Zeal At Home

Style vs. Substance

    As is typical after a presidential inauguration, there was a lot of chatter about the First Lady’s clothing for the day and her gown for the inaugural balls.  The media attention on what famous women are wearing is usually followed by a dissenting conversation that laments the focus on “insubstantial” fashion issues in the age of post-feminism.  But Michelle Obama seems to be able to live somewhere above the criticism and banter.  She is a very popular First Lady and I think it’s due, in part, to her ability to effortlessly blur the line between style and substance.  She seems to be interested in both feeling good by looking good, as well as pursuing her intellectual curiosities and passions.  Her mix of “high” and “low” designs in her closet is further testament to her overall style: Michelle Obama thinks, buys, wears and uses what she loves, rather than what is dictated to her.  Thus she has developed a recognizable “signature style.”   And this is what got me thinking about the value of developing a signature style for our homes.  Far from being a frivolous pursuit, it is both about style AND substance.  And neither have to be dictated by elite interior design rules nor what’s off the shelf at Target or Home Goods. Rather, it is the vision you have collected over time and place, based on your visual attraction and emotional connection to things, that culminates in the style and substance of your aesthetic.   Which is why I say “OWN” it!  Don’t buy it unless you love it…but if you love it, it will reflect something at the core of who you are, no matter where it comes from or what it “goes” with.

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