For today’s continuation of the When Style Meets Art series, I wanted to talk to you about literature. Books in all their beautiful forms, from poetry to prose, from short stories to novels. You might be wondering what books have to do with style, but I believe the answer is “Quite a lot!” You’ve surely heard many times that what you read impacts your development and shapes your mind and your personality. And a beautifully rounded, rich and multilayered personality translates into your outer expression of yourself, with style being one of your main visual means for this. So let’s see just how your library influences your style!
*And as a small disclaimer before we get started, I am including all books here, from paper printed, to Kindle or PDF forms, to audio books. I don’t believe one form is superior to another, whichever works best for you personally is the one you should use. Also, I am referring here to books mainly as a form of imaginative literature, be it fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art albums, biographies etc. I am leaving out the impact of media and more specific types of books (scientific, self-help, spiritual etc), as I will tackle them in a later post. Stay tuned 🙂
Books increase your self-confidence. Reading in your spare time or listening to an audio book on your way to work can help you learn new information, from a desirable skill, to how things work, and even to ways of managing your own emotions. The point is books in any way, shape or form give you knowledge- and as we all know, knowledge is power. And how does a powerful person feel? That’s right, confident and self-assured. Which in turn, leads to more confident decisions when it comes to your own looks, and to owning and embracing your style.
Books enhance your imagination. They inspire you to travel to places you’ve never seen, try experiences you never would have thought possible, become more open and adventurous. And how many of us haven’t returned from our travels around the world with bold, exotic garments ready to breathe new life into our wardrobes? Once you allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone and be exposed to new experiences, you suddenly won’t be afraid to playfully tie a scarf in your hair a la Dolce Vita, or to explore a new way of braiding your hair, or to use an otherwise ordinary garment in an extraordinary way. You’ll feel comfortable to experiment and reinvent yourself- and that is where true style is born.
Books broaden your horizon, motivate you to observe, analyze and understand the world differently, they help you gain different perspectives and even challenge your own beliefs. And this can very well translate into your style, as it evolves with you and adapts to the multiple roles you have to play daily as a human being. You will gain a better, more complex understanding of your relationship with clothes and with your overall look when you learn to analyze your choices and go further than just skin deep.
Books bring you a sense of calm, and can offer a healthy method of escapism. They help you understand and feel understood, and give you a sense of not being alone. They can transport you to your childhood, a time of less worrying, and can help activate some memories that were just lying dormant. All in all, books can help improve your mood and change your mindset, leaving you more open to dedicate time to other pleasant activities. And if you’re in a positive frame of mind, you’ll be more likely to view your style as a playground to be enjoyed, instead of another stressor on your To-Do list.
And ultimately, books provide endless sartorial inspiration within themselves, which can be drawn from multiple sources. Perhaps while reading you visualise a character’s exquisite dress, described in minute detail, and want to bring it to life for yourself. Or maybe images in an album of your favorite painter make you itch to try a new colour, fabric and texture combination. In the end, books touch our emotional side and show us inspiration can lie anywhere, at the same time motivating us to bring our own creative side to light.
So here they are, the 5 ways books can help shape not only yourself as a person, but also your style. I hope I’ve given you ample reasons to invest in your library, be it physical, virtual or audio. Now I’m curious to hear how many of you are avid readers, how much time you manage to dedicate to books and especially, what your favorite read is. I also want to hear how you feel books have influenced your style. Leave it all in the comments section below!