MANual of Style


Creating Your Own Style: Case Studies by Shreyas
16 January, 2010, 11:41 am
Filed under: Special

Sorry about the late post, guys. I was watching Torchwood and lost track of time. On Thursday I’m going to talk about creating your style, armed with the knowledge you’ve acquired recently about what colors and silhouettes work for you. Today, I thought I’d lighten the material a little.

I find it’s useful to look at people in the media for style ideas, because whenever those people appear in public, they’re selling their brand, and as a result, many of them have very consistent and distinct styles. It makes them ideal subjects for study.

Case 1 (and 2): Ianto Jones and Daniel Meade

These two characters, Ianto Jones of Torchwood and Daniel Meade of Ugly Betty, are played by actors with similar coloring, and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their color palettes are basically identical: jewel tones, moderated by white, charcoal, and rich chocolaty brown. These are men who aren’t afraid of pink.


You’ll see these characters dressed mostly in solid colors, with the occasional pinstriped suit thrown in. They achieve diversity in their wardrobe with color and texture; Daniel especially distinguishes himself with very rich fabrics. Sometimes you’ll see him do things like using a velvet blazer to add luxury to a nice tailored shirt and dark jeans, for instance. Ianto is more buttoned up, so you won’t catch him in denim, but the thought process is still there: use one luxurious item (for him, usually a spectacular tie like those pictured) to pull together a boldly colored outfit.

The key thing, to dress like these guys, is to make one color the key to your look, and build around it: in the second photo, you can tell that the tie was chosen to complement the shirt, and the jacket is dark and simple so it doesn’t compete.

Case 3: Tony DiNozzo

Michael Weatherly’s character on NCIS is a lot more casual. He favors polo shirts and v-necked tees or sweaters, to draw the eye upward (Weatherly is a little squishy in the middle). His color palette is more muted, relying more on earth tones and the colors of leather, wool, and wear-and-tear. DiNozzo is also much more tolerant of pattern; when you do see him in a buttoned shirt, it’s often dressed down with a bold stripe. This character’s attitude is more relaxed, and it shows in the wardrobe: rather than building outfits around special key items, he can assemble them without a lot of work by sticking to his color scheme and resisting the temptation to layer or accessorize too much. The character comes off as well-dressed because the garments are tailored well, even though they’re not flashy, and again, the thought process is simple and clear: Keep the emphasis on the face using dramatic necklines; use subdued color; indulge in pattern and the textures of natural materials.

On Thursday, I’ll talk more about these thought processes, how to create your own, and how to boil it down to a few simple rules to keep in mind when shopping or getting dressed. See you then!

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