Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Sherlock and the Signature Piece

New Year’s Day saw the highly anticipated return of BBC drama Sherlock, as millions of viewers tuned in expecting an explanation of how the fabled detective cheated death in season two’s conclusion. Whilst the show’s creators left the public frustrated as to what exactly occurred outside of St. Bartholomew’s hospital, as Sherlock was handed his now trademark Belstaff coat there was no doubt as to the maintenance of his style kudos.

Making several appearances throughout the episode, Mycroft Holmes looked positively overdressed whilst sparring with Cumberbatch in a game of deductions. An impeccably tailored three-piece suit, pocket square and tie, did nothing to boost Mycroft’s appearance next to the relaxed antiheroic Sherlock. In his usual dark suit and open collar shirt, Benedict Cumberbatch has proven that one, simple outfit can become as much a part of the character as their behaviours.

With a very limited selection of outfits, Sherlock demonstrates amply the effectiveness of having a signature piece in one’s arsenal; that item of clothing that completes not only the look, but the man as well. To replicate such a statement, think about what your wardrobe already consists of and what you wear on a daily basis. A signature piece shouldn't be about finding something new: it is something that you already use and are comfortable inhabiting. In short, it is an extension of the person wearing it

Sherlock’s coat, for example, is an extension of himself in that despite its obvious presence, at the same time it presents a blank canvas over which his personality can shine. The bow tie is another good example of a signature piece; worn by the college professor, it suggests intelligence and understated style. The professor does not consider whether he will put on his bow tie just as Sherlock does not wonder whether he will put on his coat or not. They are both extensions of the character.

As we've already suggested, a signature piece doesn't have to be a particular item, they become a reflection of the person that wears them. In some ways, Boris Johnson’s signature piece is, in fact, his hair. Identify what part of your wardrobe is displaying your personality and experiment with it. Style shouldn't be about taking oneself too seriously, so play around. Take your signature piece and allow it to become an extension of you. Although to any comedians, a squirting flower in the lapel does not count.

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