“Ryoma, I hear this all the time but I don’t know what it means: what is a statement piece?”
As your style evolves through time and investment, simply dressing well won’t satisfy your sartorial desires anymore. As a matter of fact, I too had to spend a couple of years before really getting comfortable with what I wear and trying to get to the next level.
About 2 years from now, I had some kind of switch that turned on: I wanted to wear clothes that get me out of my comfort zone and project a blunt image of myself. As rumors about me being gay started at my school (because of my liking for fashion), I got frustrated about how people quickly judged someone for what they like, even if their assumptions were not true at all.
That is when I wanted to be BOLD, FLASHY. I bought a pink oversize t-shirt that I would tuck-in and roll the sleeves up, a floral patterned shirt, an oversized sweater, and so on. I wanted to be different and almost upset people by how radical of a change I would make to myself.
Those were my slightly wild days. I quickly grew over them and I developed, evolving my style to pretty minimalistic and grown-up if I can phrase it like that. So what did I mean by my little anecdote I just wrote about? I wanted to introduce you to statement pieces.
Why, you may ask? For the simple reason that statement pieces are one of the most important pieces of your wardrobe. Done correctly, you will certainly elevate your style “to the next level”!
So, what is a statement piece?
Statement pieces are clothing items that help you make a statement. When you wear them, you should feel like you’re adding this extra personal touch to your outfit, to make it more you.
The main function of these pieces is to express your personality. They are unique, catchy, and proper to your character. In a well-built wardrobe, you should have around 3-4 statement pieces that you alternate from time to time.
Let me give you an example. In my wardrobe, my statement pieces are my trousers and my 5TH watch. Whenever I wear them, I’m feeling myself and I’m confident in my own skin; I project my minimalistic yet striking style to the world.
On one hand, my trousers convey the message that I won’t hesitate to wear suit trousers on their own. I’m not afraid of “defying” the conventions and creating new outfits out of them. On the other hand, my watch conveys the message that I care about the small details, accessorizing my wrist with quality accessories and such.
As you can see, statement pieces deliver a message as to who you are to the world. They speak a little louder than the other pieces you wear and they stay true to your nature.
Statement pieces are must-haves for your wardrobe; whether you consider jewelry, jackets, or shoes to be your statement pieces, every man should have a few.
Wait, wait… how do you find a statement piece?
Since they convey YOUR message, you have to find out what your message is. If you don’t really know what personality traits you want to portray, read my article about finding your own style! Finding your personality is key to finding yourself in clothing.
On another note, in order to find statement pieces, you have to think outside of your normal box. What do you like? How does it suit your style and represent it? What keeps you away from it?
Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you away from that marvelous garment you want to add in your wardrobe is the price. Don’t be afraid to buy a piece of clothing that may be a bit more pricey than your average clothing. It is your statement piece, it will be a part of you, and you want to assure that what represents you have value, both sentimental and physical!
My trousers may be twice the price of my average pants and my watch may have cost four times my previous watch, but that’s how I want to be represented. I want to look clean, smart and presentable. Pricey items, when chosen right, will last you longer too. You will be able to rock that, say, 400$ coat for several years without damaging it if taken care of. Several years of rocking a very personal, beautiful and representative garment? That’s a deal.
Furthermore, are you looking at the right place? You have to be willing to go window shopping in A LOT of different shops and stores, may they be thrift, retail or fancy shops. You never know when and where you can get the opportunity to expand your wardrobe. Statement pieces are no exception.
Are you also thinking out of your box? You may not be totally attracted to a certain piece of clothing but when you try it on, it might give you a completely different idea! Whether the piece has a different color from your palette or has a pattern you never tried before or has a different texture, again, you never know when a garment can be your statement piece until you try it!
How should you wear your statement pieces?
As they will be the key focus of your outfit, your statement pieces should be given ALL of the attention they deserve. Most of the time, your statement piece will be the main difference between a normal outfit and a stunning outfit.
Therefore, you always have to keep one word in mind: balance. My article on patterns and textures clearly shows how much balance is important in fashion. If you’ve read the article, you may realize where I’m going.
In order to keep a balanced outfit, you have to keep in mind that ONE statement piece per outfit is the perfect option.
A statement piece must be the focal point of your outfit. If you wear too many statement pieces, you will send to the public and yourself too many messages and nobody will be able to grasp the main intention of your outfit. If your pieces are especially “bling-bling” (jewelry), having too much of them will get your outfit to seem too loud and like a show-off.
In opposition, not wearing any statement pieces will make your outfit too… original. If your look doesn’t showcase any of your personal traits, anybody could wear it. This means that your look won’t be unique anymore. You probably won’t feel like your outfit belongs to YOU because there’s nothing personal about it.
You simply have to remember that you have to keep everything balanced. If your statement pieces are not too flashy and can blend in with your outfit, I’d say you can wear two pieces, because you know that the attention will be focused on one of the pieces, not both.
I think a good example would be this Smart and Casual look. My 5TH watch blends in with my outfit since I paired the latter with a black shirt and a black leather belt. Therefore, my grey trousers got all the attention since it was the one article that stood out of the crowd.
To wrap it up
- A statement piece helps you convey a message that reflects your personality to yourself and to others. They can come in many forms and sizes: jewelry, coats, shoes, etc.
- In order to find your statement piece, find first the message you want to convey by knowing your personality (personality test).
Look everywhere, try as much as you can and keep your mind open.
- Statement pieces are all about balance. To give the best exposure to your statement pieces, try to wear one per outfit, 2 if you know how to control where the attention goes.
Lastly, have fun! Fashion is all about expressing yourself and getting creative through your clothes. Small reminder: do not follow the rules and suggestions I say on this blog if it impedes on your fun of fashion. As much as I want to help you reach the next level, what matters the most is YOUR pleasure. So find your statement pieces and rock them with style and confidence!
Thank you for reading.
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Ryoma Martin, from The Soul’s Garment
At your service