When I was in high school I remember caring a lot about the clothes I wore. At the time, and maybe this is showing my age, a $50 plain coloured t-shirt which had the word ‘Billabong’ printed in bold lettering across the chest was pretty much the be all and end all of men’s fashion. By that criteria, I was pretty on point for most of my teens.
Then, as I got a bit older, I started to let go of the idea that words like Fresh Jive, Rip Curl and Quicksilver held any relevance for a young Chinese guy living in the suburbs about 20km away from the coastline. That was a real bummer *shaka*, but it did open up a lot of doors (to stores other than SDS and General Pants) for me to start searching for a more fitting aesthetic identity.
I began to embark on what would become a long and on-going process of developing my own personal style.
Take my hair for example. When fluoro was in I was revelling in the freedom of being over 18 and going clubbing and put a purple streak through my fringe, when I started to learn guitar and indie was the flavour I used to tie a feather through it, and when I started working in an office building at my first job I got a very sensible fringe-less do that made me look a lot like my father.
These chameleonic transformations happened pretty naturally with each new iteration of me.0 arriving at the intersection of a passing trend and my developing personal interests. What’s fascinating about this to me is that this is a journey that everyone else goes on too. We all change shades as we grow into ourselves and I suppose we just keep the things that work and discard the things that don’t before trying on the next trend. Sure, some folk seem to have a very particular, refined sense of style, but even they arrived at their ‘look’ through trying different things on…literally.
For me now, with those aforementioned phases behind me, my concept of style has evolved to a place where practicality is enlivened by unique accents. That’s the space I feel most comfortable dressing in. Skinny jeans, t-shirts, parkas and a bag, these are my staples, but it’s the stuff I wear less often that really make up my style (in my opinion, anyway).
One of my favourite resources I’ve relied on when looking at other people for inspiration this year has been Dan Bould’s work on the Lynx Expression Series. Dan’s brief was to capture 20 Australians he’s been exposed to in life and work, who he thought were taking on the world in their own unique way, with their own authentic sense of style.
The collection of interviews inspired me to think about my own style and write this post but also to go through my own wardrobe and appreciate the items I’ve collected over the years that make up the building blocks to my personal style. I’ve posted a few of my favourites below…
This post was written with support from Lynx.