You got to have style - And I'm not talking about lots of clothes

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Photography by Elle

“You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it, you’re nobody. I’m not talking about lots of clothes.”- Diana Vreeland

How did she get it right every single time? Diana Vreeland - What an incredible woman! She understood the language of the human body, perhaps like no other. How else would you know, that having a personal sense of style would help you in the banal action of getting down a flight of stairs? How else would you know that the style you embody is what will refine and polish the way you touch down your foot and wake up each morning? Why else do you see opening scenes in a movie begin with close-up shots of the protagonists, sometimes throwing away their blanket with a disposition that is raring to go, or the tiptoeing and clicking away of high sturdy heels against the signature Jimmy Choo red?

You already have images of a strong and interesting personality floating in your mind, while I haven't even mentioned the word 'clothing' until now. Having said that, style somehow seems to be closely linked with fashion, when in practicality it might have nothing to do with it.

But fashion can definitely aid in building it up. What about fashion is it? Perhaps, it gives you a reference image to better understand yourself, your likes and dislikes. If I were to give a personal example, I realize, how watching innumerable images of Jane Birkin could have helped shape up my style. One could breakdown her fashionable looks under several categories like boho, chic, ahead of her times, etc. But if I am unapologetically confident in the simplest of white shirts and pair of washed denim with delicately layered gold chains or in a simple khaki t-shirt with unevenly rolled up sleeve ribs, that's because of the style that I have acquired by understanding her state of mind behind the clothes she wore. Unmade tousled hair is a permanent thing that goes without saying.

Photography by Elle

Your sense of style doesn't just end there. As Vreeland puts it, it is your way of life. My personal style that I describe above, bleeds into my approach to life. It's effortless. It's easy. It's in a state of flow. And this is how I walk and talk. This is how I prefer to do any activity that I choose to take up. This is how I want my relationships to be. This is how I want my life to be. Effortless isn't about shying away from challenges. It's about being calm collected and in control, but in the most relaxed manner possible. That's what a white shirt, a pair of washed denim, and maybe a dainty neckpiece signifies to me.

In sharp contrast to this, another woman I deeply admire is Amal Clooney. But it isn't her fashion choices that I particularly like, often being either too feminine, experimental, or tailored for my liking. Therefore it's understandable that I admire her sense of style, which is the way she carries herself - from her body language, to the way she talks and addresses her audience, from her attention to well-groomed nails to the footwear she chooses - all things nonverbal, apart from clothes, that suggest who you are. Perhaps her biggest self expressed style comes across, through the deeply intellectual and humanitarian work that she has dedicated herself to. If I had to label, what of her resonates with me, I would label it as 'nerdy and chic.'

So many women, from Victoria Beckham to Cher, to DVF, and more, have given me wonderful opportunities to develop my own self-expression. Perhaps it's time to write more about them now.

See you soon.


  1. Photography Credits for Elle

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