Within the current edition of Artslandia there's an article entitled "Dress for the Show," which essentially suggests that Portland walks to its own beat when it comes to "social-norms." Which, to be honest, has actually played to the city's advantage in regards to its recent run of national popularity. However, since this particular article is suggesting that a large number of show-goers here in Portland tend to dress a bit too casual at times, I thought that I'd share with you some of my perspective on this topic, as here at Couture of Music, I always believe that one should put their best foot forward whenever possible. Therefore, allow me to share with you just a few key concepts that I use to ensure that my desire for comfort doesn't lead me down a path that might suggest to others that I think little of notions that surround the idea of good manners and etiquette.
1. the prevailing customs, ways of living, and habits of a people, class, period, etc; mores;
2. a persons outward bearing; way of speaking to and treating others
1. conventional requirements as to social behavior, properties of conduct as established in any class or community or far away occasion
I think Rachel Zoe makes an important point with the above statement, in that it also appears to me that a well groomed look speaks to the positive end of how one feels about themselves (regardless as to if they're aware of this or not). However, with the reputation that Portland has garnered over the years for its excessive rainy weather and dark grey skies, it's understandable as to how this might discourage one from taking the time to get dressed when going out. Therefore, if the constant feeling of coziness and comfort is what people from Portland gravitate towards, then lets use that as our point of departure. So since our mood can be affected greatly by both the feel and fit of the fabrics that we choose to wear, allow me to give you some insight into how one might want to approach structuring their thoughts around the concepts of how clothes can feel and look on us.
I feel that cashmere, flannel, fo-fur, vintage fur versus new (we have a moral dilemma when it comes to fur), knit jersey, merino wool and silk all fall under the heading of what most people would consider to be the softest materials to wear
Choose tailored clothing for at least one of your foundation pieces, as tailoring tends to have darts and structure details that help to encourage shapes that compliment the frame of the human form. And if you choose to add additional layers onto your foundation piece, make sure that it doesn't obfuscate the importance or function of your primary piece, which of course, will be to highlight a particular portion of your body you feel great about.
As you take a look at your complete outfit, decide if you're leaning more towards the side of structured or cozy? Fitted or frumpy/loose? Then consider how the materials, textures, and colors are also speaking...meaning that for whatever element(s) seem to be the most dominate, balance it with accessories that speak to the less dominant. And when you do choose your accessories, pick ones that will stand out and distinctly speak to the best of your personality, as you'll find that these unique accessories can function as great conversation starters.
So with the help of this guideline, you'll now know how to visually speak to that sweet feeling of cozy that is so very Portland, but yet still have an element of structure. It should say comfort yet clean. Relaxed but purposeful.
I have to say that I'm quite grateful that the folks at Artslandia Magazine decided to use me as a model for what it might look like when you try to translate the excellent qualities that are inherent within Jazz into a more physically tangible form. And while the cozy pieces that I ended up wearing aired more on the structured side, I have no doubt that with the help of both stylist Todd Everett Kinner and creative director Melanie Hernandez, that we still achieved a relaxed feeling between the loose fit in the pants, undone button near the waist of my vest (so as to leave a little room for my favorite wine and dessert after my second set at Jimmy Maks), the cozy yet well tailored Marino wool sports jacket with playful patched pockets, bright salmon bow-tie, and fun printed pocket hanker chief to highlight my playful personality. After all, with me and my music being full of life, it only makes sense to dress like it as well!