"The Eye"

Some people just have it: that certain style. And, what joy to find a shop (or website) that uses a special eye to present clothes that always look right and mesh with each other through the years. Once boutiquing has become a habit, it is hard to trade a curated world for any other locale. Sometimes the venue suggests a geographical link such as “a breath of LA” or “all things Capri.” Better yet is an eye for subtle items that are perfect in their own way. A sweater, a dress, a special undergarment--each a learning experience in engineering, detail, color. They provide the ultimate luxury (and economy) of clothing that doesn’t go out of style.

How does this sense of style come to be? It is a little bit of genius, as defined by Lois Banner, in Marilyn, her biography of Marilyn Monroe. The author’s research suggests that genius requires three factors: a vision, a drive for perfection, and just being in the right place at the right time. That was Marilyn. And Steve Jobs. Or, imagine a little girl who will never settle for just any old thing to wear. Or someone who dreams of having a shop or website and finds great satisfaction in making it happen and keeping it fabulous year after year. According to Banner, one doesn’t need to be born with genius. It can happen at any time.

But are we born with style? Well, certainly not all of us. However, innate style is definitely out there. And, personally, I’m glad to have someone “bringin’ it all back home” (thank you, Bob Dylan). It is a thrill to be part of their showcase of creative energy. Especially if there is a sale!

Can style be learned? Or absorbed? Definitely. It comes with practice. And a desire to be dashingly yourself. It also comes from looking at the world around you, on the street or in the incredible riches of print, film, and web media. But perhaps the best place to start is to find the little shop or website that speaks to you and gives you some friendly hints and possibilities. You’ll take a chance, you’ll dare. One day it will be obvious that the one with “The Eye” is you.

-Kate L

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