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


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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

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


Blogger Stela said ... (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 (


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger CG said ... (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


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:20 AM) : 


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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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..........


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger jj said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:05 PM) : 


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. :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:29 PM) : 

"What has most inspired your personal style?"

While there are many factors that influence my personal style--magazines, media, other cultures, etc.-- the largest inspiration by far has been my mother. I love flipping through her pictures from the 60's, 70's, 80's, and see how her sense of style has evolved with changing fashions. She's taught me to incorporate my own elements into everything I wear, and to ensure that it is uniquely personal and timeless... not forget-able.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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...


Blogger Kyle Dreaden said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Richie Designs said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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


Blogger whyioughtta said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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 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 has to be has to


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:40 PM) : 


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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:44 PM) : 

the driving force behind my personal style is the constant push i get from always wanting to better myself and my surroundings. this has helped me evolve through time and will still be the driving force behind my future evolution. ive always been a firm believer in the saying that to change your environment you first have to start with yourself; so with this always in mind im always trying to push my boundaries and challenge my limits without forgetting all the lessons ive learned from past triumphs as well as past mistakes. all to arrive at a better self and a better status quo :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger k said ... (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 :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Butch said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Scooby said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Claire said ... (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.


Blogger soq said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Gareth P. Smith said ... (3:21 PM) : 

As an adolescent, I had no defined style at all. In a small suburban English village where teen 'style' consisted of baggy hoodies with Karl Kani jeans, dressing as anything other than a hooligan marked you out for unwanted attention. But then I moved to London, picking up some cues from the British aristocracy I worked with every day, and from there to New York.

This move is what really defined my style, as my 'Britishness' became even more finely tuned with the move Stateside. So in a sense, it was this move--combined with patriotic pride in being British--which really influenced my style. But the tone was initially set by just one of my countrymen: Michael Caine. In The Italian Job, Alfie and Citizen Kane with his crisp tailored suits and pocket squares, an artfully ruffled hairstyle and insouciant manner, he represents to me the apex of true sartorialism.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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 it's own classic way.


Blogger Kelli said ... (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?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:35 PM) : 


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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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 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.


Blogger UpperWestSideGuy said ... (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.


Blogger kenya miles said ... (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.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Baby Daddy said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:16 PM) : 


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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Rippedbackpocket said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Toria SF said ... (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.


Blogger cheryl said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Regina said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:05 PM) : 

Aside from watching older classic films and european cinema
I would have to say my aunt. In the 70's when I was 8 I admired and set out to emulate her. I viewed her as independent,charming,strong-willed but still feminine. She traveled extensively for her work so she would always wear original ensembles or pieces that inspired her in her travels especially to Spain (her favorite because of the culture) and Italy. She would always give me her foreign fashion magazines. Aside from the glamour it must have conjured up in my mind at the time what struck me most was that although she cleverly selected her garments it was really her attitude and personality which made her shine: Strong, engaging, elegant,feminine and discreet. Through the years I developed my style and became interested in not really what was the rage in fashion but in the uniqueness of a piece and also the confidence a person displayed. I went on to study fashion and have traveled living now in Spain. I still find interesting when I notice someone has a unique piece coupled with a certain presence that really shines out which is why I really enjoy visiting your site.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:09 PM) : 

My personal style has been shaped by my family. I grew up thinking that a person must always be well dressed to face the world. There is also James Dean in Rebel without a Cause and Piet Modrian.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:18 PM) : 

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

Hence the following list:

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

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...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger denesteak said ... (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.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:38 PM) : 

Like most people, my personal style grows out of all the various facets of experience throughout my life. I always like to add a quirky edge to what I wear, and I guess, having thought about it, it comes as a response to, and expression of, the concepts of identity I'm thinking of, both my own, and the others around me.

I grew up in a moderately traditional asian family in Britain, but was never really part of the the whole 'asian' community. As a result, from my early teens onwards, I always took on a very starkly rebellious look, very indie and 'goff', which is ten-a-penny nowadays, but back then, walking around town with 6 inch Buffaloes, a dog collar and half an inch of eyeliner was enough to stun the usual locals, as well as mark me out strongly against the society I was supposed to be born into.

While this has varied and toned down over the years, I always, I guess deliberately, made an effort to look a little different, to stand out from being just another Indian chick, and trying to show a more arty, creative side instead, something that was always seen as a little unusual and unwanted within the culture I grew up with. It's only since I've finished with uni entirely that this has begun to change a little. I suppose I've wanted to put student life very clearly behind now, with a move towards something more sleeker, classier, more, dare I say, grown up.

But while my palette may have been muted to something a little more sober, the drive to be creative, inventive and individual is always beneath everything I wear. Nowadays style is defined by simple but essential beauty care, good shape, good quality and inventive uses of colour - balancing standard High Street pieces with vintage gems, and hiding my evil student debts beneath the rug to splash out on the occasional jewel. Simplicity and invention.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Blogger SuzieMoi said ... (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,


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:58 PM) : 

The inspiration for personal style. Where does it come from, when does it begin? I suppose for most, it is a collage of elements - special people in one's life - familiar or unexpected, places visited, unique experiences, art and observations of many kinds. The wonderful possibilities with which to be inspired surround us all.

If I had to narrow it down to one person, place or thing, then I would have to say . . . the incomparable Audrey Hepburn. In my youth, her movies enchanted me - not just her acting but her great great style! She exuded a quiet and elegant confidence - on the screen and off. Throughout the seasons of her life, she was always perfect. Not that she seemed as if she was trying to be perfect, she just was. It was innate.

From an ingenue to a woman of a certain age, she was extraordinary in so many ways. She was beautiful from the inside out. Her fabulous personality and her warm inviting smile were what you truly noticed - her wonderful fashion choices simply enhanced more of who she was, never distracting or overwhelming the truth of her essence. Her choices of classic yet modern clothing and understated accessorizing created the perfect frame to display who she was, and who she continues to be. I'm not sure if she followed trends, but she certainly started some.

I have a beautiful daughter in her first year of college. I love her and am very proud of her, but we have very different styles! I was startled (and delighted) when I found out a few years ago that she too, adores and admires Ms. Hepburn. In her dorm, she has a black and white AH calendar, and has often borrowed my various books about her life and terrific style. I suppose that is two votes for Ms. Hepburn.

In addition to her personal fashion style, I continue to admire and be inspired by the beautiful manner with which she lived her life. A style worth emulating, in my opinion.

Her human style might be my most favorite of all.



Blogger Martin said ... (7:08 PM) : 

When it comes to personal style, Rock & Roll is my greatest muse of all. The great vintage feel of it, the dirty and raw tailored and refined. David Bowie is one of the greatest fashion icons of all time, and he has quite influenced not only the clothes I wear but also the attitude in which I embrace what I am wearing. A rock star can wear anything and make it glamorous: leather pants, cowboy hats, tailored suits, denim, you name it. The world is just like a packed stadium for me, and I am about to rock it. Why not feel a bit like Mick Jagger and be confident about mixing patterns, frabrics and colours. My personal style has no boundaries, the rules I break help to set free the close minded. I break the rules because that's what rock and roll is about.

PS: I love what Bruce Weber did for Helmut Lang a few years ago.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:24 PM) : 

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


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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…:}:}:}


Blogger Unknown said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Ideapush said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger marie said ... (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. :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:46 PM) : 

My mother enabled my innate sense of style. She and my father were all fabulous and groovy in the sixties and I totally got “it”. I could see, at a young age – 8 or 9, details of proportion and texture, color and drape, as my mom was fitted for uber-mod evening outfits at Lili Rubin. I would drape my skinny little frame into the chaise lounge of the gianormous dressing room as this beautiful blonde, stacked and curved (a former beauty queen and swimsuit model, she was), tried on a silver mylar sheath, or a kick-ass white pantsuit. Jumpsuits and evening suits, velvets and beautiful wool knits – she knew what to pick, what would capture a room. The goodness of it all, the aura of her style seeped into my psyche and by the age of 13 I was raiding her wardrobe from her beauty queen reign – 1952 – and wearing vintage to junior high.

I discovered Goodwill in 1970 and Mother championed my vintage cause by encouraging her friends and relatives – male and female – to notify me before they dispersed of culls from their closets. I learned to sew and customized my jeans and those of my friends. My first project for 9th grade home ec was a gray wool flannel cape with red satin lining. I definitely did not fit in with the Villager – John Romaine – Bobbie Brooks clones whose mere presence on campus stifled the creativity of less aggressive style pioneers, but my mom delighted in every funky, strange, gender-bending, haughty, whimsical, stunning, or fascinating outfit I put together and led me to feel empowered by my sense of style. By progression, I recognized how important it is to appreciate everyone’s individual sense of style, and what a tremendous forum this is to do just that. Thank you for that opportunity.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:49 PM) : 

Other people have been my inspiration, whether models in magazines, people in the street or even fictional characters I have read about. Sometimes it's just a little detail that makes an outfit special and sometimes it's a giant wave of newness that shocks and delights the senses and makes you say to yourself, "I want to try that!" The famous image makers like Irving Penn (Inventive Paris Clothes 1909-1939 a must read) and the unknown older woman who used to frequent the Woolworth's counter (Gaultier would have stolen her whole look) and so many others in between, whether they mean to or not, inspire me daily.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Flora said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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 (


Blogger Tiffany said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger ponys are people too said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:46 PM) : 

The Greatest Influence on my PERSONAL STYLE has been the ENVIORNMENT, more specifically Recycling/Reusing. When I was a kid I lived in a big city and started buying clothes from places like J-Crew at an early age. When I hit my twenties I realized that buying new clothes was sort of a con and I decided to only buy used clothes (except underwear and socks). As I felt the confines of my new restrictions something pretty cool happened to my style it became authentic. I rummaged old trunks filled with Patagonia fleeces and vests from high school, I found an old paisley scarf from Iran that belonged to my father, I found great used Vans and Tods online. And then my friends started giving me their old clothes. No more Barneys, no more Banana Republic, no more shopping malls—it felt and still feels great. I’m here overlooking the Pacific in a pair of my prep school docksiders (no socks), a vintage white t-shirt, skinny black jeans and a Lora Piana cashmere blazer I found at a consignment store.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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. :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:01 PM) : 

My personal style has been influenced most by the work of my grandparents, who were both master tailors in Vienna during the decadent 1920s and (less decadent) 30s. My grandmother ran a fashion school there, and my grandfather specialized in creating ladies' dresses and coats. When they emigrated to North America during WWII, they brought with them a number of fine dresses and coats that they had made for themselves and clients who, I suppose, had never picked them up. They also started a new tailoring business in the north end of Toronto.

Much of the clothing they created was stored in the basement of their house. As a little girl, I would often try on dresses and two-piece suits that dated anywhere from the 1920s to the late 1960s - one minute I would be dressed like a silent film star in a straight, beaded Art Deco dress, the next an undersized Audrey Hepburn in a jacket and pencil skirt, the next in a shift that was straight out of a 1966 issue of Vogue. My prom dress was a seafoam green, rhinestone-studded strapless number with a full, rustling skirt: something my grandmother had made during the 50s. The vintage treasures in my grandparents' basement were a welcome oasis from the dissheveled grunge movement of the 90s that I was never really able to get into.

My own style today is highly vintage-inspired; right now I'm on a 1920s kick, but there were intense 1960s periods, as well as a brief love affair with the 1950s cirle-skirt. Like my grandparents, I believe that you can look good in anything provided you sell the look; wear it cleanly, wear it with pride and a certain panache, and never - ever - settle for bad tailoring.


Blogger la chipie said ... (10:14 PM) : 

When I was a kid, I would always flip though fashion magazines and always ending staring for hours at Yves Saint Laurent pictures , I was only 7 but the pantsuits , the cuts and fabric influenced me forever as that's how I wanted to dress as an ''adult'' and it taught me to look at cuts and designs very early on. My mother, a true parisian encouraged this and it developped even more as we lived throughout the world (especially Asia) during my childhood and I got interested into the local colors and traditional designs and incorporated them into my own style.
Now , I think my style can be resumed by that coco chanel quote that says fashion is in the sky, the streets, what is happening , new ideas , and the way we live .


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Sharon said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:41 PM) : 

My sense of style came from my father. As I get older, it becomes even more obvious (although, it has taken me years to admit this) in the choices I make in my wardrobe. When I was a small child, I didn't understand the way my father dressed and was actually embarrassed by his personal style. He didn't look like the other dads in our suburban, middle class, mid-west neighborhood. He was always perfectly groomed. He never waivered from his palette of solid black, charcoal grey, navy, white and maybe an occassional color (maybe pink.) I never saw him in jeans or a t-shirt. In the daytime, he wore dress slacks (same pattern, from his tailor, in grey or belt loops or pleats) with a tucked-in, three button, loose short-sleeved, light colored polo type shirt (which he sold, he was a golf pro.) Always black cashmere socks, and black shoes (frequently alligator.) In the evening, for formal occasions, he would where a dark polo shirt with same color dark slacks and sportcoat. If the weather was cold, he always wore cahmere turtleneck sweaters. My siblings and myself, weren't allowed to where "shirts with advertisements" as he called anything that had a brand logo or slogan on it (ie...Izod.) I begged to wear Izod, he even sold Izod in his pro-shop. I was so pissed off and rebelled. I was trying to be the opposite of him and became a grungy punk through my teen years and wore whatever the f@ck I wanted. My father passed away in 1993. As I said before, the older I get, the more my taste becomes like my father (with some of my mother's quirkiness thrown in, a whole other story.) I'm not as polished as my father, but I always strive to look as good as he did.
I sometimes see gentlemen on "The Sartorialist" that remind me of my father. I really enjoy your blog and your column in GQ. Thank you!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Anastasia said ... (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 ………


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger victor said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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)!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:33 AM) : 

our style is influenced by the decisions of my government,u see..i live in tehran,iran,i am a photographer,intrested in fashion photogarphy.I've also lived in milan...the thing is we HAVE to wear HEJAB in iran,so,i inspired my style from old iranian fashions(you can find some designs on web,they are really great)and mixed it with some new items...the color is really important.after revoulotion iranian style turn into really simple,dark colors.but our national dresses were really colorful,so i enjoy wearing some bright colors in a dark city.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Mel said ... (7:38 AM) : 

My grandmother has always been a strong influence. Age did not stop her from trying new styles.

She taught me a lot about putting on a whole "look", but without it being a massive effort - the key was to buy wisely.

When she lived in Hong Kong, she used to get a tailor in Shanghai to make her cheongsams. Cheongsams would be done in different fabrics, very every day. When I saw Wong Kar Wai's "In the mood for love", all the outfits in it reminded me of my grandmother. It was the selection of modern patterned fabrics made into cheongsams that I find so inspiring.

As she got older, I found that she would buy the trends for me. I had some really funky clothes as a child/tween/teen as a result. She still has great suggestions when we go shopping and always notices when you have something new on.

More importantly, she is very open and understanding for the REASON behind some of the styles or color choices. For example, if I was rocking the theme of "modern ballerina" or "70s" or "no more than 3 colours in an outfit" etc, she would totally understand. (unlike some of the rolling eyes that usually get).


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:48 AM) : 


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!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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 (


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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


Blogger SuMisura said ... (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.


Blogger ageez said ... (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.


Blogger BOOM 456 said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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. :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:36 AM) : 

Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in the movie, Charade. Flawless and simple elegance.

As Hepburn has shown to all of us, it's her charity and humbleness that have contributed to her great style.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:36 AM) : 

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!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:53 PM) : 


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.


Blogger Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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 ...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:37 PM) : 

I am lucky to work in a creative Retail field where the youthful, cutting edge girls I work with inspire me!

Granted, I am not as young as I once was, but I find that most of my styling "ideas" come from the young staff that I am surrounded by on a daily basis and I edit those ideas to work with my personal style.
It's also in the details....
Whether its a small colored button, turned up collar cuff or a peek of lace coming out of a hem I find that these little surprises never fail to inspire me!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger grace said ... (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....


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger ScotSkipper said ... (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!


Blogger Unknown said ... (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.”


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Max said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:22 PM) : 

Your blog. I really take style lessons from your blog


Blogger Grief said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:33 PM) : 

Brideshead revisited, Calvin Klein ad campaign in the southwest, John Cheever with a knit tie, Bruce Weber pictures in an Italian magazine a long time ago, Brooks Brothers visit when I was 18, GQ in the early 80s, Paul Bowles for everything, Graham Greene for tweed, Khaki before they were everywhere, Hunter S Thompson for his Converse all stars, Jack Purcell for the signature on the back of his running shoes. Picasso for a sailor sweater, David Hockney for cool socks and chunky English shoes, John Lennon for his round glasses, David Bowie for always being there before others and Paul Smith for the lining.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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?!"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Blogger Susan said ... (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! :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:35 PM) : 

Right now, Peter Beard. Tomorrow, who knows?


Blogger OTC said ... (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.


Blogger Last Day Emails said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (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.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:33 PM) : 

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


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