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Letter from the Editor: Be True

This issue marks my one-year anniversary as Editor-in-Chief. From the beginning, I knew these letters needed to read less like a table of contents and more as an honest glimpse into who and what inspires me. And to continue the standard I established early on in my appointment, I give you a simple note on achieving true style.

Regardless of the season, I turn to people-watching to reignite and reaffirm my love of fashion. I prefer to do this contemplative activity alone, on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon during a long walk. Not only does it clear my head, it also allows me to analyze style in an unplugged way, separate from my Instagram feed.

The topic of choices (as they pertain to clothing) often occupies my mind as I stroll about—“why does this person pair that top with those shoes, or that colour with this
pattern?” I don’t classify this as judging; I’m genuinely besotted with the style decisions people make, particularly those who I don’t rub shoulders with on a regular basis.

While it may sound presumptuous, I can safely say the individuals who inspire the most intrigue on my end don’t identify as “style influencers” or “fashion experts”, and aren’t posing or jumping for joy in front of a red brick wall, trying to sell me something I’d never wear. They’re also likely to raise their eyebrows in confusion—I know this from experience—when admiration for their sense of style is laid bare.

Whether their wardrobe choices are deliberate or not, there’s a level of self-acceptance in the way they present themselves that’s incredibly refreshing to witness. Bottom line: to dress well—and definitions vary, of course—you have to know yourself, and you either have this natural instinct for style or you don’t.

So what’s the answer for those of us who love and have a more direct approach to fashion? How does one achieve an optimal level of “stylishness” if that blessed intuition others possess is absent? I recommend a bit of patience. A “good,” well-rounded wardrobe is built over years, and in the best-case scenario, will feel like a second skin as you develop a more discerning eye.

Discovering what stimulates you visually helps as well. For some, inspiration will be found in the pages of magazines such as S/, while for others it’ll be found in film
and photography tomes, or—as in my case—in strangers who pass on the street. Wherever you end up looking for direction, strive to find and nurture what’s unique about you, for the best results arise when you feel like yourself in whatever you put on.