The theme on the blog this week is style, a concept that is often perceived—in American culture, at least—as an accessory to life, if you will—as a bit of frippery, something nice to have but not really necessary, especially in tough economic times.

In fact, style is possibly more important when life presents challenges, because ultimately it’s an appreciation of life in the simplest sense. Style is an expression of beauty in the everyday—whether we’re talking about clothes, silverware, or computers, style heightens the mundane. Style makes life more enjoyable. What would the world look like if style didn’t matter? Like something out the worst nightmares of the Soviet era, or perhaps North Korea today—concrete block housing and dun-colored uniforms.