AboutContact Us


Edward Norman

New column examines style trends and more for gays and lesbians
How 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 column).

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 it.

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 edward.norman@q-notes.com.

Want more Q-Style? Click here for an archived listing.

WWW Q-Notes.Com

Dammit, Janet!
S.C. gender-variant teen killed
Community remembers 1990 hate crime victim
Plain talk about fancy mortgages
Buying real estate in 2008
Buyers and refinancers flock to interest rate bargains
Gay youth group creates PSA
Obama named ‘hypocrite of the week’
Neal and Hagan running neck-and-neck in race
Groups seek gay president appointee candidates

HRC Gala attracts 1,200 attendees
Bob Mould is out, loud, proud
Uncovering women’s history
Black church has the spirit

The need for transgender education

My apology to black women for Gay America and Charles Knipp

find a Q-Notes Newspaper near you