An interesting outcome to the American Presidential election! Once again the poll forecasters didn’t really see it coming……
So, what does style have to do with President Elect Mr Trump? One thing is for sure – his style is nothing like the man whom he succeeds.
If Mr Trump were to ask me, and I am quite sure that he won’t, I have the top ten 10 nuggets of wisdom that I should like to pass on both to him and to all those who wish their style to be not just “good enough” but “WOW”!
1. Practice makes perfect
2. Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated
3. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again
4. Manners cost nothing
5. You can’t judge a book by its cover
6. Good things come to those who wait
7. Two wrongs don’t make a right
8. It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts
9. Never say never
10. There’s no time like the present
Words of wisdom are useless if we fail to relate them to the life we have and if we fail to put them into practice.
The difficulties and challenges that modern day living throws at us makes it hard to trump our own style. Francesca Martinez (stand up comedian, actress & author of “What the **** is Normal?”) calls this “the giant unhappiness machine”. Unlike most of us she refuses to be defined by the media’s narrow notion of what a great looking person looks and acts like. Born with Cerebral Palsy she is acutely aware of the pressure that society puts on each of us to conform to pre-set standards & to be “normal”.
She believes we are too often dis-empowered by our efforts to aspire to impossible dreams of normality. We learn to fear difference rather than accept that what is normal is that every one is different. We look to being the same rather than shining out as an individual. We define ourselves not by what we can do but by what we cannot do. I see this day in day out with the clients that I work with and the people that I meet at style events.
A thought – the celebration of the individual – “Strictly” …. just look at the different shapes and personalities of those competing. Just look at how Wardrobe celebrates those differences and works with them. Diverting here, delineating there. A delight!
How about this? “Accepting yourself as you are is an act of civil disobedience” (Francesca Martinez again). I like that idea! Let’s relate that to style:
1. Practice makes perfect … it certainly does. Creating a style that works for you (and no one else) is not as easy as it looks but, the more effort you put in –the easier it becomes and the more effortless it looks.
2. Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated … your children, grandchildren, friends, work colleagues are all, just like you, living with the tyranny of being “normal”. We need to be very strong if we are not to be knocked off our confidence perches. Do all that you can to instil confidence in those around you with positive thinking and comments. Most importantly – lead by example. Not do as I say but do as I do! If you are worrying about your weight, height, age … that is what others will learn too. Mr Trump doesn’t look like George Clooney or any other media hunk but this hasn’t stopped him succeeding with the goals he has set himself.
3. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again … absolutely, but don’t tie yourself in knots. Find out what the basics of great style are:
SAY STYLE PERSONALITY SHAPE SCALE SHADE
… and use them to develop a style that works for you. Mr Trump has a style that works for him – it works for those who voted him in too!
4. Manners cost nothing … style manners take into account who you are meeting and the occasion that you are dressing for. You may love dressing as a Goth but that is not what your client is looking for if you are a teacher or solicitor. You may be powerful & efficient at work but this is not what will fill your child’s heart with joy & confidence when you are at home. Find a way to match who you are with the role that you are fulfilling at any time in your day. I wonder if Mr Trump wears a fluffy onesie at home?!
5. You can’t judge a book by its cover … no you can’t but we do! Which is why there is such a huge industry attached to book design & illustration. It takes 3 seconds on first meeting someone to decide whether we like them, trust them and believe that they will be good at what they do. If you get it wrong it will take another 6 months to change their thinking around. Photos of Trump meeting Obama after the election result speak much louder than the words that were said.
6. Good things come to those who wait … yes they do but you have to be actively waiting. Sitting and wishing that things could be different will only sustain an unhappy status quo. Get out there and make positive moves and have positive thoughts to be where you want to be. Trump did it – so can you.
7. Two wrongs don’t make a right … they certainly don’t. So why keep buying clothes & accessories & colours that don’t work for you? If what you buy feels wrong – it is wrong. Find out why and you won’t make the same mistake again. Don’t build an impenetrable wall (or fence) around yourself that won’t allow the truth in.
8. It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts … another style truth and one that Hilary Clinton dealt extremely well with (in public at least). Great style is part of who you are they are the clothes & accessories & colours in which you feel yourself whether you are 15 or 95. This isn’t a race or a competition – this is about you growing & developing and enjoying that growth & development. We haven’t seen or heard the last of Hilary of that I am quite sure.
9. Never say never … everyone and anyone can find a style that works for them whatever their age, shape or height. You have features & facts not faults & flaws. Learn to think positively not negatively. Mr Trump. Mr Obama. Mrs Trump. Mrs Obama. Each has a style. Each is making it work for them – each makes themselves more or less attractive to those that they meet.
10. There’s no time like the present … so get cracking!!!!! Forget prevarication and grab those style horns. You know where I am if you need an objective eye and a bit of a hand to lead the way …. let’s successfully play the style trump card in 2017 and let Donald get on with being Mr Obama’s successor..