What’s Authenticity Got to Do With Style?
It’s intriguing how certain concepts come into popular usage and you see them pop up everywhere – out of the mouths of celebrities and elite sportspeople, by serious writers in serious publications, and on social media by almost everybody.
Authenticity is one such concept. Along with vulnerability and mindfulness, authenticity is a term that is much used these days… but perhaps not much explored by the masses who invoke its name.
When it comes to style and clothing and how you look, authenticity is not a concept that is much applied in the mass market fashion magazines, celebrity style blogs, and makeover shows. But it is applied by qualified image consultants who understand the impact that personality has on style choices.
Here at 16 Style Types, we believe (and know that from our research) that authenticity is a very relevant idea when it comes to style, clothing and how you look.
Let’s start with a definition. Here’s one that will serve us nicely in the context of this piece on style and authenticity:
Authenticity: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character • is sincere and authentic with no pretensions
Being true. That seems like a simple yet accurate summary of what it means to be authentic.
So what does all this have to do with style, clothing and how you look? Well, a lot as it turns out. And it’s not just how you look, but how you feel and what you think about style, clothing, and appearance.
3 Myths About Authenticity and Style
If you listen long enough to conversations about style, clothing, and appearance, these myths will likely surface. These are legitimate concerns that intelligent and observant people have about style, clothing, and appearance.
And here at 16 Style Types, we respect these myths and the people who subscribe to them. After all, we consider ourselves intelligent and observant – and to hold a particular view about style that perhaps others may not have thoroughly considered until now.
Myth #1: Style is Unimportant
There’s a perspective that style, clothing, and appearance should not matter. That it is the substance of one’s character and the quality of one’s thinking that should be the most – if not the only – important consideration.
Here at 16 Style Types, we couldn’t agree more with the idea that the quality of one’s contribution and the nature of one’s character is the most important part of who that person is. That statement doesn’t preclude a focus on style, though – style and substance are not mutually exclusive, and neither is one subordinate to the other.
Here are a few interesting lenses through which the idea that style, clothing, and appearance don’t matter could be viewed through. These are offered as thought and conversation starters, not conclusions.
If style and clothing and appearance do not matter, then we could all swap clothing this minute and nobody would be remotely bothered by wearing another person’s clothes. I could put on whatever you are wearing right now and feel the same as I do in my own clothing. You could wear what the person next to you right now is wearing and it wouldn’t change your thinking, your feeling, or your experience.
If style and clothing and appearance don’t matter, then members of law enforcement wouldn’t wear a uniform, which indicates authority and gives instant recognition as to who they are. Neither would sporting teams wear uniforms, or exclusive private schools, or members of the military, or nurses, or flight attendants, or bank employees. Nobody (okay, some people love uniforms for what they embody) would wear a uniform if clothing didn’t matter.
If style and clothing and appearance don’t matter, then there would never be any outcry, debate or even discussion about traditional religious attire some devout members of particular religions choose to wear. These items of attire would never cause those who do not follow that religion to be offended or concerned, and neither would they be so precious and significant to those who choose to wear them.
If style and clothing and appearance don’t matter, judges would not wear robes or horsehair wigs to indicate the enormous power they wield and to invoke respect for the role.
Suits of any kind
If style and clothing and appearance do not matter, you wouldn’t care if you wore a bathing suit or a power suit to a job interview. It wouldn’t make a single bit of difference to the experience, to how you felt, to how others perceived you, or to the outcome.
It does matter
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of examples of the how, where, when and why of the impact of style, image and appearance. It is intended to prompt further thinking and insights, further questions and reflection, into the place style, clothing and appearance actually have in your life.
Because clearly, appearances count. Style matters. We all judge books by their covers.
Want to Discover Your Style Type?
You may be realising after reading just this first myth that in fact, what you wear can change your life in a positive or negative way. You may have reconnected with the feeling that your outer appearance is a reflection of the inner you, your smarts, your intelligence, your personality on show so that others get to know who you really are.
If this is where you are right now, then get your Style Type Report and really understand more fully how you can develop your unique style in a way that feels just right for you. Included in your Style Type Report is a blueprint to assist you in developing your style in a way that is just right for you.
Read the Other Myths About Authenticity and Style
Myth 2: Caring About Style is Shallow
Myth 3: It Doesn’t Matter What You Wear