Monday, July 12, 2010

Style Statement - Sophisticated Anachronism

Quite a while ago, I read a wonderful book Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design. The premise of the book is to come up with a "Style Statement", a two word phrase that can help to guide the spirit, feel and look of your life. The first word represents 80%, your foundation; while the second word represents your 20%, what motivates and distinguishes you.

The book has a series of questionnaires that helps you to come up with your style statement, together with profiles of various people and their style statements. Even though I read the book probably over two years ago, I haven't written a review until now because I was, quite frankly, ambiguous about it. I found the book's method not quite suited to me - it is very focused on journalling exercises, which have never appealed to me. It could also be quite pretentious. However, once I took the essence of what the book was asking for, and applied my own visual learning style, it suddenly all fell into place. Instead of using their journalling method, I relied on a mixture of collage techniques, cutting and pasting pictures and images that I felt helped me to answer the questions. Once I did it my way, it did not take long for me to come up with my style statement:

Sophisticated Anachronism

So what this mean? From dictionary.com,

so·phis·ti·cat·ed

- adjective

  1. a person, ideas, tastes, manners, etc. altered by education, experience etc., so as to be worldly-wise; not naive: a sophisticated young socialite, the sophisticated eye of a journalist
- synonyms
  1. worldly, cosmopolitan, experienced, cultivated
a·nach·ro·nism

- adjective
  1. something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, esp. a thing or person who belongs to an earlier time: the sword is an anachronism in modern warfare

The first word is how I want to see my foundation, the "bulk" of me, so to speak. It is reflected in the name of my blog and the way my life has been shaped. I am well travelled, I spent many years in further education and love to further my knowledge base however and whenever I can.

The second word reflects how I sometimes feel out of place in today's society, and love things and ideas that hark back to earlier times. It's handwriting thankyou notes with a fountain pen rather than dashing off an email; being interested in "retro" housekeeping; and reading a "real" book rather than an e-reader! But it is also about juxtaposing those old fashioned elements with a modern sensibility, hence the "anachronism".

I have now been using this style statement for nearly two years, and find that when i remain true to it, I feel more comfortable, more at home, more at peace in my own skin. Over the next few weeks I will share with you how I have incorporated my style statement through various elements of my life.

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