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Thoughts on Streamlined Style

To me trends are like white noise in my life. They don’t always fit in my personal mission and are a mere distraction. Do you like me feel constantly bombarded by the media pressuring you to click and buy, dress and look like the best try-hard copy paste version of the It girls, internet influencers, and trendy Instagrammers. Can it get any more mainstream than this?! (new word learned from the lovely Kristina of @uniformlydressed, thanks for the conversation!) I declare the beginning of the end of personal style! White noise in fashion describes a meaningless commotion or is a chatter that masks or obliterates underlying content. White noise alienates me to want things I do not need and to consume mindlessly more such that I am now forced to assess my own reaction against what it means to be a modern woman. Please help!

But here is my way to begin a detox program (if a cure even exists for trend victimization); the core of my personal style is found in the delicate balance between the feminine and the masculine regardless of my own gender identity. In my view, female archetype today still lacks force, strength, and power. Dressing myself to be noticed incites external validation (surely resulting from a loss of confidence) and caries the message of what the media forcefully instills in us to be ‘good women’ as agreeable, tender, submissive, good followers, and of course to be a perfect sex symbol. Armani once said

Elegance is not about being noticed, it’s about being remembered.

So to be remembered, I ought to wear clothes that encourage me to emulate an unapologetic assertiveness, ambition, intelligence, and most importantly respect. With the pursuit of filtering white noise in my life, I made conscious dressing an integral part of the life long process in defining my personal style. It can be an art in itself because to me, there is a perceptible beauty in holding something back from the world and that every inch of concealed skin leaves them wanting more. Thus, to keep my look interesting without compromising my femininity, I opt to err on the side of mystery. I found that streamlined dressing is a concept that resonates with my way of thinking; the idea of a design that offers the least resistance to natural flow. Quiet and sleek garments assembled with graceful lines to enhance a purposeful appearance. Streamlined style is a modern way of dressing with a relevant touch of sophistication, depth, and elegance. I’ve made my personal style journey in striving to find the balance in a dichotomy of a strong, courageous, independent, and self-reliant person while remembering to be compassionate and loving.

So after all these paragraphs of ranting about trends, I just wanted to show you what my humble interpretation of my summer streamlined style is and what the ingredients consist of: neutral colors (black and white), breathable fabrics, comfortable fit, and clean aesthetics. Because this recipe had worked for me for many many summers, I hope to keep my hot season style filtered from any white noise.

  • A black silk short from Theory that came together with the suiting jacket (not pictured)
  • A white voile peasant blouse from Gerard Darel made in India.
  • A black linen shift dress from Raquel Allegra that can be thrown on over my swimwear at the beach or for my weekly Sunday brunch catch ups. Read my review here.
  • A light weight bag like the market tote from Abacà made in the Philippines to carry the bare essentials like my wallet, phone, lip balm, and keys.
  • Keep it simple sandals like the flat espadrilles from Ball Pagès made in Spain
  • A straw hat from Rag & Bone which feels a little Chanel inspired because of the delicate black ribbon
  • A white one-piece swimwear from Her the label with a sleek cross over detail on the back

And to end this post with a quote from Françoise Sagan…

On ne s’habille pas pour éblouir les autres femmes ou pour les embêter. Une robe n’a de sens que si un homme a envie de vous l’enlever, je dis bien l’enlever, pas l’arracher en hurlant d’horreur. Un homme ne vous aime pas pour une robe. Seulement, un jour, il vous réclamera aigrement “cette robe bleue, tu sais’ (aux orties depuis deux ans), qu’il n’avait pas semblé voir. Les hommes se souviennent des robes, mais leur mémoire est sélective. Evitez les barboteuses…

We don’t get dressed up to impress other women or annoy them. A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men to want to take it off you, and I mean really take it off, not tearing it off screaming with horror. A man doesn’t love you for a dress. Only one day, will he bitterly call at you “That blue dress, you know” (thrown away two years ago), which he never seem to see. Men remember dresses, but their memories are selective. Avoid the overalls.

The woman who wrote the masterpiece ‘Bonjour Tristresse‘ at only 19 years old never ceases to inspire us with her light-heartedness, humor, and a crude realistic outlook on the world. Her written novels speak to everyone of us with her forward thinking and insouciant eye. To me, she is a true inspiration of Streamlined Style.

 

6 comments

  1. Kristina

    Thank you Sovannary for the lovely conversation; I enjoyed the discussion as well! I haven’t figured out how to completely buck trends either. All I know is I’m a very slow adopter of anything, and usually by that time most people’s fervor for a certain style element has died down quite a bit.

    I like the color board / style board you posted, the black, white, and natural straw color goes well together. It reads summer and fresh to me without having to be bright, which is soothing.

    Reply

    1. Sovannary

      Letting trends run out of its course is a great way to be more on the conservative side. I like this approach! I used to think that meant to be too safe but you know taking style risks from time to time isn’t bad either as to explore new ideas and growing. Irregardless, going back to the basics when I feel confused and lost is probably best as of now to remain sane.

      Reply

  2. Kristina

    Not sure if my comment went through.

    – the color board you posted above is soothing and summery without needing bold colors
    – restraint and time is how I combat trends. participate in measured doses and generally stick to trying one or two new elements at a time. test to see if it fits the image i have of myself or is it pressure from outside
    – “A man does not love you for a dress.” he ought to love the person inside the dress! <3

    Reply

    1. Sovannary

      Hi Kristina! It went through ok 🙂 thanks for the tips!!

      Reply

  3. Xin

    I just discovered your blog, and I’m enjoying reading it a lot!

    The elements of my go-to streamlined style for summer are very consistent and simple: loose-fit dress in a summer-friendly (usually natural fiber) fabric, generally in black or navy (I’d love to add in lighter colors, but haven’t found anything I like), and the same sandals. They don’t amount to a particularly stylish look though, as all the dresses are very different from each other (and tend to be a product of the trends at the time I bought them) and the shoes (Fitflop sandals) are very unsophisticated looking.

    Reply

    1. Sovannary

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!! Like you, I love simplicity and consistency. It makes life far easier when packing and living from a suitcase while away. The building blocks made of black/navy, white and straw hue are timeless and proven to be forever stylish. For lighter colors addition, I’d try beige or sable hue. Lastly, for footwear I wore my K.Jacques sandals for many summers now (same like you) but this year I added a new pair from Ball pages with more sole support for longer strolls in the city.

      I’m so glad you enjoy reading my posts! Hope to see you around 😀

      Reply

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