The Eyes of Style

Everything in fashion is based off of style and to understand fashion one must understand style. Style is so elusive and I'd like to put into words what it really is. I don't think that I could uncover style in just one post, so this is a series I'm doing, with no specific start or finish.

We all know that style is personal, it's different for everybody, but we all possess some form of it, like eyes. Describing style like eyes is perfect. In a literal sense, the purpose of eyes is to see and style is typically visual. Eyes also hide deeper feelings and thoughts as does style.

When figuratively relating style to eyes, I like to think of each eye separately, the only thing similar between the two being their appearance. To have an eye for style is to actually have two eyes. One eye is abstract and one eye moderates. Both eyes are trained and influenced by the world around them. 

The abstract eye keeps an open mind. This is the artsy eye. This eye has to be trained to accept and appreciate the unique and unusual. For example, most, average people think runway designs are wild and ridiculous. But the abstract eyes for people in the fashion industry are trained to a point where we don’t blink an eye for even the strangest clothes by normal standards. The level of abnormality in this eye depends on the beholder’s location and views. If the person is more exposed to art and beauty then their eye will be trained more. It also depends on the type of art they are exposed to, which is where location comes in. You abstract eye will be trained and adapted to what you are exposed to in your location. The best type of abstract eye is one that is open minded and cultured, not dependent on local customs. It’s good for the eye to be influenced by the local area, but not restrained. A large city is a wonderful place to train your abstract eye because there’s so much mixed culture and they’re generally more accepting of what may be thought of as ‘abnormal’.

Perfect, ideal eyes of style are balanced, each eye functioning the same amount. The abstract eye keeps an open mind to what’s being viewed as the moderating eye keeps it under control. The moderating eye checks and controls the abstract eye with proportions, color schemes, and other elements involved in ensuring aesthetic. Too much of the moderating eye and you're boring, too little and you're over-the-top. Neither extremes are stylish.

This whole eye metaphor isn't really how having an eye for style works. You don't see the world through two different eyes, but this is an explanation of how a stylish mind works when looking at the world. Style has to be cultured and abstract, but it can't be overly so. It needs to have practical reason, — and when this is forgotten, we get all those weird avant-garde designs that are the very reason the fashion industry gets made fun of. We should strive to develop strong eyes for style and then use them to interpret and transform the world around us.

Along with trusting your eyes of style, you have to remember the other elements of style, such as confidence and authenticity, and using them to carry out your ideas.


  1. I utterly adored this post and I love the Suzy Bishop picture! xx

    1. Thanks, I couldn't resist adding her dramatic eyes!