Wisdom applied, books are not to be judged by the cover. With humans in garments we tend to ignore our wisdom, possibly because the variety in well-grounded as well as misguided ideas building a wardrobe is vast, and because not every morning comes with clarity in self awareness, much less with an understanding of how to dress for the given day — do we choose for a sincere self or for mere protection and practicality?
On the grounds on which we make daily and long term decisions on textile, color, form of clothing, head or foot gear and decorations, I see three main sources guiding us.
- The Proper and Practical – A blanket of rules floats over the individual who submissively abides by the respective culture which — occasionally with a demanding voice — says what is proper, practical and logical, based on tradition, belief, weather and local products.
- Fashion – There are the glorified and often incomprehensible haute couture , fashions and trends, offering beauty and prestige coverings, symbolizing a promise in safe havens of acceptance by the aimed society circles.
- Individual Expression – Thirdly, some individuals have or acquire an inner sense for composition, and develop habits to uniquely express their being, not by covering who they are but by quite accurately giving the world a picture that gets read as sincere essence and presence. They are like walking books whose content self radiates coherently through and with the outer woven shells.
We are shuffled layers, individually composed into a character, all subject to adjustment and tuning, and not every single soul reaches planet earth with an inherent sense of style and the self-confidence to dress with a smooth, detailed and balanced expression of sincere beauty and elegance. Yet, there is something essential to be said about the place in society for the individual with abilities of being particularly expressive and creative in standing apart, showing more than mere fashion, just as uniquely talented musicians, dancers, actors, scientists or thinkers stand out amongst their peers, after attending the same schools, listening to the same records, using the same words and using the very same instruments, simply because they do what they do, by being who they are.
It is what it is, the individual is the individual. Liberace was flamboyant, Martha Argerich never has been. Different sincerities, after all.
Where I do lack comprehension is in seeing a popular willingness towards artificial enhancements, a tendency to hide and make believe, (not in correspondence). And I fail to understand why we ought to walk and speak with anything less than grace and a genuinely loving disposition toward self and what surrounds us.
Whichever the source for our garment choice, I see the individual as responsible for being sensible, attentive, weighing out repeatedly, standing naked in front of a mirror and smiling, rather than negating the reflection, pride aside, caressing life with expressions in all possible honesty through what we wear, with grace and beauty being the purest of reasons for being covered. Nature is elegant, distinct. When it is flashy with bright colors, shapes and scents, it is for survival. The animal that is noble is refined, without the need to survive but excited in the celebration of living life.