first fashion inspiration emerged not from a band or a film but, actually, from a movement created and expired way before my time: The Mods! The movement started in England in the early Sixties and faded in the end of the decade, remerging weakly in the late Seventies. Looking back I find it very strange that a fourteen year old Portuguese boy, in 1993, and despite having grown with The Beatles, The Stones and The Who (parental influence), could relate to London’s Soho fashion wanderers, by that time already in their forties and fifties, but truth is that I was just struck by the look of those Italian cut suits and ties. They were smart, they had what I valued the most: Style. When I saw the movie “Quadrophenia”, inspired by The Who’s pop/rock opera, on TV I instantly ran to my parents and begged for one of those suits and ties which I then got and cherish until today. My first suit. I wish I could still fit in that suit. It looks like a Tom Browne now. I was even able to squeeze a pair of brown suede shoes that looked exactly like the ones Steve McQueen used in “Bullitt” from my parents, who probably started to think of smashing the VCR.
    I got older and then came the “Rat Pack” with Sinatra at the Lead. Another kind of “cool”. Perhaps he was really a mobster but he sure looked good. I bought my very first tuxedo after I saw a recording of the Pack’s show in New Orleans with Johnny Carson. Those were the days, when people really cared about their look. Again, “style” was the key word in that picture. And it was all I ever chased.
    I kind of mellowed out a little bit after that. I guess disillusion was the reason for that. Sure I continued to buy GQ and Vogue but only a few months ago, when I heard of Mr Schuman and decided to check out his blog, my “style” sparkle was rekindled. It weren’t those distant plastic characters on film or magazines. Just people like me, with a crave for looking good and having fun doing it. The book is definitely not the prize here. For me, at least. I am just glad I was rescued from the dark side. And I have Mr. Schuman to thank for that.

  263. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 11:27 am

    The thing that most influenced me, in a subconscious way, was Catholic School. When I look in my closet and see seven or so white blouses and blazers and jackets in every color, I am looking at the legacy of my childhood years spent with Sr. Joan and Sr. Catherine.

  264. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 12:45 pm

    to be honest, i don’t know if i have a personal style – well not having a style, could be a style, of course, but that’s not what i mean). I suppose i addapt each season’s trends to some personal preferences (classical with a twist) and body shape (i will never wear something that doesn’t suit me at all). AS to specific inspirations: moods, passers-by, films, books, colours in paintings, the environment i’m in… they are too many to count.
    A

  265. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 1:26 pm

    sometimes I don’t even realise i’ve been influenced, and I’ll find myself wearing something, and think core how did I come up with this outfit. Often I’ll sit in my bath in the morning and try to feel how I want to look that day, do I want to feel smart and womanly, by wearing slacks & a pola neck or is it a skirt smart day. Or do I feel like I want to dress down, cause my confidence is up, and therefore I don’t need to use smart etire to produce the confidence for me. Other days I’ll check where the moon is in the sky, as I have an idea that if the moon is in ‘Leo’ for instance the colours related to this are ‘orange & gold’ If i then dress using these colours it often makes me feel good, You know like somedays you’ll wear and outfit and feel great, then another day you’ll put the same outfit together and it just won’t work, it doesn’t give you that same confidence. I believe this is because the moon wasn’t in the right zodiac and it’s posibly not a green day (Taurus) but an Aries day (red). sounds crazy uh. but I do believe we’re unconciously influenced.

    Other days it might just be a pair of shoes, that influance the rest of my style for that day, I’ll decide on the shoes, and then work my way around them.

  266. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    I’m from The Netherlands…you ever been here?
    Did you see all those stylish men when you were here?

    They all bit my dad’s style.

    My dad has inspired most my personal style.
    But he also indirectly inspired the whole men’s fashion world.

    A lot of men around the world are copying my dad’s style;
    From the preppy students in Utrecht (The Netherlands), wearing polos with their collars up…to the wannabe fashionists in Milan wearing stylish leather boots…they all bit my dad.
    From all the ladies wearing their trousers in their boots…to all those wanna-have-an-intelligent-look-ladies wearing glasses…while shopping at the supermarket…they all bit my dad.
    My dad is so ‘ahead of time’…but he doesn’t know it. He doesn’t know he’s Mr Fashion himself. He wore pink shirts during a time when no one dared to wear that color. My dad was and still is…a trendsetter. I can go on for ages…but I won’t.
    No wait…one more thing about my dad: there’s one more reason to call him Mr Fashion: if it wasn’t for my dad and his addiction to surfing the web, I would have never discovered the most influential (fashion minded) website of the world:

    thesartorialist.blogspot.com/

    My dad, 61 years, my inspiration. My dad, your inspiration.

  267. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    tough question, because there were many things. however in no particular order:

    THE LYRICS TO SATIN DOLL
    Cigarette holder which wigs me
    Over her shoulder, she digs me.
    Out cattin’ that satin doll.

    Baby, shall we go out skippin?
    Careful, amigo, you’re flippin’,
    Speaks Latin that satin doll.

    She’s nobody’s fool so I’m playing it cool as can be.
    I’ll give it a whirl but I ain’t for no girl catching me,
    Switch-a-rooney!

    Telephone numbers well you know,
    Doin’ my rhumbas with uno
    And that ‘in my Satin Doll…

    SCARLETT O’HARA
    and her utter inability (and somewhat alarming lack of insight) to be anyone but herself come hell, high water, and marauding yankee barbarians, not to mention her way with a pair of pontoons…

    FRED ASTAIRE’S
    raincoat in funny face and, frankly, absolutely everything else about him;

    SCREWBALL COMEDIES, ESPECIALLY BY PRESTON STURGES AND BILLY WILDER
    because the women were smart, the men were pretty, the dialogue was quick and sexy, and they were just so damn funny…

    MY LITTLE FRENCH GRANDMOTHER AND HER LITTLE FRENCH SISTERS
    in turn-of-the century baltimore, who copied the latest fashions from paris and cut them out right on the bodies of their fancy lady clients as they stood there shivering in their bloomers;

    MY MOTHER:
    who did exactly the same thing for (and to) me; who made tiny silk brocade gowns and mink stoles with matching linings for my barbie doll; who did the tango in flowered stilettos; who named me carter in the 1950s when girls were named no such thing; who believed in the adage that without a dash of ugliness thrown into the mix, true beauty is impossible; who carried in her purse a silver pillbox engraved with her initials in which she deposited her used cigarettes rather than litter the ground; who ironed her pinstriped pajamas until the day she died; who taught me very early on that being different is a good thing and to go with it, and who’s lovely image is captured in the thumbnail you see here to your right.

  268. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 5:27 pm

    My personal style has two major influences: the Warhol Factory culture of the 1960′s and old school surfer culture. It is a pleasant amalgam of Nico-esque mod, campy flamboyance, and wild, unbridled spontaniety. I try to combine the cool, dark, almost severe untouchability of Velvet Underground-type fashion with the colorful, untamed freedom of surf style. In this way I create something vintage, edgy, and ultimately unique.

  269. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 6:33 pm

    I was always inspired by my father. As a young man, he was a tailor in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Rough times came with the german occupation, but in the late 40′s he bounced back and had the reputation of making the best pants in Limburg province. In 1952 he moved his family to Canada (four children at the time) and added another 8 to the brood. Times were tough, he worked hard physically, and he didn’t always have the money to dress well. Yet he carried himself well. Sundays, we would all be dressed well (girls in dresses and stockings, and the boys in black and white, the older ones with jackets). Even when money was not plentiful for the latest fashion, we were always dressed respectably and new the value of a well pressed shirt and freshly polished shoes.
    So as an adult, I learned the value of individuality while holding fast to classic values. Day to day I, as my father did, dress for practicality while remaining respectable, and when it comes time to dress well, I do it with freshly polished shoes, a neat pocket square and the right cufflinks. Classic good looks and the right details, that’s what he impressed in me and that’s the style I in turn pass on to my children.

  270. thrift shift

    December 15, 2006 at 7:02 pm

    * 1960′s avant-garde artists: the brilliance and sense of purpose.
    * David Bowie: confidence and cool
    * ‘Pretty in Pink’: having grown up poor and awash in a surburban sea of 80′s mall clothing, that film gave me an insight into what true, individual style is all about.
    Someday I hope to get it right.

  271. Niels

    December 15, 2006 at 7:05 pm

    If I should think of a single event that have had an impact on my personal style, it would have to be Federico Fellini’s 8½. The film is a display of pure coolness in style – and in the black and white context that makes everything so much cooler. The main character film instructor Guide Anselmi and the crew that surrounds him are all very classically dressed wearing mostly suits and always scarf and hat – Guido always wears his a little tilted. The movie was really an eye-opener to me in regards of Italian fashion – mostly the retro stuff. If could ever find a suit and a pair of sunglasses nearly as stylish as Guido’s I would be… well extremely cool..

  272. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 8:01 pm

    My style is born out of the things I love, the vulnerability of Tristan and Isolde’s romance, the rich jewel tones of Pablo Neruda’s poetry and the clincking champagne of The Great Gatsby. Fashion for me is an illusion, where as style is the impenetrable peice that withstands the merciless grip of time- and for me this is those stories, it is John Fowle’s “The French Liutenant’s woman” with her salt stung hand’s and Mark Twain’s southern intoxication. The best writers weave a story that illustrate a feeling, in the same way the most graceful ensamble is woven with stories and histories tucked between the folds.

  273. Marianna

    December 15, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    I’ve always been interested in colour and unexpected combinations. As a student, I always wanted to look a bit different — and due to not having a lot of money — I ended up rummaging through second hand stores trying to find stuff to wear. I still do this to some degree. One thing I’ve noticed is that being poor can really drive people to be creative and inventive — I think that some of the people who are most inventive with their clothing and look often don’t spend a lot of money doing it — and I find that inspiring.

    Another thing that has had a huge influence on what I wear is my body (has anyone else mentioned this?). My weight (like many people’s) has up and down a bit — and recently after doing a year and a half of Alexander technique, the shape of my body has changed quite drastically — wider shoulders, longer torso, thinner thighs — so the styles that used to suit me don’t necessarily work anymore and vice versa. I’m having to rethink how I dress. I’m also increasingly interested in comfort and ease of movement so long skirts have been replaced by wide-leg trousers and heels with flats. The challenge for me is to be both comfortable and stylish. It’s quite a fun challenge! ; )

  274. David

    December 15, 2006 at 8:30 pm

    My friend Lisa has most influenced my personal style. Her outfits are always effortlessly stylish and unique. She sets a perfect example for anyone that believes style and fashion should be not just about looking good, but rather a form of personal expression. She never fails to surprise me with unexpected combinations of fabrics, colors, fits and patterns. She does this all without pretense and never follows a single fashion fad. For me she embodies the sense of style that I aspire to.

  275. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 11:25 pm

    Even though I’m by long habit an observer rather than a joiner, I couldn’t resist this question – any more than I can this blog! Here’s a selection of some of the many images that have floated up since I’ve been musing on “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    My grandmother’s cloche hat and fur-collared coat, which she wears in a photo from the roaring 20s when, appearances to the contrary, she was just a teenage kid from Montreal’s Saint Urbain Street…
    Myrna Loy in the Thin Man movies, with her gowns for every hour and her wit for any situation …
    My grandfather’s work bench and tools, where he set the diamonds into the ring I wear every day now and taught me to love the hard, precise labour of making things sparkle…
    My grandmother’s dresser drawers, where sweaters were swathed in tissue and nylons nestled in satin boxes…
    My great aunt’s silk scarves, which she doled out to me one at a time on holidays and which I have somehow, between then and now, lost…
    Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, when she cut her long hair and rolled up the sleeves of her proper dress, and became herself…
    My mother’s leather mini skirt, which was a glorious glazed mahogany, her multi-coloured Missoni blouse, which was a knock-off, and her appetite for all things lovely and lively, which was and still is her most fabulous accessory…
    Jean Seberg’s t-shirt in Breathless, which said New York Herald Tribune and spelt new-world style in the old-world style capital…
    My school friend Martha, who at 16 wore a Peruvian poncho as a skirt and looked soignée…
    My father’s giant box of oil pastels, which at the age of three or four I often played with, arranging and rearranging the rods of colour until my fingers were muddy…

    I could go on but I’ll just say, thanks, Sartorialist, for the memories.

  276. Anonymous

    December 15, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    ok so im only 16 and i dont even know if i can enter this thing i just thought i had to get this out there. i know you are probibly thinking yeah my style comes from the latest ABERCROMBIE add or something like that. and as yes i am a teenager living in america i can’t say i don’t fall into those oh so drapp catagories.
    so heres the thing. i love fashion, not like every other 16-18 year old i really really love it.
    ever sence i was two i wanted to dress myself and i know that sounds stupid but i always was picking out the most unique nice thing on the shelves.
    when i was about 9 my grandma showed me a Glamour magazine and sence 11 i have bean sunscribing. what can i say i was addicted. so when i heard about this website i almost …wet myslef. i love personal style soo much, but im not stupid! i know as well as any one that the people who try to look original only look like every one else trying to be original(with exception). it always seemed like a lose-lose situation so i would just set a trend and drop it when people started to were it . so i was all over the place with my fashion.
    so when i was like in 7th grade i relized i had to wear what i liked and that was more of a classy burberry inspired sence instead of my chuck taylors. and i really liked my new style.
    BUT i live out in the middle of nowere. in OREGON who lives in OREGON. well if you have heard of it and bean here you would know that the closest things to me are a COLE HAAN. ANTHROPOLOGY. BEBE and a LOUY VITTON store (somewere ive never seen it) about an hour away (not bad nut soo not good) so basically i have nothing unless i want to go to cali. so this is my problem.
    along with that i dont eactly have all the money in the world. that by no means says that im poor i just dont well.. i guess what i should say is that i wish there were more stores where i lived.
    so getting by on what i have (store wise) i started to take coats and shirts and make them GLAMOUR esk.
    i dont know if this is what your looking for but i think its interesting. my Grams has bean a huge influence, as korny as it sounds!
    i really love fashion and along with grams more then anything in the world it was a pair or burberry rain boots that enspired me.
    THANKS
    -Paige

  277. Payton

    December 16, 2006 at 12:11 am

    one time i was in this mall in Canada i can’t recall the name but i remember how the stores all became like a hunt to find something..good.
    i guess there were things there but i dont think i really honestly found them..interesting.
    thats when i think i really knew i wanted to design cloths in a sence.
    i went to a thrift store the next day before getting on my flight back to the states when this sequene nasty yellow dress hit me in the face. litterally. and figurtivly.
    i thought to myself at that moment that i had to do something with it.
    when i got home i went into my roomates boxes. she was moving out and into her dads house and she had some of his boxes there because he had passed away. she was going to take them to the salvation army and i thought i would take some things..without her knowing. she was african and her father whom i had only met once (when he dropped her off with all her things) and i knew he was from africa. he had a thik accent and his things were very african inspired. i thought that was neet because i always wanted to go and studie culture and africa was were i wanted to start.
    so when i went through those boxs (there was about 5 or 6 boxs) i came out with two things in hand.
    an original african shirt and something old and worn out, something i recogniesed. for some reason this shirt made me smile. it was BRIGHT red with little things on it. i couldnt place it but as i stared at it i relised that was shirt i had met him in. i was pleased to see this and so badly wanted to remember him with it along with her.
    so i took that red shirt and took the yellow dress and made a master peice. i couldnt even believe it. i was soo proud or my self and i was happy that i could honor his shirt and make something amazing out of a 2 doller yellow seguened dress that i would have never even thought of looking at if it werent for that day in the mall.
    i guess you could say that the mall inspired me. or the dress. but i think it was my roomated dad.
    to anton i promise to love your shirt as much as i know you did.

  278. Derrick

    December 16, 2006 at 12:47 am

    Women.

    Seems simple enough, right?
    “My fashion sense is driven by what I see from women.”

    What you probably don’t realize is that I am male. To say that women drive my fashion sense probably sounds quite preposterous, but my reasons are extensive. I’ve been surrounded by women my entire life. My Mother is my best friend. I lived with three Women during college. My best friend is Female.

    Women make fashion a lifestyle. Strength. Beauty. Sophistication. Modesty. These are characteristics that Women exude through fashion. I see Women running around in 3 inch heels, make up applied to perfection, a clutch held tightly beneath their arms…and I think to myself, “These Women painstakingly spend time to look so gorgeous for whatever reason. What do men do?”

    I find strength in Women suffering through blisters to put on those Jimmy Choos. I find beauty in the manner that Women use fashion for self-expression. I find Sophistication in the perfect Chanel suit. And I find Modesty in how Women can turn complexity to simplicity.

    I don’t mean to discredit men at all. So in speaking for myself, to see Women make the effort is an inspiration for me and hopefully for other men to put in a little more effort.

    I make fashion a lifestyle. I sacrifice a little comfort for the perfectly knotted tie. I put on clothes that allude to my personality. I spend the extra money for the perfect Armani suit to exude sophistication. And I appropriately throw on the Levis and the plain white t when the day calls for it.

    Women make the effort; men should only show the same courtesy.

    (dprodigal@gmail.com)

  279. mra

    December 16, 2006 at 12:55 am

    Funnily, what inspired me most on my personal style is the color PINK. And it’s not just plain-ordinarily one, but the real SHOCKING PINK. This color haunted me everywhere. It gives me spirit and joy inside, including creating my daily wear, even my attitude toward life generally. Maybe the word FUN can represent what I feel about the color. I always put fun [surprising] element[s] into my personal style [clothes, home furnishing, etc] like bright-colored-with-an-abstract-shaped brooches on my black suites, wear an acid orange shawl with my ordinary-but-comfy blue washed jeans, wear my futuristic style red shoes with my classic black skirt or painted green one side wall of our peacefully-romantic-monotone bedroom. This kind of spirit helps me of being not victimized by latest trends. In brief, this color shaped me of being me, of who I am now.

    Mira-Jakarta

  280. Anonymous

    December 16, 2006 at 8:46 am

    I would call my personal sense of style, brow beaten hen pecked husband. Exuding an air of, I am too rushed and too confused to really care how I look and why would it matter anymore anyway. My wardrobe consists of jeans; Gas Blue Jeans, Mossimo, Lee Boot Cut. Polos; Fred Perry. T-shirts for underneath; Nike. Over the top goes a vintage Fila track top or Levi denim jacket. Non of the above can be ironed, tucked in or look too clean. My feet are adorned by either a pair of Puma or Onitsuka Tiger runners/ trainers, retro in style. This personal sense of style that I’m sure millions of men have developed is not really born of inspiration but more a hang over from a life we once knew. As a foot note you must be well over forty but think you look thirty to give this look any sort of edge.

  281. J.M.

    December 16, 2006 at 11:05 am

    When I was 14 years old, I was having dinner with my parents at a hotel in the city. As we were eating, Mick Jagger was seated at the next table over with several people he was having dinner with. Never having seen a rock star so close up in person before, I was immediately struck by the charisma and presence he exuded: his attire being a major factor. Although I wasn’t very familiar with his music at that point, I became interested in listening to the Rolling Stones and learning more about him. I believe that experience taught me something about the connection between what we wear and how we are perceived by others. I think that I also owe the attention I pay to my own style of dress, and some of my clothing choices to that sexy, confident and charasmatic style I saw in Mick that night. I still find it funny that an aging rock star could have so much influence on my style of dress, but I have yet to have such an influential moment and inspriation in style as I had that night.

  282. Anonymous

    December 16, 2006 at 12:19 pm

    “”What has most inspired your personal style?”

    I can think of examples of people whose impeccable style sharpen my taste, but what really influenced my style of understanding how vital having style can be.
    I grew of in the provincial suburb of a provincial city in a forgotten country, where clothes and people were to be practical, mundane and well oriented, and an interest in aesthetics was considered a sort of degradation (think about the poor!). In that chucking environment, a style, ANY style, was a bald statement of being willing to risk your pension schemes for momentary delight.

    In that small peace of hell, I read, at 13, Raymond carver’s poem book and the translator had describe the harsh and hopeless living of young carver, and described his first encounter with modern poetry, when Carver realized that “necessity had turned into style, and style to a sword, with whom you are going to change your life”.

    And, at least from my own one exemplar, it’s true.

    Netazach@gmail.com

  283. Anonymous

    December 16, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    My Grandfather who wore a suit and tie every day of his life.

    Alan Flusser

    Ralph Lauren

  284. Anonymous

    December 16, 2006 at 2:55 pm

    Style is a feeling. A soft cashmere on an autumn day when the leaves are colors of the fire and you realize that you and nature make a beautiful picture. A shadow. Simply a elongated shadow on the pavement and you realize that the silhouette is perfect. You stroll past a window and see your reflection midstep, and if that reflection makes you hold your head up just a little higher, make the heels click just a little more confidently, make the shoulders relax just enough for the clothes to settle into a perfect draping… you are beginning to understand style.

  285. Anonymous

    December 16, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    As far as I can remember, I’ve always seen my mum dressed up with style and confidence. She told me one day that my grandma had told her that you’ll always have to be classy in every occasion because you never know who you’re going to meet. And on that particular point, my grandma was so right.
    I think it’s a typical French idea of how to integrate style in everyday’s life. To be pretty in every occasion, to look at your best when you’re having a rendez-vous. But the best tip from my grandma : “Have a style honey, but be yourself and you’ll glow”.

    And this afternoon on my date, the adorable man who was with me told me that I was Glowing.
    Thanks Mamie !

  286. Anonymous

    December 16, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    2 Words “Wardrobe Trailers” I spent the majority of my childhood in the wardrobe trailers of major motion pictures. I have been a SAG member since I was 5, and for some reason my sister and I were always cast in movies that required us to wear period clothing.(I’m assuming its because our good looks span centuries). Whether it be victorian to 1930′s beachwear we were always playing dress up.(I am ignoring the pre-school phase where I only wore grey sweatpants, brown cowboys books, and a heavy wool sweater with a cow jumping over a moon(think ralph lauren/duckie brown meets dirk bikkemberg). My most memorable fashion experience was when was on the set of the movie Sleepers which took place in 1960′s hell kitchen. Fashion draws on past, and so does style, everything is representation of an experince or a life. Thats what branding is, style is just life branding. My style draws upon all the experiences I had as a child(ignoring the fact that I still consider myself a child at 20).

  287. Jenny

    December 16, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    I belive my personal style is constantly inspired by who I am dreaming of being in my next moment.

    As a child, as I learned about wanting to be an artist, I adored smocks, my painty jeans, and anything that defined me as who I would be.

    Lo, I moved to the city, and I am an artist!

    As I dealt with being in the city, I started to bring the animal natural element into my world…branches forming a canopy in my apartment, a tattoo of birds wing the legnth of my forearm, a feather in my hat,
    acorns in my hair…

    Lo, my connection with nature is affirmed.

    Now, as I see how much needs to change politically, humanely, and enviromentally, I have a new inspiration.

    Now, I look for responsible lables that let me look not the old fashioned ideal of an activist with peasant dresses and sandals but the new type that sneaks up on you…wearing American Appearal, Stella McCartney, smaller labels like Meg and Ann Ren. Trying to make sure when I don my outfit for the day, I am arming myself with both the look to garner attention and please the eye…and then talking points to change peoples ideas of what a responsible consumer looks like.

    I dress to add beauty and humanity to the world.
    My dream of a better place is my inspiration for my clothing.

  288. Mr TH

    December 17, 2006 at 12:13 am

    Strangers that I run into anywhere. I always take style notes of every single interesting thing I see in life. Id write it down on a piece of napkin, back of my hands, type it on my cell, or simply a mental note. It is rare to find a single person (everyday people, not a celeb) with a superb great sense of style from head to toe. There’s always one thing that stands out (ie: the way a shwal curled up ur neck, perfect length of rolled up sleeves, etc) I’d take all of that and somehow try to mix them up and simlpy mix match it with my existing wardrobe. Everyday people around you are the best untapped kick ass fashion source. Lets get dressed for a good couse, Inspired others to dress better

  289. Anonymous

    December 17, 2006 at 2:17 am

    Something I’ve realized is that as you get older you pull from the fond memories of your childhood.

    My earliest style cues came from my father. Whenever my dad was at work, I would sneak into his closet and admire the multitude of Ralph Lauren dress and polo shirts all neatly hung or folded. I loved the smell of the cedar wood shoe trees, silk ties, and cologne of Calvin Klein Obsession or Chanel Pour Monsieur (which he used to wear back in the day). I admired his small collection of Tag Heuer watches, and was broken hearted when he sold off a beautiful Carrera. As a child I fondly remember him owning a navy blue blazer with gold buttons and being with him when he bought a Giorgio Armani suit (it was from a Neiman Marcus outlet, but who cares?), which he still hasn’t worn to this day!

    Also as a child, we watched a lot of old movies, back in the days when AMC showed the classics. I was very fond of Audrey Hepburn, especially in Charade, my dad is a Cary Grant fan (along with James Bond, Steve McQueen, Gregory Peck…). Also, I loved Alfred Hitchcock movies, especially Vertigo with Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart. Even watching the Umbrellas of Cherbourg! I thought these movies really showcased a time when people got dressed up to leave the house. The classic shape of the crocodile handbags with matching shoes, I loved it!

    Until this day I am in search of “the perfect” navy blue blazer with gold buttons and I covet things from his closet such as a Palestinian style scarf and these deep green Turkish prayer beads. He doesn’t understand my long held fascination for these items. I think a lot of my main “themes” of style comes from my childhood love of menswear and old movies. Maybe unusual influences for a 20 year old South Floridian girl, but I am sure they were even stranger when I was 8, and my favorite movie was Vertigo instead of Bambi…

  290. Anonymous

    December 17, 2006 at 9:24 am

    having time for myself, going where ever i want to hunt down inspiration.

    i find it in shoes,
    dresses, cardigans, trousers and in a necklace or a guy wearing the perfectly worn-in sneakers on the tube.

    in the voice of chrissy hynde, in the challange of finding the perfect outfit for saturday night, trying out clothes for hours on a slow sunday.
    call it fashion, shapes, colours.. i wan’t it. think i have it.
    i’ll never stop learning and inventing.
    my lust for life! (as iggy so approprietly put it).

    merry x-mas!!

    /susanna m. (your fin in sweden).

  291. Guillaume

    December 17, 2006 at 5:15 pm

    The 1969 movie Les Choses de la Vie (The things of life, from Claude Sautet) made a huge impression on me when I watched it in my teenage years. Michel Piccoli is a middle-aged architect, who remembers his love life between his wife and his lover played by Romy Schneider.
    Going from his apartment in Paris to his country house in a beautiful sports car, he is always perfectly dressed in this kind of casual chic, very typical from the late 196Os. Nothing pop in it. On the contrary, it’s a marvel of sobriety, mix of fitted velvet jackets, and tight sweaters all in shades of brown, and beige with some sparks of bright colours like red.
    The whole thing looks absolutely effortlessly chic – and though I was way younger than the character, I have always felt I could relate quite easily to this kind of intellectual middle class, living this seductively anti-conformist life in this very melancolic and quite « bourgeois » atmosphere.

  292. Anonymous

    December 17, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    Loads of self-respect and one good pair of shoes. These and little else took Nonna, my grandmother, from war-torn Italy – where her family was robbed of their home, possessions, and sense of security – to Canada. Nonna had experienced human ugliness at its worst, yet remained determined to give the world her best. Her unfailingly dignified presentation of “self” is what has inspired me most in my own sense of style.

    As a young girl, I was enchanted by the remnants of Nonna’s former life – a string of luminous pearls; a broach with a glittering stone black as ebony; a mother-of-pearl-handled hairbrush and hand mirror. I’d hold these treasures to the light and watch them twinkle, as if hinting at a magical, gracious past. I’d run my finger along her crystal perfume decanter, knowing I was forbidden to spritz the precious liquid. Long after that obscure perfume was gone, I would squeeze the atomizer, attempting to get one last delicious trace of the scent….

    Despite her glamorous vanity table, Nonna had little time for pampering. This woman worked, whether she was coaxing out the plumpest, juiciest tomatoes in her garden; or cranking out long, paper-thin sheets of pasta on her hand-worked machine; or scrubbing floors, giving the worn linoleum as much attention as if it were Italian marble. Not an elegant life, yet Nonna was an elegant woman. She used her personal appearance and refined manner as tools to elevate her life to something more than the sum of its daily drudgeries – to an art form, a way of giving pleasure to herself and to others. In true European style she would set off on daily errands, her drawstring shopping bag in one manicured and leather-gloved hand, her chocolate-brown alligator-skin purse with the gold clasp in the other. She carried this purse her entire life – if she were here today, she would be bemused by the mania for the latest “It-bag”, scooped up by the fashionable one minute, tossed aside the next for something newer and better.

    And she’d shake her groomed head at the legions of women racing about the streets in their practical – but hardly elegant – yoga-wear and trainers. Nonna made her vigorous treks to the shops in a good skirt and blouse, sheer stockings, and her sturdy yet slim-toed leather shoes that she would polish to a sheen and take to her cobbler when they running low at the heels. In the coldest months she’d wear her fur coat and matching hat, when it was warmer, a sharply-cut blazer-jacket – and always, a silk scarf around her neck, the pattern and colours setting off her ensemble. She set her hair in a style reminiscent of a young Elizabeth Taylor, and tinted it a delicate strawberry blonde, a softer version of her girlhood auburn. A flick of subtle eye-makeup, a slick of soft coral lipstick, a touch of powder – she was done and ready to face her day with aplomb.

    I always admired Nonna’s quiet sophistication, yet my own past is littered with the seductions of fashionable flash: gaudy, oversized baubles, tight, neon-bright tube skirts, cheap shoes that made my ankles wobble. The one thing I always returned to through my various style transformations were Nonna’s pearl-drop earrings she had given to me. I loved these earrings for their enduring beauty and for the person they represented. Yet one day, after Nonna had died, I failed to clasp one into my earlobe properly, and lost it. I was devastated. I’ve often thought about what Nonna would say if she knew. Well, I think after her initial head-shake at my carelessness, she would shrug and say, in her slow, careful English, “Eh, cara… look how much I have lost in my life…what to do except move on?” Move on indeed, because for Nonna, style had less to do with possessions and so much more to do with firmly putting one’s best foot forward, so to speak, striding past life’s upsets.

    Now, I hold the one remaining earring in my hand and think of Nonna and all she taught me. That a person of true style exudes grace no matter what their means and circumstances. It comes through their body and they way they carry it, care for it, adorn it and employ it. Their spirit and the kindness, generosity and compassion that emanates from it. Their mind and the way in which they discipline it to focus on what is good and true. Life, of course, can knock any of us off our feet, no matter how well-shod. Nonna, however, taught me that personal presentation should never be dismissed as frivolous – it’s about respect for yourself and those around you. And that a good pair of shoes, on willing feet, can take you anywhere.

  293. Jessica B

    December 17, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    My style is inspired by my grandmother. She was born in Frankfurt sometime before WWII, and grew up in a wealthy household. My great-grandfather was a wealthy lawyer, my great-grandmother was an orphan-turned-rich mother-turned extremely strict. My meme (what I call my grandmother) spent most of her time in the kitchen watching the cooks bake and whip up delightful meals, reading on her rooftop, and studying for school. When WWII started, she and her family left Germany for Geneva. My Meme became part of the French Resistance, suffered through the severe food shortages, and ended up going to the same University Albert Einstein attended and graduating as a doctor of the sciences. Keep in mind, this was a time when very few women were doctors. At this point my grandmother spoke French, German, English, and some Russian that she’d picked up from operas. She came to America and married my grandfather, an engineer, had my mother, strated the first recycling program in New Jersey (they lived in Summit) and was the head of her own laboratory. She and my Pape’s financial circumstances were tight, but she cooked high-quality food, bought a piece every season from Bloomingdales (as many French do, invest in beautiful clothing) and kept her family together. My Meme is now 86. She learned Spanish in her 70s. She works at the Hirshorn at the Smithsonian in D.C., and traveled to Brazil this year and hiked mountains while learning about modern Brazilian art. My most beautiful pieces of clothing come from her, such as an original Diane von Furstenburg wrap dress (navy blue with tiny white flowers), a bright orange Catherine-Deneuve in Belle du Jour-esque trench coat, my cream-colored Oscar de la Renta blouse… I could go on. My grandmother is supremely intelligent, beautiful, elegant and has “that certain je ne sais quoi” . She is my hero, both in fashion and in life. I try to live up to her as best I can.

  294. Esther

    December 17, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    Early childhood: Shirley Temple movies. The button-up boots, the dimples, those bouncy curls, oh how can one resist. Rags to riches stories are always inspirational. Swan Lake: Tchaikovsky’s music, the costume design, graceful body movements. Madonna on MTV.

    Teenages years: Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Elgar, poetry, passionate love always doomed to heartache, my cello. Catcher in the Rye – Holden Caulfield wears a great hunting cap.

    Early adulthood: Prada’s intellectualism, Marc Jacob’s uncanny wit, Balenciaga’s complexity, Chanel’s pristine sophistication, Chloe’s romantic femininity, Gucci’s sex appeal and glamour. Living in Europe for six months helps, too. My city: Seattle’s coffee shops, incessant rain, and the incredibly talented, passionate, melancholy artists in my community.

  295. Anonymous

    December 17, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    New York City!!
    for me, it has been the hub for all styles around the world. I learn the most about fashion from the people on the streets, in stores, at work at school, etc. everyone has their own personal story and its best seen all around us.

  296. CN

    December 17, 2006 at 11:28 pm

    You know what? I don’t even have a style. I came across your site somehow or other in my internet meanderings and was instantly hooked. I’ve always admired those with anything that could be called a “style,” and not the contrived , look-at-me variety, but the effortless, easy, *right* variety.

    I think at one point I was on my way to having it: I remember it well… [insert dream sequence music here]

    I was about 11. It was summer, about 1979. Got a long, lace-edged, off-white, long-sleeved absolutely hideous dress at a yard sale, and I felt like the most beautiful and elegant creature on the face of the earth while wearing it. I had some platform sandals I thought were a perfect complement. I wore these damned things EVERYWHERE. School started again, and one morning I got up and put on my lovely outfit. My mother stopped me at the door, told me I was dressed inappropriately, that I’d be ridiculed, etc., etc. This was the same woman who recommended waiting until after school had started to do our back-to-school shopping, so we could “see what everyone was wearing.” Why can I not make a decision to save my life, even to this day? Hmm…that’s tough. Only a highly-qualified professional could possibly hazard a guess. But I digress.

    Shot down for the 1,000,000,000th time, I went back in and changed, of course, and that was that. If you can’t tell, I’m bitter about having grown up in a household in which what things looked like was more important than what things were like.

    The reason I felt moved to write this at all is that my daughter is now 5 1/2, and a creative and exotic dresser. She doesn’t have a self-conscious cell in her body. I let her wear anything she damn well pleases, provided she won’t freeze or burn to death, and even then I’m likely to cut her some slack. The other day she was heading out the door to school in leopard leggings (I’m afraid so), a long-sleeved black turtleneck, ruby slippers, and to top it off, a Disney princess sleeveless nightgown. I couldn’t help myself – I asked, “Do your friends ever comment on your outfits?” Her fabulous answer was, “Oh yeah, they make fun of me.” She kind of rolled her eyes, like, “Can you believe it? What jackasses!”

    Once in a great while I feel like I’ve gotten it right and walk a little taller, talk, flirt a little more and just generally feel great. My kid feels like that daily! I hope someday to hit more often than I miss, or even just to confidently add to my current four pairs of pants and 5 or 6 shirts. In the meantime, I’ll be wholeheartedly cheering on the next generation.

  297. Anonymous

    December 18, 2006 at 1:25 am

    “The idea that innovation in the arts was a form of cultural heroism, an idea whose propagation was dependant on the institutionalization of modernism that counter-culturalists profess to oppose.”

    John Ashbery influenced my style!

  298. Anonymous

    December 18, 2006 at 2:11 am

    Strange to think where style comes from. You trace it back and can only remember effects of it, without guessing what produced them. I had an early aversion to stonewashed jeans & a pair Bjorn Borgish gym shorts my mom made me wear. In middle school, it occurred to me that pulling my cotton calf socks up as high as they would go and keeping them there, was stylish. And just to be contrarian I wore a purple Geoffrey Beene dress shirt & Birkenstocks to high school in my hick town.

    Style is a force that churns inside you, and runs over obstacles surely and slowly like a tank over rocky terrain. Even if you have a lot of style obstacles to overcome, like me, style will ruminate inside you without your even knowing it. It may take you until college until you allow yourself to realize that there are clothes beyond the Gap, but style is always there, waiting for you to mature enough to acknowledge it. It’s been there all along, digesting images and feelings without your even knowing it. And even if you’ve neglected it badly, it will still take care of you if you let it.

    One style influence for me was Glenn Close in “Dangerous Liaisons”, because of the way she had total control over every aspect of the way her body expressed things. For an adolescent that is a tremendously powerful dream–just to learn finally to control your own body. Plus, for better or worse, at the time I was more ancien regime than pro-revolutionary.

    In Northern Cal., where I am now, it doesn’t really pay to go aristocratic. Even in SF, it’s easy to stand out. That’s another thing about style–sometimes it pushes you too far, farther than you are ready to go and farther than the people around you are willing to go. It can be hard walking down the street looking better than other people and wanting to pretend you don’t notice or care. Style is a fundamentally ambivalent animal; it wants to stand out, but it also wants to belong. If you’re not careful, style will isolate you instead of bringing you together.

    My style as I understand it now is Proust-y: Swann & the men of the Jockey Club, Guermantes making an art of walking down the street and examining shop windows, Robert Saint-Loup balancing across the backs of banquettes to wrap Marcel in an overcoat. Fin de siecle whimsy & rigor. If you haven’t read any of that, just watch the Viktor & Rolf H&M commercial.

    What’s really great about when we live now, is that you can mix that high stuff with hoodies & sneakers & flannel shirts. I guess Warhol is responsible for scrambling low and hi. Otherwise, I’m not sure where that freedom came from. Wherever it came from, it’s great to have.

  299. Tea

    December 18, 2006 at 2:32 am

    What has always been inspiring me is the way my mother and grandmother are and what they tell me: don’t be afraid of being a WOMAN. A Woman is special in every way. Use the magical power of a woman,her feelings, her beauty, her elegance, her harmonious manner, her intelligence. Don’t be afraid of your body, celebrate it with meaningful clothes.

  300. Daniela

    December 18, 2006 at 7:26 am

    When i think of my style, i can see that, even though fashion is always changing, and so the kind of outfit i can find to buy, there is something that remains, and that’s what make my style be “my style”.

    It’s a mixture of what i call “the 80ies rock style”, straight jeans and t-shit, what reminds me Morrissey and Smiths. On the other side, i like loose pantalons in soft cloth, which fits great when the weather is too hot. This style i call “TV comercial at the beach style” :)

  301. Anonymous

    December 18, 2006 at 8:49 am

    Since you won’t know who I am you may donate the book to charity in my name…but here goes..

    I was inspired by my bachelor uncle. He always dressed well and had a sense of style, not classic by any means but his own. Growing up with little and working in the rag industry probably had much to do with how he decided to dress. Always a sport coat or suite, ties that were always the perfect match to bring out something in his outfit and a nice had with his overcoat. I have old photos of him from before I was born where his style was much more to my liking than what I saw growing up, classy jackets over pleated slacks on the boardwark at Coney Island. I had little growing up as my parents were not well to do and i think that when I was able to buy I first dabbled in low priced, low quality till I found my likes and they ended up being so similar to the pictures of my uncle that I had yet to see, and now as I grow older I see that I wear much as he did in his mature years, the suit or sportcoat with something that will always bring out the best in it.

  302. alex

    December 18, 2006 at 10:05 am

    In lieu of the title of Weber’s book, “Sex and Words” I thought I would attach this text I have written. In a way it describes what has most inspired my style, because my style is a daily masquerade of my own sensuality. As a young girl, watching my own body change and evolve allowed me to play with different ways of dressing. My friends and I used to go to the Jet Rag 1$ sale in L.A. and bring home bags of clothes which we would cut up and trade. Since I have lived in NYC and currently Paris, the many places I have lived and traveled have inspired the way I dress – sharpened my senses, darkened my palette, shown me precision. Right now I wear a lot of vintage men’s clothes – vests and tuxedo shirts, oversized men’s sweaters – I am currently in search of the man of my dreams and maybe by dressing like him, I am evoking him. My style is so vulnerable, it is likely to change depending on my mood or the weather. Whatever it is, I wear it well.

    “The touch, the tactile sensation of human flesh, made innocent. Primitive, refrained, protective and vulnerable. Pure beauty, youth and its peaceful gestures. I want your wrist to brush against me where my back is barely exposed beneath my shirt, but not your finger tips – your finger tips are too rough for this most fragile part of my back. Fixating on the folds in my skin, my unmatched parts. How soft and smooth the flesh under my arms is, the unevenness of my eyes, the irritation on my finger from the ring I wear too much.

    I highlight my face with colors and paints and tint the tiny hairs that shield my eyes from the sun with wet black. The circles under my eyes put to rest under spreadable matching tones. Your mouth is not so much bigger than mine, but I want you to swallow me whole. Inhale me and smear this masked masterpiece.

    Spread my fingers, the sore space between where hands meet and contract. Wrap my ankles in pretty bows. This is just a dance between the growth and the deterioration of my angles and curves. I want you to love the parts of me I am unsure of. I question everything I own that is not a part of me. There are two of me, your version and mine.

    There is only truth when I am alone. The rest is a gentle compromise.
    Everything feels better when we are laughing. “

  303. Anonymous

    December 18, 2006 at 10:15 am

    When my mom died we found a dress of hers that was green, with spaghetti straps, a wasp waist and full skirt. Very Dior New Look, at least the bodice and the waist. We also had her pearls, her bottles of Chanel No. 5, her collection of stiletto heels…

    She had been sick a long time and the cancer really took a toll on her, so we had not seen her dressed up in years. So when she died my older sisters took out photos and there she was: she looked like a movie star. She had a beautiful face, and was a true hour glass: voluptuous, not fat. An African-American Sophia Loren or Liz Taylor type.

    I was nine years old when she died and I spent at least 15 years trying to do rock star and grunge and pants, pants, pants and denying that I am my mother’s spitting image, except for the wasp waist (I have a big chest, a short waist, long legs and no hips).

    After seeing myself in a photo with red plaid punk pants, a white t-shirt, hair like Kid of Kid & Play, no earrings and no makeup, I realized I didn’t look cool, I looked like hell.

    Started all over again. Mommy, what did you do? Looked at my mother and what she did afresh. How to translate that without looking like a retro junkie?

    And although she had been dead for years she did it for me. I’ve stopped trying to look like a little man–you know, “tough”. Some women can pull that off. Not me. I have accepted that I am pretty, curvy and soft looking, and even if I am wearing jeans and Merrell Mocs (just had surgery & have to wear comfy shoes) that femininity comes through in how I put myself together.

    My foundation style principle is this: “I enjoy being a girl”. And my Mom, although gone, taught me that.

    Thanks Mom! And thanks Scott, for giving us a chance to share these stories.

  304. Anonymous

    December 18, 2006 at 10:21 am

    What has inspired my personal style?

    Between the ages of 7 and 17, I accompanied my Father to the ‘Officers Store’ on countless Saturdays. In those days the Army worked on Saturday mornings, and a standing ritual was for Officers from all over the Post to meet and close out their week with conversations while they purchased uniforms and civilian attire at these modestly appointed but fulsome tailoring shops.

    Officers then dressed like ‘English Gentlemen’ – with distinct and proper uniforms for everything …two or three changes each day, depending on whether it was motor pool, office, or ceremonial duty or an evening event. Uniforms were seasonal as well, with lustrous Tropical Worsted tans for summer wear and cavalry cut ‘Pinks and Greens’ for winter. There were Whites for summer dress, khaki Bermuda shorts, Mess Dress Cutaway coats with silk and velvet sleeves and colors designating Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, etc. There were at least a dozen required caps and hats, and there were shoes and boots from exquisite French Calf monk strap evening shoes to chukkas in pebble grain shined to smoothness at toe and heel to strapped, knee high ‘tanker’ boots made to order by Dehner of Omaha.

    On those mornings I learned that wearing a uniform didn’t have to mean looking like anyone else. My inspirations, Generals and Lieutenants, some up from the ranks and some straight from Yale, showed me that fabric, fit, finish and the best boots – Style – was as much a part of leadership as knowledge… that because so much of the military was visual, a leader needed to, at first impression, command attention and interest and respect… a life lesson, never forgotten.

  305. another mouthful of commas

    December 18, 2006 at 11:26 am

    not an entry, just a thought…

    I was watching a documentary last night on the transvestite artist Grayson Perry, who comented on the powerful role fashion, style, and clothing in general plays on our notion of ourselves, and how we project ourselves to others, or imagine we do. He was talking in particular on fetishism and fetish wear, but his comments brought this post in mind. For some, clothes may be entirely functional, for others, a transient slippage in and out of the latest trend, and for others, a very central core to how we view ourselves. But reading through all these musings on individuals’ personal development of style, as well as thinking of my own, made me realise that whether it’s consciously done or not, our style is such an intense concentration of our histories, fears and aspirations… a shield, a weapon, a mirror that doesn’t necessarily reflect, but deflects the observant eye (such as your’s, dear Sart) to a quiet, secret, truth of ourselves.

    (ok, I will stop before I really stop making sense!)

  306. mademoisellelala

    December 18, 2006 at 12:50 pm

    My art history professor had greatly influenced my style during my sophomore year in college, although it would take years to really show. Back then I was trying too hard to be trendy, dressing in clothes that did little to flatter my 5’2 body. This professor provided two educations; one was the obvious one of Roman, Byzantine and Gothic art, the other was a study in elegant simplicity and style. As she chronicled key periods of art, I took in her outfits and accessories. Gorgeous red hair, accented with the softest mossy cashmere sweater and tailored trousers. She worked sterling silver jewelry unlike anyone I knew. Strong, modern, curvalinear pieces dotted her ears and throat, and made me realize how commonplace so much jewelry is today–what I call “mall jewelry”. Her shoes were usually Italian loafers, but when she wore heels, they were of the finest leather and structure. She dressed with what appeared to be effortless ease, but now that I am close to her age then, I realize it was more than likely the result of a lifetime of experimentation and expression. She chose pieces that accentuated her unique traits and interests and in that she created a style. An edited, impeccable truly genuine style. I never forgot it.

  307. Anonymous

    December 18, 2006 at 1:11 pm

    Answer: Bruce Weber’s Documentary of “Let’s Get Lost” – the life and music of Chet Baker

    My personal style is inspired by the 1998 striking documentary of the life and music of Chet Baker, and directed by Bruce Weber. Back then (20 years ago), I was a struggling immigrant in search of a new identity in New York City. Seeing this movie (twice) helped refine my personal style. The inspiration is not about “looking cool.” It is “living cool” – being staunchly non-conformist, forging a unique identity for yourself as you live around the ephemeral world of fashion and celebrity.
    I really had little interest in both Baker and Weber until I saw this film. From that point on, every time I hear the names “Bruce Weber” and “Chet Baker,” I immediately associate it with the striking black and white imagery, smooth not sentimental, poignant not shallow and evocative of all feelings universal.

  308. sarah

    December 18, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    My personal style is influenced by one thing: fun. From design elements like giant collars that are so large they can be zipped up over my head, to smaller details such as ridiculously placed pockets and mismatched buttons, what I choose to keep me from being naked only has one requirement: it has to make me smile.

  309. EM

    December 18, 2006 at 2:53 pm

    there’s a peter hujar photo that i’ve always loved. it’s called four latins and it’s just four latino guys sometime in the 70s, shirtless, wearing straight jeans with white chuck taylors. the sexiest one has a mustache and kind of wavy Jesus hair. there’s nothing made up about this picture, they’re just wearing work clothes, but they look so stylish, and the picture is so honest and simple. the clothes they’re wearing are kind of an extension of their bodies. this is style to me – being able to wear clothes as if they were a body part. i cant find a link to the picture, but i think bruce weber would approve.

  310. Anonymous

    December 18, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    My grandmother was the wife of a Pakistani diplomat. She herself, was a citizen of the world. Karachi, Tehran, Nairobi, Montreal, San Francisco–her homes may have changed every few years, but her impeccable sense of style always traveled with her. Her closet was filled with as many clothes as it was with the textile books she ordered from Paris. These binders primarily compiled swatches of pure, luxurious silk chiffon that I can just imagine the buyers at Rodarte drooling over: whimsical pastel prints, bold vibrant solids, and utilitarian muted neutrals that somehow carried immense depth and nuance–just as she did. But unlike the Mulleavy sisters, my grandmother seldom bought the delicate materials to tailor romantic blouses or sweet frocks. Instead, she preferred to place an order for six meters of the delicious clouds of material and wear them as a sari. She carried Mondrian block prints with equal parts litheness and solemnity, as if they were no different from the metallic brocades and beadwork that a traditional sari would have been made of in her motherland.

    Having grown up on three continents myself, my fashion aesthetic encapsulates a strong sense of multiculturalism. I struggle to mix tradition with modernity, in fashion and in life, with half the sophistication and self-assuredness she had. Her ability to internalize and amalgamate the many divergent cultures to which she was exposed and create an unexpectedly refreshing fashion sense all her own makes her my style icon extraordinaire.

  311. Anonymous

    December 18, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    Contest

    I will sound like a complete geek, but the book “the Official Preppy Handbook” has and is the most influential to my personal style. Before I read the book which I know was meant to take the micky out of the whole WASP thing (and I could never be mistaken for a WASP,NEVER) it was funny. Not only me, but all my friends (white, black, jewish, etc) bought and dressed via the books instructions. Sure it was aspirational in a way, no different from the the Ralph Lauren lifestyle we all see, but it provided the basics for any want to be well dressed man or woman without a since of style. While nowadays, I can get caught up in the skinny shapes of Dior Homme, the intellectual influence of Prada and the Hustler influence of Dsquared2 (all of which I love and own), when fashion starts shifting too much into one thing or another, or after I look at the runway shows and go “eh!”, I can always count own my Official Preppy handbook basics to get me out the door and looking and feeling confident and well dressed. And no I no longer have the book, its embeddedin my brain.

  312. Maz

    December 18, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    Although I was initially going to write about the supermodels of the early 90s whose ads were plastered all over my walls when I was a kid, the more I thought about it I realized my family – both sides, my mother’s Italian history and my father’s Maltese upbringing – are what have inspired a fearless fashion sense from an early age (I still remember being about 3 or 4 watching “Solid Gold” while my parents got ready to go out on Saturday night and telling my mother she needed a bolder belt). My mother’s father owned nightclubs and the family is always pictured in evening dress- sweeping, Grecian-style gowns in every pastel hue on the women or black-and-white cutout gowns just on this side of scandalous; outrageous tuxedos (ruffles, velvet) on the men. At my parents’ wedding my grandfather changed tuxedos three times, from black to apricot to baby blue. My mother’s hair changed color and legnth on a monthly basis. My father’s more conservative family believed in dressing as a sign of respect – to this day, I dress up when flying anywhere – and the men really took this to another level; pocket squares, vests, suspenders, hats, coordinated socks. My father’s father was a cameleon; he looked like a rebel in a white tshirt and jeans and an aristocrat in a suit and tie. Today, I move from conservative, clean lines (pencil skirts, white white shirts) to over-the-top sexy (low v-necks, versace dresses, high boots) to punk (short bangs, lots of tights) because in my family, no one ever seemed to follow any rules – I mean, come on, an apricot tuxedo??

  313. Aretha

    December 18, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    My style is actually anything but simple. I live in a country where the women usually dresses in navy black and grey colours and I really never- even when I was a little girl- wanted to look like those women. I started to be inspired by the retro- vintage-70′s style and now I really can say that my style/vintage heroins are three: Sienna Miller, Audrey Hepburn and Kate Moss; this is my own Holly Trinity of fashion. My family members often said to me that my clothes were funny or different in a bad way, but knowing that inside that words it was the national expression of boredom that encourage me to look a lot more “different”.

  314. CSH

    December 19, 2006 at 10:21 am

    The most powerful influence on my personal style goes back to one person, my father.

    While there have been many other influences, from magazines and movies to several stints working at Polo/Ralph Lauren stores, it always comes down to him. My father has a timeless sense of taste and a respect for quality. He is, at heart, a J. Press man who over the years loosened up and expanded to Brooks Brothers. That being said he always looked comfortable and stylish without being stuffy or off-putting. To the contrary, he has always been an approachable guy, which is very important since he is doctor. While he is a conservative dresser, my dad is by no means a sartorial wallflower. From white tie, tails and top hat for an annual dinner dance to creamy flannels, blue blazer, and a panama for a summer’s concert under the stars, he most certainly exemplifies personal style.

    If any one event cemented my love for clothing and the power it has, it was when I saw him at work but he didn’t know I was there. I was with a friend who worked in the hospital’s emergency room and we stopped there so he could drop something off. While I stood in a corner and watched the commotion, I saw my dad come around the corner wearing a seersucker suit and white bucks – downright natty. In the emergency room no less! What will forever stay in my heart and mind though is what happened next. He walked over to a man lying on a gurney parked along the wall, gently leaned over him and began to talk. Their heads close together, I could see the body of my father’s patient relax. At that moment, what he had on was irrelevant; he was there to comfort and help his patient. The style on the outside matched the man on the inside. More than any magazine or movie star, that image will always be my definition of true style.

  315. Anonymous

    December 19, 2006 at 10:41 am

    Style is the sum of way too many influences throughout one’s life, but I have a specific quirk that takes it to a level of neurosis that always raises an eyebrow. I can not mix my gold and silver tone metals. Sure, it’s a traditional way of thinking, but I can’t do it even if the conflicting materials in question are hidden. For example, if a jacket I want to wear that day has brass hardware, everything I wear has to be brass or gold tone – down to the studs of my jeans or the hardware in my messenger bag. Even if my pants have no visible metal save for the zipper hidden behind the placket, or even the backing of a pin I may want to use that day, it still has to match. I have specific bags and shoes with matching metals that I have earmarked as components for future outfits, and nearly went insane trying to collect all the right pieces in the past few years when brass hardware became popular again for clothing. It’s sad, I know. I’ve tried to allow myself to mix when certain pieces have both brass and silver elements in one (A Helmut Lang bracelet that never went into production was my possible salvation a couple of years ago, and I tried tracking it down all over the planet, calling every store on the Helmut website trying to purchase it, with no success), but it really doesn’t sit well with me. I’ll just feel self-conscious and weird the whole day, like I had a huge zit smack dab on my forehead. So I basically keep my metals separate. Yes, be afraid.

    This nearly obsessive compulsive tick can be traced to one moment in my youth in the early 70s in Manila: while riding in the car with my fashion designer mother as we drove to her salon one morning, Mom looked out a window and shuddered. She looked away from the window with an expression of dismay on her face, and I had to ask her what was wrong. Without skipping a beat, she responded, “That woman in the other car mixed her gold and her silver jewelry together.” And she shuddered again. Ever since then, it has been branded into my sensibilities: “Gold and Silver together: Bad.”

  316. Elle

    December 19, 2006 at 11:30 am

    Nothing…because style’s an innate feeling and something that you either have–or you don’t.

    Sure, you can admire someone else’s style or be moved by something, but personal style is a visceral, gut-level thing that you just know when you’re putting it all together in the end.

  317. mj

    December 19, 2006 at 11:35 am

    People I admire the most and who inspires me the most in terms of clothing, style…are those who wear the exact same thing every single day such as the designer Andre Kim.

    I know how difficult it is to mix match and be stylish but I hate to look stylish.Because being stylish is already a stereotype. But while not being stylish, I do not want to look cheap but chic and the chic should come with feel-good material. And feel-good material should come with best tasted design. But Best tasted designed feel-good material is often expensive and you can easily look stylish.

    That is why I admire people who wear the same thing every day. They give you the key solution of being chic and not stylish while not spending much money (having only a few pieces of the same item)

    Not stylish….because even though it looks stylish in the beginning, when you see it everyday, you unconciously forget its form and its so called ‘style’.

    So as a former clothe design student working in a fashion industry, my goal would be wearing the same clothe for everyday in a near future. I haven’t met yet the right clothe.

  318. Artis

    December 19, 2006 at 1:46 pm

    Contest

    My personal style is inspired by family(mostly by my DaD and my older brothers). As a child (like most children I guess), I was left with few options- I wore what my MoM told me to wear (i.e, my older brothers hand me downs). As a teen I realized that hand me downs, “retro” kicks, and vintage pieces from DaD’s closet were actually more my personal style than anything. I find now that I opt for second hand and consignment stores over big name designer/ major department stores to creat my own looks. So I owe my personal style (which explores traditonal, modern and creative chaos) to my family.

  319. Anonymous

    December 19, 2006 at 1:53 pm

    My personal style is inspired by the cities and spaces that I find myself in. I know this because I dressed so much differently during the 4 years that I lived in Los Angeles than I do now as a 3 year (and counting) resident of Madison, WI. Moving to the Midwest hasn’t made me care less about style, and people who claim that the midwest has no style are grossly misinformed. What I have learned from my time here, though, is that how I look and how I choose to present myself is absolutely affected by the people, social spaces, and let’s face it–clothing stores–that I have access to. The only place that you’ll find Derek Lam, or even Anthropologie, in Wisconsin is on the internet. And yet, some of my favorite outfits are composed of things that I found right here in Madison–things that were bought because I was inspired by Madison–and I just know that I wouldn’t feel as happy or as right fashioning myself in such a way at any other time in my life, or in any other place. I LOVE that. It makes me realize that the possibilities for personal invention and re-invention limitless.

  320. Anonymous

    December 19, 2006 at 7:04 pm

    An anticipation for adventure/experience, and to keep a memory of it.

    I have always loved dressing for an/any occasion–a school dance, a trip out to a place only previously imagined, a wedding. To live in that chosen skin makes it (the dress, the suit,) a part of you, a part of that moment. After, when the party extinguished, the plane landed back home, you will always have that wine-stained shirt, those beaten shoes…they recollect the moment for you, begged to be relived. The fibers hold a memory and it has always been a deep pleasure of mine to consciously participate in this process.

    An example…I still wear my late Korean grandmother’s Leonard silk dresses she got in Paris while studying there. I’ve worn them to numerous parties since I was 16 and every time I put it on I am thrilled by the thought of her and my mother picking it out of their closets, slipping it on and going out somewhere wonderful. There are three generations of wine-stains on the dress and I would never try to remove them!

  321. Jeremy E.

    December 19, 2006 at 8:38 pm

    I believe I can do anything. My personal style identity stems from my own belief that I can pull off anything. How someone wears their style isn’t about the garment, style is from the inside.

  322. suk

    December 19, 2006 at 10:54 pm

    “What has most inspired your personal style?”

    Dear Sartorialist,

    As an Asian-American, I have struggled to find a style which can define the elegance I want to express without the element of foreignness which comes from adopting a style which is undoubtedly Italian, French or American Classic. There are two movies which have helped define this Asian elegance for me, “In the Mood for Love” by Wong Kar Wai and “L’Amant” by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The two leading Asian male characters, coincidentally both called Tony Leung in real life, Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Leung Ka Fai, clearly portray an Asian gentleman’s image which I pursue, an appearance equally soft as it is intense, proper and clean yet passionate in its delicacy and refinement.

    To describe their style is challenging in the sense that it is not bound by its physical appearance, as it should be also described in terms of the way these men carry themselves, how they use their sense of style as an extension of their own expression of self and how their style is a manifestation of characteristics which are highlight a very particular form of male Asian thought forms.

    I am attaching a few pictures for you (in email version).

    Thanks.

  323. Anonymous

    December 20, 2006 at 1:22 pm

    San Francisco and Vogue

    I love living in San Francisco because there are so many fashion “factions” and I love to pull a little thread from each of them. Burning Man has given the folks here even more freedom to try something different, which I think is key to developing one’s own personal style.

    There is a definitely an absence of couture and high style on the street, but that’s where Vogue has come in for me. I can tune in to the key trends, then branch out with something crazy and unique. Something San Francisco.

  324. copy_paste

    July 5, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Vogue

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