03/22/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What I Think of Tom Ford's A Single Man ... and Personal Style in General

Recently, I saw Tom Ford's film, A Single Man. The chatter about the film was the talk of the town. The buzz ran the gamut, from the greatest film released by a first-time director to a highly literate film that lacked true emotion or substance. I'm not a movie critic, but I must say I loved it. I loved the film so much I wanted to move into it. I am not talking about the morbid tragedy that unwinds as the film begins. Rather, I loved the style of the film, its inhabitants, and the world Ford created that was evident in the impeccable house, the flawlessly pressed and folded shirts and the perfect order of the home the characters made together.

The film made it clear that great style has nothing to do with the latest frock or hairstyle. Anyone with enough money can obtain acquisitions. I have many clients who must own every trendy accessory--the latest (and often most outrageously expensive) shoe, handbag or belt. Their hairstyles are a direct replica of the current covers of fashion magazines. They seem to have everything... and wear it long before we mere mortals have even noticed the items in the stores or magazines. These are people who appear to be up to date on every trend. But instead of looking stylish, they send out a message that compulsive shopping and consumption is the passion of their lives. It often is. But style still evades them.

Being stylish is not owning and wearing every trend. People with true style understand what suits them best and they stay within certain fashion parameters. This gives them a look that is unique, personal and always flattering.

Personal style is wearing your hair in a manner that is right for you. There are hundreds of hairstyles to pick from. The trick is to choose those styles that suit you best. To do this, you must make a totally realistic evaluation of your appearance and lifestyle.

The main determining factors when picking hairstyles and hair colors that are most flattering to you: the shape of your face, texture of your hair, and tone of your complexion. The right hairstyle can emphasize or minimize a facial feature. Your hair texture will determine the hairstyles that are the most flattering and easy to maintain. The thickness of your hair is one of the variables to best decide its most flattering length. The tone of your complexion is the best guide to help decide the most flattering hues for your hair. There are many other factors the can help to influence what hairstyles and colors are best for you. They can range from your lifestyle and your job to your financial and time budget. All of these components will help you choose which look is best suited to you.

The single most important factor in deciding what is right for you is your comfort level with the outcome. Do you feel like yourself in your new style? Do you love how it looks on you? Does it make you feel like you are wearing someone else's hair? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you have made the wrong choice. It is crucial to be comfortable in your new style or color selection. Any ambivalence will manifest itself instantly as the wrong decision.

I admired the look of the characters in Tom Ford's film because I thought they had great style. This doesn't make their look right for everyone. To be your most attractive, you must be true to yourself and what appeals to you. This requires a genuine self-evaluation. Being true to yourself is the best-kept secret to always looking your best.

More from iVillage

Louis Licari's Blog

Louis Licari's Hair and There Blog on iVillage


Try new hairstyles and makeup with Makeover-o-Matic

Michelle Obama's Style for Less

Michelle Obama's style for less