Participation Trophies and School Uniforms

IMG_4275Who is the most stylish person you know? You got the name? Okay, perfect. Now, WHAT makes them the most stylish person you know? Think about it. Leave it in the comments on the blog. Email me. Put it on my Facebook or Instagram. I’ll tell you my ideas momentarily, but I’m curious about yours. I love people with good style, so let’s explore what gets you there.

IMG_4266For me, it is someone who always makes an effort, but doesn’t try too hard. It’s someone who has vision. Something unique about them. Maybe you can’t explain it, but you know it is there. Someone who has extraordinary knowledge in their particular field or career. Someone who is interesting to talk to. Can carry on a well balanced conversation. Someone who is well traveled and exudes positive energy. Makes his or her own decisions. Doesn’t follow trends or care what anyone thinks of him or her. What’s not stylish? Laziness. Conformity. Ignorance. Negativity, to name a few.

If I die tomorrow, I want my tombstone to read “He marched to the beat of his own drum.” That would be the ultimate compliment for me. Sounds selfish, but I have the vision to know that when everyone is 80 years old and saying “I wish I had done it this way, I wish I had done it that way”, I’ll be at peace knowing that I bebopped along my own path. I do listen to every word people say to me, and I read voraciously. I take it all in. But then I make my own decisions based on my unique thoughts, oftentimes zigging when everyone else would zag. The most stylish people I know do blaze their own trail. Sometimes you get it wrong. I certainly have. But stylish people are resilient. I’ve been kicked in the mouth a few times in my life, and I’ve chosen to kick back (sometimes literally).  Soccer joke. Not funny? Fine.

All of these ideas lead into what I think is the most stylish trait of all: confidence. In yourself. In what you are doing. In what you want out of life. You know something else that builds confidence? Dressing well. Seriously. If you can combine some of the above intangible items with the way you present yourself outwardly, you’re going to have a dynamic recipe.

IMG_4220When I was in NYC last week, I finally made it to the legendary JJ Hat Center on Fifth Avenue. Been around for 106 years I believe. I’m totally into proper hats, so much so that I want to learn how to make them. Anyways, I had done some research before going in and found a hat that I loved. So I walked in and was greeted by the superstar Jose, one of the best in the biz. I showed him what I liked. He told me it was a woman’s hat. I thought to myself, I don’t care if it is a gorilla’s hat, I still like the style. He understood, and started educating me on different options. I finally found this beautiful brown fedora made out of long rabbit hair. It was perfect, and when worn with a thick beard and my new pair of brown boots, would look badass this winter. The model had a feather in it, so of course I inquired. Jose opened a cigar box and said take as many feathers as you would like. I picked three colorful ones, and he said sit tight. He went to the back and found one more, stuck it in the hat, and said “Now you are set.” He told me how to care for it. He looked me in the eyes. He called me Mr. Bostic, and shook my hand firmly. He was impeccably dressed. His clothes fit. Had a huge beard. Unique as can be. Knew his trade inside and out. The epitome of style. I was smitten.

IMG_4231In today’s world of participation trophies and school uniforms, we could all use a little more style. As you can see, it comes both from the inside and the outside. Intangible traits plus clothing, hats, and accessories. Pay a little more attention to both. It’s not a contest. It’s not a race. It’s not who can be the coolest. But if being a little more stylish is a goal of yours, reflect on the above. As I always say, it’s more about attitude, confidence, swagger, and self belief than the actual clothes. But the clothes are the exclamation point that can outwardly say “I’m here, I pay attention, and I’m about to go grab life.”

IMG_4257Have a great week.-Benj

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