Man in the Mirror

Man in the Mirror

The Digest for June 2023
Words by John Marks – Design by Chase Rowan

He reads the style journals like a dutiful devotee. They tell him exactly what to wear, how it should fit, and where to buy it. He's shown red carpet photos touted as the most stylish moments of the season. The more he strives to achieve these stylish new heights, he journeys deeper into a void - a trap of self. In his emulation of today's fashion, the man grows more disconnected from discovering, developing, and expressing real style - his own voice.

His awareness grows that he's become an outward imitation. With every choice reflecting other forms, the man has neglected to define a visage of his own. The celebrity-laden influences pull him further from ever being attuned to himself. The man is overcome with the knowledge that he's wearing someone else's clothes, thinking someone else's thoughts, and living someone else's dream.

His vantage begins to turn from what was imitation to inner reflection. Through a study of his countenance, complexion, and stature, the man finds true direction. Realization washes over. Before, his efforts were to achieve a sense of completion by following an ever-changing stream of influences. Now, he sees 'completion' as anathema.

Ultimately, the man sees that style isn't about clothing in itself. Clothing is but a medium to communicate personality and point of view. The end goal is to achieve a direct connection with others, and clothing can be one tool in this. He must use color and proportion to, as Alan Flusser explains, subtly lead the eye to one's face. Thus, he must make choices with the color of his complexion in mind, and explore garments that bring his stature into a cumulative harmony



He starts by learning which colors animate his natural complexion and bring vibrance to his countenance. Likewise, he learns which hues visually siphon out his energy. He learns his colors and simply wears them boldly. Further, he turns to the colors of the season and his region for a beautifully natural look.

As with every subject, the man must learn its principles before bending its rules. Proportion is a careful balance that can be used to achieve harmony in stature. He studies his body without emotional critique, noticing its intersections and structural patterns. He experiments with different garments of varying lengths and widths to see which complements him most. His tailor imparts wisdom and guidance to help emphasize, not hide, the man. His head now appears balanced by the width of his jacket shoulders, his longer leg line makes his silhouette taller, while his sleeve and jacket length blend everything together.

Though he longed for an easier path, he committed to exploring his complexion and stature, learning to apply color and proportion naturally. The man who doesn't know himself is forever forging other identities - he continues down the trap of self. The man who acknowledges and embraces his reflection will find a truer path of discovery and expression. He grows more connected to discovering, developing, and expressing his authentic self - real style.