Personal style has everything to do with what you, the individual, seeks to project through your clothing. It has little (nothing, hopefully) to do with what's 'on trend', what fashion magazines dictate, what a blogger's epiphanies of the moment may be, and damn sure not what the guy with 100,000 Instagram followers has on. Rather, it's reflection on your own experiences, travels, and received knowledge. That's why it is even more crucial to put a personal stamp that defies the arbitrary mandates of #menswear, many of which I've blabbed on about here.
One of my favorites pieces is a green paisley scarf that belonged to my grandmother. There's no fabricated tale about her handing me the scarf over in ritualistic fashion. Rather, I found it in a drawer and just kinda took it. It is a splendid combination, resplendent in deep, huntery green, royal blue and a muted yellow than teeters on gold. I took it, believing one day I'd be ready (have the balls) to wear it proudly.
That day came rather unassumingly. I pulled it out of a drawer and tied it around my neck and strutted out of my apartment. And, as any self-absorbed twenty-something, I predicted a rainfall of stares, mockery and false benevolence reminiscent of the emperor's walk about town in his new suit. None of the imagined reactions occurred, of course. I've been wearing it ever since.
I don't know the back story about it. I never saw her wear it. But it was a hers, and that's personal enough. Of course it helps that it is simply a beautiful scarf. One that doesn't necessarily go with what I'm wearing, but that's the essence of personal style. A sort of middle finger to the rather arcane guidelines many men fuss too much over.
Photos by Bevin Elias