will Q-Style appeal to both gals and guys?
This column will cover topics as diverse as trends in clothing and personal
grooming to how image and etiquette contribute to workplace and personal
success. Sometimes it will be gender specific, but usually it will contain
information that everyone can enjoy and use.
How will Q-Style be relevant, useful and entertaining?
My approach to matters of style is very tongue-in-cheek; after all, we
aren’t talking about the Federal Marriage Amendment or the “Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. In my opinion, style shouldn’t
be taken too seriously. It should be fun and exciting. It is, however,
obviously important to the American public — and our community is
no exception — or there wouldn’t be the plethora of programs
like “Extreme Makeover,” “Project Runway,” “Queer
Eye” or “What Not To Wear.” I often wonder if some of
these shows send an unhealthy message (but that may be fodder for another
What does style mean to people?
Ask 10 people and you’ll likely hear 10 different answers. Style
is ephemeral and hard to define. It is subjective: one person’s style
icon is another’s style nightmare. In matters of style, each of us
is as unique as our fingerprints. Since the sexual revolution of the ’60s,
the rules have changed. They are less pedantic and more democratic. You
know that being stylish is an attainable goal for everyone when Isaac Mizrahi
designs clothing for Target and Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel’s designer)
shows a low cost collection at H&M. Style is no longer the hallmark
of the privileged few.
For me style is about appropriateness: wearing clothing — and behaving
in a way — that is consistent with the occasion and place. People
who possess great style are willing to take risks and bend the rules of
convention. Style is about personal expression and it should always be
comfortable and effortless.
In “The Jay and the Peacock,” Aesop wrote, “It is not
only fine feathers that make fine birds.” Kindness, manners and generosity
are also trademarks of great style. On the whole, people with style have
high self-esteem and those with a healthy sense of self would never demean
another person to make themselves feel better. Snobbery offends me a great
deal more than fashion blunders. Good manners never go out of style, and
they require virtually no effort.
The rules of etiquette were created to make everyone — regardless
of socio-economic status — feel at ease in a variety of scenarios
by creating a standard that everyone could follow. The rules of etiquette
weren’t established to embarrass or make others feel inferior. A
person with style might draw attention to his or her own gaffe in etiquette
but never at another’s. The ability to laugh at ourselves is high
on my list of stylish qualities.
I hope you enjoy this column, and I hope it occasionally makes you chuckle — and
sometimes reflect. I hope I always choose the road less traveled in writing
Edward Norman is an Image Consultant, Master Designer and Colorist. He
is the owner of Edward Norman Image Consulting. He can be reached at 704-614-0207
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.