Culture

Culture Can Be . . .

A secret weapon that makes extraordinary things happen. –Jon Katzenbach

You may be asking, how does this relate to creating your own style?  Look at who you are culturally.  Do you see anything can use to help manifest your style?  I bet you can!

Sungkyungkwan Scandal Being Korean influences some of my style.  I regularly drop Korean lexicon into these posts.  This is who I am racially (half of me), culturally (to some degree) and I wear it proudly (as well as being Irish and Italian).  Centuries ago, the Chinese, Japanese and Korean upper class always wore beautiful clothing, material-wise and color-wise.  When I did my research,  I learned a lot about the history of Korea and as well as the development of Korean culture.  The aristocracy wore bright colors with floral and animal patterns.  The children wore bright colors too.  The common people wore muted colors.  Dancheong (단청) dominated the architecture and is characterized by the five basic colors: blue (east), white (west), red (south), black (north), and yellow (center).  As my closest friends know, I have an affinity for pocket squares especially those that display bright colors with floral patterns.  I also love paisley which I have successfully incorporated into my style.  I also wear colors that are subdued.  The combination of these with what is modern, has afforded me the look I have been developing and what I have been told on many occasions is very appealing.  It works for me.  I’m fortunate because I am able to honestly express myself through some elements of my Korean culture.  Please always keep this in mind, your style is an expression of who you are!  You are going to gather bits and pieces from everywhere and everyone possible.  Make an assessment then assimilate what best suits you into your own foundation.  At the end of the day, you have to be the one happy with your result!

When you take the journey into your cultural background and maybe you find it may be too much to your liking, there are little things you can do to incorporate it into your style.  For example, I have a couple of pair of cuff links made by 카라빈카 쇼핑몰 that specializes in Korean gifts.  The cuff links I am wearing in the picture to the left have Hangul on them better know as Hunminjeongeum. Hangul was created by King Sejong in 1443.  The design is beautiful and at the same time very significant in Korean history.  I was a history major so this subject interests me on that level too. The other pair I own is a dancheong design.  If I was hesitant of Nestea plunging into my culture, at least with these cuff links, I afford myself a starting point.  Although I have been speaking about adding elements of your respective culture into your style paradigm, don’t be afraid to add your religious beliefs, hobbies, likes, career, etc.  Again,  The key is not to go overboard.  There will be a point where it becomes too much and therefore not appealing.  Moderation is a key.  With practice, you will find that stylistic balance.  Until next time, jal ga!

*Supplemental picture, right: Jacket by Stafford Collection, shirt by Alfani Red, pocket square by Feather And Smith, watch by Invicta 

*Supplemental picture, left: Jacket by Croft & Barrow, shirt by Brooks Brothers, tie by MW Collection, pocket square by The SquarExtraordinaire