Hey, What’s Your Style?

Edmund Sandoval works, writes and lives in Portland, Oregon. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing and Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

I’ll be honest, I’m far from a fashionista. Though I went to art school and have lived in some of this country’s bigger and hipper cities for close to a decade (Chicago and Portland), I can be found sporting the same clothing lineup each week: gray pants, dark shirts, heavy canvas work boots, black and red plastic framed glasses. The week ends and I shuffle up the lineup, while maybe throwing in a brighter shirt if the mood strikes me. Believe it or not, this is a step up for me as far as sartorial decisions and me go. For years I wore thrift store finds and my dad’s old shirts and suit jackets. When I worked as a contractor, I’d wear the same paint stained pants to the grocery store that I would to the job. So, you see, things have improved, if only slightly.

This is not to say that I don’t care what I look like when I choose my wardrobe. In fact, that would be quite the opposite of the truth. My look, dark, reserved, fairly slimly cut, says a lot about my personality, as well as my line of work. It also serves to broadcast to the world the kind of person I am. That is to say, I’m a serious, reserved, no fuss kind of guy.

The clothes that occupy my closets and dresser drawers tell a story. My story. I’m a writer – of fiction, of essays, of copy for my employers. My personal trove is literary; it’s polished to a high gloss, worked over and over until it’s just right. Those years when I was in art school were given to pursuing and achieving a graduate degree in creative writing and since then I’ve been publishing stories in journals of all stripes for the past four years My end goal is to one day have a book (or two, or three). As a professional writer, I also give my all by churning out ideas and work that will do my company proud, that will separate it and its products from the fray. It’s both an obsession and a compulsion (the things need to get written, after all!) that I have no problem relentlessly pursuing.

Now, do you see all of this when you pass by me on the street? Probably not, I’d wager to guess. Yet, if you did pass me, what would you see? I’ll tell you. A studious looking young man who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time on his clothes but can transition from the office to nearly anywhere without any hassle. My look and style also tells you that I’m not a kid anymore, that I’m not sifting through the bargain bins. It says that I’m serious without donning a suit and that I’m relaxed without having to rely on denim. It’s who I am. No fuss, no hassle, no problem.

So, I’ve got to ask: what’s your style?

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