Spinoff: What's in a Moniker?

I was inspired by froggiebecky's thread about what's in a name, as well as a couple of comments on my outfit posts that I don't look like my moniker, 00Noir. I also remember comments from the past that I did not look very UWP. So I guess the question is whether a moniker is supposed to "sum up" the look that you project - or is it more of a jumping-off point to inspire outfits and purchases? Or to put it another way: does your moniker stand for the way you want others to see you, or does it stand for the way you see yourself?

For me - for 00Noir - I keep coming back to this picture of Daniel Craig. Even though it's from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and not a Bond film, it sort of encapsulates the intersection between the slick, dressy agent and the gritty, downtrodden detective that I envision for 00Noir. She has been in a scrape or explosion or kidnapping or marathon foot pursuit through a dusty construction site or pathetic cinematic downpour, and she's looking a little rough. Not that I want to look like I was running through the desert when I walk into work - or even look like a secret agent per se! - but I do want to bring some distressing into the classic mix. 

For others, the image and story evoked by "00Noir" is probably different. Some may think immediately of immaculate suits and sparkling femme fatales - and that's okay. For me, the moniker is more some kind of ephemeral aura - something that informs but does not dictate. It's 100% okay if people look at me and don't think, "brooding detective super-spy." 

How about you? Are you bothered when you don't look like your moniker? 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

36 Comments

  • ramya replied 4 years ago

    Nope not really important. Until a week ago I didn't have one, but Now Urban Princess helps me pair stuff. In my head she looks Feminine but romantic but pulled together.
    Mm not sure how she is though.... So spring board it is

  • Diane G replied 4 years ago

    Firstly I don't think it matters too much if others don't always think you match your moniker, as I do think people are always going to interpret it in their own individual way. I like how you have described it yourself and within that context I guess there is still room for manoeuvre too. As for me, well my moniker is Elegant Eclectic, so the world is my oyster ;)

  • ironkurtin replied 4 years ago

    What Diane G said.

    Whatever.

  • Mo replied 4 years ago

    I figure as long as it's helpful for someone, it's good.  Once it becomes a stressful thing, it's time to leave it alone.  
    I realize that I am shifting from what I stated as my rubric a few years back, and that's okay.  We grow, we change.  

  • jayne replied 4 years ago

    I haven't gotten one yet!  but I do notice that I sway in and out of my stye aspirations, which does include some warrior (can you see that in today's outfit BTW??)

    And I am dressing for my happiness, so it doesn't bother me if someone suggests an opposite opinion to something I liked.  I don't think I would let it bother me, therefore, if people noticed that I don't manage any warrior every day (or actually at all in the summer season).  Your style changed, maybe it isn't pinned down to just one facet and look, but a vibe that you feel when you have your robot necklace on. (for example)  It might not make a big effect visually, but you feel it and that brings your dark side satisfaction!

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    Gosh, Rae. What a pic of Daniel Craig! Grim reaper, man. Lol.

    I struggle with this. I think the output, what my personal style looks like, is very different from the input, the "software programming" in my head, which produces said look. I.e., "Quirky Waif" is not produced by thinking "Quirky Waif."

    And actually, I think have that reversed. I don't think Quirky Waif describes my look. I think it describes the thought process...

  • milehighstyle (Linda) replied 4 years ago

    I haven't figured out a moniker yet, maybe because I have trouble with the idea that I have to match my descriptor all of the time.  So I guess I like the idea of a moniker just being a guideline and not a directive. It could be your head to toe look one day or it could just be a tiny accessory or detail that makes your outfit feel like you but still allows you to experiment with a different look on occasion.  And I would not be concerned with others thinking of me the way I see myself - after all, I dress to make myself happy.

  • texstyle replied 4 years ago

    I think it only really matters how it works for you - and how it inspires you or helps you hone in on your own personal style.

    I recently realized that I really love organic shapes and earthy, organic feeling jewelry and accessories. I also tend to prefer organic, nature inspired colors in clothing. No big surprise and I knew this in the past, but somehow it got lost along the way as I tried to be more "me too" in terms of going for too many classic styles. I still have a lot of "classic" items in my closet that are too traditional for my taste. I think it's due to business and feeling the need to project a certain business image. Even though I almost never have to see a customer or even an employee face to face these days (we all work remotely). I was shopping for a new bracelet recently when it finally hit upon me to use the word "organic modern" in my search and voila! I found the perfect item for me. But to see me I don't think you'd call me "modern" in my style, it's more of a way to help me realize when something will work for me and make me happy to wear it.

    I think 00Noir suits you just fine!

  • Diana replied 4 years ago

    Hmm, I'm like Diane G.  "Arty Eclectic" pretty much means anything goes.  I think it's more of a descriptor than a moniker, in any case, which is how I prefer it (descriptor seems far less restrictive to me).  But I could see others being the other way around, wanting much stricter guidelines for outfit/style creation.

    But I think it's all about how you want to interpret the moniker! 

  • Firecracker replied 4 years ago

    You seem to have a very nicely developed idea of what your moniker represents and how it informs or can inform your dressing. Boy, I am so not there, but it's interesting to read about yours!

    And I only brought up 00noir in the discussion of your boots yesterday to check in and see if--and perhaps how-- you were thinking of it when considering them. This post clarifies your thoughts about 00noir so that I certainly see how the new boots fit in just beautifully with your style inspiration. I'm even more sold on them for you, if that's possible.

  • shedev replied 4 years ago

    This is a great question, Rae. How do we sum ourselves up in a couple of words? Back in April, I posted an outfit that Rachy called Asphalt Angel. I loved that name so much I decided to keep it. Thanks Rachy. Then I had to decide what the name means. I came up with that Asphalt represents rateness, color, texture. Angel would refer to fit. I didn't want to be tomboy like a lot of UWP and bombshell feels a little too girly. I settled on fitted cuts that outline my shape but aren't as bodycon.  Do I hit this every time, nope, not even close. It does give me something to aspire to, and helps me to focus when I shop.

  • annagybe replied 4 years ago

    Honestly Rae, because I'm far more visual than wordy, this is how I see you

    http://www.boen.com/products/h.....g?bc=White

    Julie came up recently with Haute Zeitgeist for me. But otherwise I've never came up with a good descriptor for me. I guess this goes back to me being visual; show rather than tell.

  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

    Well UWP, though not my only style, really helps me focus and also derive max joy from my wardrobe by giving it a layer of feverish fantasy imagination. But I also associate it with visual images like your picture, ad given my reality I can no longer let it dictate my outfits. It's more like "how can I squeeze a little of this feeling into my day?"

  • deb replied 4 years ago

    I really never think of it except when we discuss it here.

  • Sara L. replied 4 years ago

    I think monikers are intensely personal and no one else is going to have quite the same feeling about your outfits as you do.  You have an image and feel in your head of 00Noir but we are all going to interpret it slightly differently, which may be why someone questions whether an outfit meets your moniker.

  • rae replied 4 years ago

    Mo, you touched on something here. Having a moniker isn't stressing me out, but I do think I partially wrote this post because it is just the tiniest bit stressful to put myself in a position where I am being questioned or warned for not sticking to a label. 

    Rachy, that is exactly what I was talking about... input vs. output. 

    Firecracker, yes, I can totally see why you brought it up with the boots. You were not the only one! And it did happen years ago, too, when I was a corporate bank employee and first decided to latch onto the UWP moniker. There was this feeling like I was not making the right choice or something and again I think it was an input output issue. 

    Shedev, I love Asphalt Angel for you!

    Anna, that's a great photo. I wonder if the kitty is bigger than he thinks, or if he is just a poseur?

    Una, that makes total sense. I feel a little bit the same, having to reflect my department first and myself second. 

    Sara, I guess that is the danger of publicly declaring, "I am X."

  • lyn* replied 4 years ago

    I remember wondering about spy style when I was younger, and remember my dad telling me that the best spies are the ones you don't notice. :p

  • shedev replied 4 years ago

    Maybe it takes some time for us to grow into our names.

  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

    This reminds me of declaring a major in college. Then you're stuck with questions like "why are you taking art history if you're premed?". The danger of labels! There is that semantic line between wanting to be kept on the defined path you've chosen yet not wanting to be confined by it. I questioned the boots because I'm still trying to get a sense of how rigid you want to be in your new description. There is a certain freedom in rigidity, just as with formal poetry. But don't let it stress you! Everyone's impression of your style moniker will be different anyway as you have said.

  • cciele replied 4 years ago

    Hm, are clothes the primary thing that make the moniker, or to flip it, is the moniker really a tool to help one develop one's wardrobe?

    And what happens when you strip away the clothes? I think you're left with attitude and the physical body. Attitude is hard to impart in photos. I wonder if someone dressed as 00Noir but projected an opposite attitude what that would come across as.

    I actually think I look like my moniker (rocker warrior) without clothes on, because of my hair and my musculature :) So in some sense it's hard for me not to look like my moniker. I have to try hard to look polished and elegant if I need to be like that.

  • Sylvie replied 4 years ago

    I think the moniker is just a tool to help make your wardrobe more functional and outfits more coherent.  Just like a rubric, it's another way to describe one's style goals.

    Case 1: Moniker helps you decide that accessory a goes better with outfit than accessory b.

    Case 2: Moniker makes you realize that since you want to keep a smaller wardrobe/stay within budget, these pieces of clothing are going to fit the moniker and these other ones aren't.

    But your moniker is allowed to change over time.  This summer, I'm feeling a particular set of colors and style persona.  Come fall, I might be feeling a different one.  Most of us don't flip back and forth between diametrically opposed personas, but gradually shift over time.  And that's how we get to have fun with fashion!

  • rae replied 4 years ago

    I guess it's just a frustrating feeling to think to myself, "How can I not be doing 00Noir right? I'm the one who made it up... " Maybe it really isn't the right moniker for me? 

  • replied 4 years ago

    I don't thing yer doin' it wrong, I think a style moniker can be a very personal thing to some people, and maybe just a shorthand casual thing to others. 00Noir means a very specific thing to you, and I think it is probably not what the general population thinks -- nothing wrong with that, but there seems to be a disconnect with what some people think about 00+ and Noir and your reading of the symbols. Your reading is obviously paramount but it might just be that until people grok it, they will be asking questions or trying to understand what it means to you! That is why symbols are tricky, because they are so arbitrary.

    Don't fret Rae, I think people just want the best for you and are trying to understand your new symbolism!

  • KeepTheKey replied 4 years ago

    A dedicated lurker here, coming out to put in my 2 cents :-) 

    I think style monikers and their purpose varies from person to person. For me, my sense of style is innate, and evolves over time. So when I say I'm a "Boho Rockstar Lumberjack", those are just the adjectives that best describe my current style preferences to other people. I don't really have to look at an item and ask myself "Does this fit into my idea of 'BohoRoLu'?". If I'm looking at it, and I like it, I'll make it fit into my wardrobe and play well with other pieces, even if others wouldn't perceive it as any of the above desciptors. And if others don't "get it", well, too bad. I don't have to justify what I like, or how it fits into my closet. 

    For some, monikers are an inspiration or jumping off point that helps them hone in on a particular style. That's also totally awesome, and a completely valid use for these wacky descriptive terms we come up with :-)

    Any way you slice it, no two people will imagine the same big picture (and maybe not even the same nuances) when presented with the same idea. So while 00Noir conjures up one thing for Rae, I probably get and entirely different idea in my head. And that's 100% okay :-) Questioning the details someone chooses to represent their moniker might where be where things get a bit dodgy. As long as these questions are being asked for clarification, or to help the poster more accurately represent what they want to show, I think it's all good. But if it's in a combative, "that's not how I envision 00Noir (as an example)" kind of way, then maybe one should hold off on their commentary. I guess what I'm saying is that both the original poster and the commenter should look at what's being said, and ask themselves where the question is coming from. A lot of stress can be avoided if we all take a moment to think before we speak.

    I like to think we can each benefit from monikers in different ways, and that we should all keep out minds open to how others may decide to utilize such an amazing tool!

    That turned out to be more than 2 cents worth, so I hope it wasn't too agonizingly to read :-) 

  • JulieJohn replied 4 years ago

    The moniker I aspire to is "Sedona Sister" which to me is a boho look that has desert colors and lots of textures. But I think I look more like Mrs. Santa most of the time, comfy and casual, just this side of sweats. :D

    Since I enjoyed your story here is mine: Sedona Sister is chic and relaxed as she drives her jeep through the red rock canyons. Her multicolored skirts swirl around her dusty boots. Later you will see her drinking chai at an outdoor cafe, with a dog napping beside her.

  • DonnaF replied 4 years ago

    Monikers and rubrics shouldn't be a source of stress!  Plus, I think they should be somewhat fluid since otherwise they will be a source of stress.  That being said, when an item becomes HOT on YLF, I think it is valuable to ask oneself whether the It Item makes sense in light of one's moniker/rubric. 

  • rae replied 4 years ago

    Thanks for commenting, KTK. :) I definitely don't want to start another debate over what kind of feedback is appropriate here. And I truly, truly know that no one is trying to tell me how to dress.

    Honestly, I think part of my angst is probably totally unrelated and due to the doctor weaning me off some medication... I have been feeling out of sorts for days, and for some reason it seriously threw me off balance to have to explain myself. Made me feel like a total moniker failure, lol. 

  • rae replied 4 years ago

    Donna, we posted at the same time. You make a very good point about them having to be fluid... my interpretation of UWP was pretty different from others, I think. But it worked for me for a long time. 

  • ManidipaM replied 4 years ago

    I think where a moniker helps a lot of people---and I wonder if this is true of you too as it is for me --- to narrow down the shopping choices because there is so much we are fascinated by that it gets overwhelming without a little corralling. In this case, the moniker is a touchstone. 00Noir can absolutely go on holiday or put her feet up---even a spy has to sort out her water supply and buy bread at 7-11 or whatever... but asking yourself if that is all she's doing may stop you from buying too many of her undercover looks, where she is dressing AS Mrs Robinson, Mr Real-Estate Tycoon, Ms Supermodel etc because oh playing dress-up is so much fun... till, wait, who am I dressing up as to get the milk today?!

    TL;DR --- the moniker is only meant to be restrictive enough to keep yourself in check because you have such a rich fantasy life and great empathy with style personas that you would not otherwise rule out enough looks to stay cohesive or within budget or at a preferred closet size etc.

  • Gaylene replied 4 years ago

    Labels, even ones we choose for ourselves, are tricky things. Do the labels describe us as we want to be seen by others--or the way we want to feel inside--or a target that we would like to achieve? Leaving aside any questions of how easy, or difficult, it is to find two or three nouns to sum up our personal sense of style, I also can't help but think any moniker would need multiple variations depending on what role we are inhabiting at any one time. The workplace UWP might look quite different than the date night one. And, just to further complicate the issue, none of us remain static; a moniker that suits me to a T today might not reflect the person I am tomorrow and my label might be more of a constraint than a help.

    It's fun to have a catchy label to sum up my style, but I'm also wondering if it is a bit risky to treat it too seriously.

  • froggiebecky replied 4 years ago

    I haven't been using monikers or descriptors long enough to see how it works in the long run, but so far I've gotten further with thinking about monikers than descriptors. I always aspired to a particular look, but I can't stand in a store and ask myself "Is this eclectic?" To me that's more in the styling and less inherent in the garment itself. But I CAN ask myself "Is it modern? Would an adventuress wear this?"  Jeans may not be eclectic, but an adventuress does need them. :) 

  • Cindy replied 4 years ago

    This thread is giving this newbie a headache! LOL I'm still trying to understand what these style descriptors are supposed to mean let alone figure out what mine are. I guess I think of my wardrobe purchases with the same attitude I have when it comes to decorating my home: If I buy the things that I am attracted to, the things that make me happy, then those things will go together to represent me.

  • Elly replied 4 years ago

    Cciele and Sylvie, I think you both made excellent points. I love Cciele's focus on stripping away clothing and fashion and leaving behind the person and I enjoyed Sylvie's clear cut examples explaining how a moniker or style persona can become a functional rubric.

    I never really found a moniker or style persona that fit me. In some ways I feel a bit like Anna in that I'm pretty intensly visual and the only fashion exercise on style persona I've ever successfully completed was mostly driven by my ability to explore my inspirations by posting a series on largely non-fashion photos.

    I also think I'm with Diana G. and IK on this one in that I have a bit of a "whatever" additude. I enjoy expressing myself through fashion, but my goal is normally to look like who I am. Part of that can come through with clothing choices, but I don't expect my clothes to do all the work. Often times, I find a fairly blank slate to be the best frame because I feel like my personality, disposition, and even lifestyle clearly shine through my posture, actions, words, body, ect.

    Basically when I get dressed I want to get dressed representing my authentic self, but I also don't feel the need to rely on clothes to speak for me. I don't want to look like something or someone I'm not, but if the rest of the world can't guess exactly who I am through my clothing (i.e. pick out my style persona) that is fine sometimes, because they will figure that out soon enough.

    I haven't posted on 00Noir, because I know I'm not understanding your image fully, but I will probably pick up on how you see that over time.

  • Elly replied 4 years ago

    I also enjoyed JulieJohn's description of the setting and activities her style persona conducts. I definitely can see myself trying to picture my "ideal" outfits for my environments and tasks I perform.

  • Jeanie replied 4 years ago

    I think of a moniker as fun inspiration, never a limitation. And it's mostly personal.  I could never pick just one.  I sometimes pick a new one daily.  I sum it up to being a Gemini.  Interesting discussion!

  • Lantana replied 4 years ago

    Rae, I do prefer a moniker to be as you describe, an "ephemeral aura". My own, secret moniker is so esoteric that noone else would appreciate the connotations it has for me. And because my style is developing any descriptor is of necessity ephemeral.

You need to be logged in to comment