Is Style Learned or Innate?


We all know or have come across someone with impeccable style, so impeccable that we’re in constant awe of their sartorial prowess. And it’s unanimous. People who know such a person will agree that she dresses without a fault.

This person never disappoints, and never ceases to amaze us, as her sartorial presentations always elicit “oohs” and “ahs” from onlookers.

Her style seems effortless, and the apparent ease with which this person dresses so flawlessly leaves us sometimes, dare I say, inadequate in the face of some of our own merely functional accoutrements.

Now, is this stylish bird born with a sense of style? Or did it come after long, painful years of trial and error?

Psychologists argue that style is learned. Style is partly an expression of one’s identity. “You can’t have style until you articulate a self,” writes Hara Estroff Marano in “The Style Imperative” That self-knowledge is essential to the equation, and that it requires self-examination and re-evaluation as we evolve further supports the argument that style is learned, and furthermore, that it is a learning process, which can begin at any point in time.

Conclusion: One is not born with style. One acquires style.

Daphne Guinness





Do you agree? Is style learned or innate?

Photos: Erik Slyngstad for, and

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