A secret weapon that makes extraordinary things happen. –Jon Katzenbach
You may be asking, how does this relate to creating your own style? Look at who you are culturally. Do you see anything can use to help manifest your style? I bet you can!
As I expressed last February, being Korean influences some of my style. I regularly drop Korean lexicon into these posts. This is who I am racially (half of me), culturally (to some degree) and I wear it proudly (as well as being Irish and Italian). Centuries ago, the Chinese, Japanese and Korean upper class always wore beautiful clothing, material-wise and color-wise. When I did my research, I learned a lot about the history of Korea and as well as the development of Korean culture. The aristocracy wore bright colors with floral and animal patterns. The children wore bright colors too. The common people wore muted colors. Dancheong (단청) dominated the architecture and is characterized by the five basic colors: blue (east), white (west), red (south), black (north), and yellow (center). As my closest friends know, I have an affinity for pocket squares especially those that display bright colors with floral patterns. I also love paisley which I have successfully incorporated into my style. I also wear colors that are subdued. The combination of these with what is modern, has afforded me the look I have been developing and what I have been told on many occasions is very appealing. It works for me. I’m fortunate because I am able to honestly express myself through some elements of my Korean culture. Please always keep this in mind, your style is an expression of who you are! You are going to gather bits and pieces from everywhere and everyone possible. Make an assessment then assimilate what best suits you into your own foundation. At the end of the day, you have to be the one happy with your result! When you take the journey into your cultural background and maybe you find it may be too much to your liking, there are little things you can do to incorporate it into your style. I have a couple of pair of cuff links made by 카라빈카 쇼핑몰 that specializes in Korean gifts. The cuff links I am wearing in the picture to the left have Hangul on them better know as Hunminjeongeum. Hangul was created by King Sejong in 1443. The design is beautiful and at the same time very significant in Korean history. The other pair is a dancheong design. Although I have been speaking about adding elements of your respective culture into your style paradigm, don’t be afraid to add your religious beliefs, hobbies, likes, career, etc. The key is not to go overboard. There will be a point where it becomes too much and therefore not appealing. Moderation is a key. With practice, you will find that stylistic balance. Until next time, jal ga!
*Top left picture: Blazer: Stafford Collection, Shirt: Alfani Red, Pocket Square: Feather and Smith, Watch: Invicta
Bottom left picture: Blazer: Croft & Barrow, Shirt: Brooks Brothers, Tie: MW Collection, Pocket Square: The Square Extraordinaire
Top right picture: Pocket Squares: The Square Extraordinaire
But you can’t sex me up! Just some lyrics from an Ice Cube song (in reference to the R&B group Color Me Badd’s song I Wanna Sex You Up) and hypothetically speaking, if your colors are badly coordinated, you probably won’t be getting sexed up. Color coordination is of the utmost importance! It can absolutely make or break your outfit no matter how expensive or inexpensive it is. Put together the right combination and you can command a room (along with other factors). Put together the wrong combination, Bob Ross will flunk you no matter how abstract you believe your artwork is. Now it may sound complicated but it isn’t. Having a little bit of knowledge concerning colors will assist you when purchasing clothes that are complimentary. When one observes the basic color wheel, you will note five categories. These are primary (red, yellow & blue), secondary (a color resulting from the mixing of two primary colors), tertiary (a colorresultingfromtheequalmixture ofaprimarycolorwitheitherof thesecondarycolorsadjacenttoitona colorwheel), complimentary (colors directly opposite each other in the color spectrum) and analogous colors (are groups of threecolorsthat are next to each other on thecolorwheel, with one being the dominantcolor, which tends to be a primary or secondarycolor, and a tertiary).
For me to elaborate on how it is advantageous for one to know these colors well, how to incorporate them into one’s arsenal and to touch upon the importance of expanding your boundaries when it comes to using an array of colors would probably stretch me out five post worths. I rather not drone on but instead I will provide the following links for your study time:
By the way, the outfit ran me $176.01. It’s a little steep for my liking but the Stacy Adams weren’t much of a sale price at $92.99. But the tie is by Art (apparently a defunct company & that’s Hangul on it!) and it cost me $6.99 on Ebay. The pocket square is from my go to on Ebay, The SquareExtraordinaire for $4.99. A Perry Ellis Principles waistcoat for $7.99 on, guess where? Ebay! A Calvin Klein slim fit French cuff dress shirt for $22.45 on Ebay (you are seeing a pattern, yes?). A pair of Van Heusen trousers purchased at Kohl’s on clearance for $15.00. I apologize for the lousy break on my trousers. My preference is no break or half break but I will discuss in detail on a future post.
The final piece that completes the ensemble to the right and above for which you cannot see are cuff links. The cuff links are from South Korea and cost me $25.60 on Ebay. The design is called DanCheong (단청). There are thousands of years of history on it but I digress. Accesso-ries (jewelry, cuff links, tie bars, collar bars, etc.) can also make or break an outfit.
The key with anything in life is balance. A little bit of Yin-Yang has never put anyone or anything in an uncompromising situation or position. Harmony is something we should all look to obtain and maintain in our lives as well in our attire. Moderation with a splash of style, your style is the way to go! As you further your studies on men’s fashion, you will proceed to be more comfortable and you will want to experiment. Once you achieve the look you desire, the sky is the limit. Arraso? Jal ga!