Effortless became a dirty word, like "amazing", "iconic" been used so many times that became decontextualized and condemned to the Underworld.
At least in fashion.
At least with me.
There are words I cannot dare pronouncing because when you do, it means you are just opening your mouth to say something, without paying attention. This is not a judgmental proposition, I myself fall into that trap all the time. Au contraire, it’s an encouragement to think before speaking. Seems rhetoric and obsolete, but our life has been reduced to 140 characters and a handful of Emojis, we are prompted to immediately react, and it’s easy to reuse words especially when you last saw them on someone’s feed. Thing is here that effortless is one of the adjectives unanimously used to describe Italian style and it hits home not to be able to use “effortless style” or “effortless casual”.
Effortless is not only referred to the clothing that you wear, it doesn’t identify who wears brands from who doesn’t, it’s the whole attitude, like “luxury is a state of mind”. You can sit back after having danced the night away and eat your birthday cake, like JLo or wear the most exquisite Haute Couture gown and sing and dance like Celine Dion. Both, effortless.
Clothing goes with language, attitude, lifestyle as in whatever surrounds you, situation, the occasion, work, vacation …
This fashion editor claims she mastered effortless style when she embraced the effort. And it’s true that when you are adrift with your style, you have to buy something for every occasion because you have nothing to wear and your wardrobe becomes a receptacle of the disposable, you’ll never feel empowered enough. Refer to the book for the rest.
What’s less and what’s effort.
Search for the hashtag #effortlessstyle on Instagram and you’ll gather what I am saying: 150K meaning stripping posts.
Effortless can be wearing a linen skirt, seating in the shade of a tall tree on a wicker chair and drinking an Aperol Spritz, effortless is NOT sitting at a bar in the piazza and posing with the sunglasses, the IT bag of the moment and the glass of Aperol Spritz. Same spirits, different spirit. One is nonchalance, the other is a bit monkeyed.
With the words of the late Christopher Gibbs:
A series of words we could use instead.
Flair is ephemeral
Ease can be non-sophisticated
Grace is elegance
Uncomplicated is pretty close to simple, nothing wrong, but it’d miss the pizzazz
Natural can be constructed in a social media dominated existance, like a natural self-tan.
It’s like Formentera to Ibiza, Panarea to Stromboli, Gstaad to Verbier, Miami Beach to Cape Cod. It's like the difference between un caffe' e un cornetto and a venti skimmed almond milk latte with one pump of caramel.
Some concepts that have diverted the meaning of effortless to its opposite.
EWW, Effortless White Woman, as in, you know who, the Gwyneth Paltrow of the early 2000’, a name a brand, the one of the woman with little to none BDE, but far away from a Lucille Ball, she is married, but doesn’t live for her family, she is indeed fulfilled by children and career. GP the brand that gives the impression that people can be like her, aspirational, she is the woman who has it all and tells you can too in an ostentatious way, the most rarefied form of effortless.
#Iwokeuplikethis is another infesting hashtag, because you know better. That ideal perfect bed hair is another way of feeding the obsession with an ideal of polished perfection, second to make believe
Normcore, hipster, Hygge, scumbro, athleisure and the need to label yourself to exist. That’s another practice born out of a digital generation that breathes keywords, categories, algorithms.
I leave you with a reflection by Diana Vreeland.