Everything is expression.
The books you read, the food you eat, the life choices that you make—these are all expressions, and everyone expresses themselves whether consciously or otherwise.
Clothing isn’t any different—style is just self-expression through the way you dress. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize the importance of style that is in-line with one’s values, and this stretches beyond aesthetics.
My favorite artists and thinkers include Marina Abramovic, Annie Liebovitz, James Altucher and Tim Ferris. They all have signature styles—more utilitarian than fashion forward—and this bleeds into the art they produce and the ideas they are proponents of.
I am a writer and an editor—less is always more when it comes to writing effectively, and it’s a constant struggle. When I started getting serious about my writing work, I wanted everything else in my life to be streamlined, so I let go of habits, things, and beliefs that I felt weren’t attuned to my vision for the work I wanted to create, the art I wanted to make, and the life I wanted to live.
I gave away things and clothes, keeping music, books, and photography equipment. I experimented with wearing a single shirt, pants, and shoes combo as a daily work uniform. I work remotely so I’m not required to wear office clothes, but doing this makes me feel like I’m “at work” as opposed to “at home going through Facebook”.
I am also a musician. Performances are slightly different: When I’m with my band Halik ni Gringo, I wear a kilt and a black shirt. I wear this sometimes when I DJ as well, though not as often as I’d like. People sometimes ask me why I wear a kilt and if I’m wearing anything under it – I just say I prefer it to pants.
I only use half a closet for all my clothes, I have two pairs of boots and two pairs of sneakers. I like the simplicity of it, so I still wear that work uniform today, and I keep my performance outfits to a minimum. All this saves me from having to think about what to wear on a daily basis, so I can think about other things.
Joey Santos is a DJ/producer, and managing editor of Digital DJ Tips, the world’s largest DJ training website.