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Finding Your Aesthetic

I don't know if there is a real distinction between style and aesthetic. There could be, but I can't understand any meaningful difference. If pushed, I would say that style does not necessaraly come with hobbies, but the landed gentery have defined their leisure style around hunting so I don't know.

Magazines, books, a whole bloody industry of personal stylists, have developed around the idea of helping people better express themselves through clothes. Fashion as a form of expression is centuries old (for the weathly). With the industrial revolution and factory production, fashion become more accessable. It is more complicated then that, but clothes for the masses became more then just functional protection and became a form of expression of ideals or values or tastes.

Youth culture's development also created subcultures in reaction to older generations "stiffness", even more so in the post-war years. Teddy-boys and girls of the 50s, rock and roll, and before that jazz. Music, style and youth formed this symbosis of cool. Kids wanted it, and their parents hated it. As with all things cool and desirable, people wanted to sell it and make a chit tonne of money off it. This forms the ongoing war between authentic subculture expression, and corperate aesthetic charts mapping out the next trends for thier business associates. Sell out, industry plants, the low lives that deserve the ire of the community, or people trying to make it with their own artistic visions? Dunno, not an artist, just an autist.

So how do you find your aesthetic? Music seems to be a pretty good place to start. If you love The Cure, you probably are responsable for your own ozone hole due to hairspray. It is easy to finf your people, because they will be wearing band tees from bands you like! If the music you like is popular, super easy to find something to talk about. If the artist still tours, its like a pilgramage for your people to get together in one place. Music cliques, especially of the alturnative variety can be pretty gatekeepy, and full of asshats that think girls cant like punk, go fuck yourself. I completly understand why some people would want to seperate some of the fashion from the music, I dont want to sumon the pricks who quiz women in band shirts, but if you buy pre patched "punk" jackets, get some help, we all hate you.

What about an aspirational aesthetic, a style you could look up to. I want to be that type of person, and faking it until you make it... brain worms. Buying the same clothes as someone who's life you want is kinda mental behavour, but we have influencer culture now...

Finding your aesthetic seems to be conflated with finding your people. And I have done this too. It is a form of virtue signalling (a neutral term), you recognise my aesthetic as a short hand for my beliefs if you speak the same aesthetic language. This particular yellow I have used as a background screams 2016 Art Hoe to me. It is just yellow, but I see it and have connitations of twitter artists, Black twitter, and discourse.

So do you build your aesthetic from the top down or bottom up? The Aesthetic Wiki has a whole page on this, and the pros and cons. This level of scrutiny does make we want to shake them. It is just clothes! But I understand the visual language of fashion is more complex and we are just gaming the system at this point.