en voyage


"Style begins with the people passing through one’s life, the harbingers we push against and the stylemakers we want to clone. Some are famous, some not. Style grows from admiration, from longing, from discrimination—and, yes, from love. It’s all the places you’ve been to and the people and the moments you’ve known: the parts you’ve adopted, to keep forever, and transformed. We wear our history in our hearts and on our backs." - Carol Edgarian for W magazine

This beautifully-written discourse on personal style in the April issue of W says so much of what I struggle to articulate in words - go here to read.

I've always been particular about things - clothes, food, etc - but I wouldn't say I had a strong sense of style. My sense of how I want to look is derived from living - from meeting people, doing things, travelling, reading, watching movies. I like to think that when I make decision about how I like my white T-shirts, it comes from all of these things and an awareness of what fits me best.

To anyone else it's a white T-shirt, but in my head it's a complicated tangle of influences and preferences that even I couldn't properly unravel. When I hit upon the right thing, I wear it with confidence and conviction and it shows as I go about my business. You feel like you can take over the world.

I love women who dress with conviction. This is different from women who dress with a sense of adventure, women who dress for visual impact. The latter group will look beautiful and they're inspiring in a different way. The former however, inspires me to want to know their stories and what they do.

Picture from sessun via materialiste


I couldn't agree with you more. I think 'conviction' is part of that mysterious allure that most people attribute to French women and their style. They know what suits them and they know how to wear it well. Not that they have exclusive rights to it as a nationality of course.
oh and there is no such thing as 'just' a white tshirt ;)
Kate said…
I absolutely love that article. Thankyou. That is exactly what style is; I hope I'm somewhere on the journey to it.
K. said…
I love the notion of 'dressing with conviction' - strangely enough I was thinking about the same thing a few weeks back. Style is not merely an expression of aesthetics, but also carries a more profound trait of your own personality, background and experience.

Love the article and the picture!
Ammu said…
Dress with conviction - so well-said! I agree completely and I think it's one of the things that keeps me from buying too much. That sense of conviction is hard-won and I just don't like to acquire anything just to scratch an itch or for retail therapy.
Vegalyn said…
oh yes, I definitely dress with conviction. Style comes with your own personality, views on fashion, sense of observation and clear will to apply or not apply.

There are already so many badly dressed people around, so let's be a bit more particular and outspoken.

I have a personal style and proud of it.
lin said…
la fille mal gardée: Yeah, this "French style" has become a little cultish hasn't it, haha. But yes, looking great in clothes and wearing them with attitude just isn't the same thing.

Kate: Glad you liked it, I was truly happy to stumble across it while browsing at a bookstore...pity the rest of the mag didn't win me over.

K: Agree with you about style, and wish more people thought of that before they got dressed! That Sessun picture is pretty much how I like to dress on weekends - shorts are my weekend staple.

Ammu: Agree, it's what keeps me from falling for trinklets for momentary pleasure.

Vegalyn: I used to feel a little embarrassed about being so particular about clothes, but the more I think about it, the more I realised it doesn't make sense to think that. I'm so tired of people equating caring about clothes with superficiality that I've given up arguing otherwise..
Fleurette said…
I was thinking exactly the same when I read that article last week. 'Dress and show with conviction' has been one of my shopping and style mantras for quite a while now. Great post as usual. May I ask if you speak English daily as your English is perfect – that said, I always learn new terms, phrases and such by reading your blog. Are all Singaporeans as good in English as you are? And I really like that you post regularly yet each post oozes of quality.
Fleurette said…
ups, I meant 'frequently', not regularly though that works as well!
Thank you for sharing that article. The parts about watching a little girl in the mirror really sticks out. I still feel I'm that little girl whenever I'm in the fitting room that I must chide myself to relax my bones. I think I a bit of both, there are those things that I know works, and others things that I'm not quite there yet.
S said…
I agree with this! Back to the whole French thing, I was browsing the new Parisian Chic book, and she mentioned how Parisiennes never say their skirt is too short, etc, because they wear only what they feel comfortable and confident wearing. It's a cliche, true, but it totally makes sense!
If Jane said…
dressing with conviction...here here!!!
featherfactor said…
Loved this post and thank you for the link to the W article which looks fantastic. Dressing with conviction...let's do it <3
lin said…
Fleurette: Hi,thanks for the compliments, you are far too kind!

Singapore uses in English as the language of instruction in schools, and it's also the language used for work and business, even though each ethnic group has its own mother tongue (eg I'm Chinese), which we take as our second language in schools. But some people are more fluent in their mother tongues than in English. I'm more comfortable in English even though I actually grew up speaking Mandarin, but the language scene in Singapore is pretty diverse.

I think your English is actually really good if it's not your first language!

Pret a Porter P: Agreed. I'm definitely comfortable with whatever I am, and I think that's a good place to be, however imperfect.

S: That's an interesting thing about the French, I never knew that!

If Jane: Glad you liked the article!

featherfactor: Agreed! The article was too good not to share.
The Bohemienne said…
I do believe the outfit in that photo is pretty much perfect--the cut, the draping, the attitude. That outfit just might become my summer goal.

angie said…
That was a hell of an article.Poetic,very much true and utterly inspiring! thanks for sharing.
Olivia said…
I absolutely love this entry.
Since reading it when you first posted it it has just stuck with me, and I keep thinking it over.
Carol Edgarin's quote is perfect, and like you say sums up so much of what I too think about personal style but somehow struggle so much to put into words. I just love it!
Lindsay K said…
Well said. It's fascinating to see what influences personal style and how it emerges over time. Personal style is about confidence in oneself first and foremost. When I read this article a few weeks ago, I was really impressed. I hadn't read something that insightful in W in a while.
miss sophie said…
so wonderfully articulated and thanks for sharing the article! i'll have to bookmark it. style with conviction is pretty much the essence of my style philosophy. and the W article and your comments are such an eloquent response to ill-informed people who make gross generalizations and think 'fashion' is just some superficial game. i've always been really irked by people who are too ready to dismiss matters of style and accoutrement when they are the ones who actually have a terribly shallow (mis)understanding of it all!
0000 said…
Loved this post! Thanks for sharing!
lin said…
The Bohemienne: I love that outfit too. It's summer without looking too resort-y and stuff, it still has a urban feel. In fact, it's gotten me in the mood to sort out more warm weather inspiration.

Angie: No problem. W has its nice bits, even though I still find the editorials a bit flat.

Olivia: It's such a great read isn;t it; it can be read a few times without getting stale.

Lindsay: W really surprised me with this one!

miss sophie: Agreed. When I come across people like that, I don't really engage in the debate anymore though; it's not because I think it's futile but because I think my point is made just from my outfit alone and I have better things to do, if that makes any sense.

0000: No prob, glad you liked it!
Fashion Tidbits said…
I love your prose! I actually like both, the former and the latter, I think everybody has an interesting story behind how and why they dress.

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