I talk to a lot of women about fashion…A LOT! One thing I often hear is how much they hate fashion magazines, fashion models, the process of shopping, and the fashion industry in general.
I get it. I really do.
The fashion industry depends on our insecurities in order to make a profit. It NEEDS us to be sad and uncomfortable with ourselves, and it often succeeds in making us feel that way! That is one of the uglier sides of the industry. The fashion industry NEEDS you to believe that if you just had that dress, you’d be more acceptable; if you just wore that lipstick, you’d be prettier; that jacket you bought last month - oh yeah, that’s old news; you would be more successful if you had those shoes… I could go on and on. I have a degree in fashion and years of experience which have given me a firm understanding of how it all works, and I am here to tell you that there is a way around it! You see, the answer lies in knowing yourself! When you know which colors look best on YOU, who cares what the “it” color is? When you understand your body shape and proportions and learn to embrace them, the latest fads mean nothing to you…unless one happens to be exactly right for YOU. When you know your unique style personality, you know exactly which retailers carry items that are suited to you and which ones to avoid. Knowing these things puts you in the driver’s seat! In the coming weeks, I am going to pick apart some of these concepts to give you, dear reader, a better understanding of how it all works, And it is not just a process for women! This all applies to the men in our lives as well.
For now, though, let’s discuss how to look at fashion. Every season, there are new designs floated in front of us on beautiful creatures, all meant to entice us to let go of our money. Many women see these images and think “I could never look like her. I don’t have that __________________ (fill in the blank: body, hair, skin, height, etc.).” And so, feeling defeated, they just quit looking altogether. What if I told you, however, that there is a less emotional way to look at fashion each season? It’s really not so hard either. It just takes a bit of practice. It is merely re-training the eye and mind.
So, what does this re-training entail?
Well, you must train your eye to pick apart the image you are seeing. You must divorce your feelings from what the mind sees and see with the eye instead. Many years ago, I taught art classes to children and this was a skill I taught them as we learned to evaluate art and learned to draw. They needed to learn to look at what they were actually “seeing,” not what they thought they were seeing. One must learn to quiet the mind and its critical opinions in order to get down to what is really being shown so that we can make use of the visuals.
Take the example I have created below:
In this photo, three of the top trends for Spring 2021 are depicted.
· Strong Shoulders
· All-Over Prints
When I look at these models, I am looking for similarities between the photos
(i.e., what fashion elements are repeated on the models). I am NOT, however,
looking at the models themselves. I do not actually care what the ladies themselves look like. They are not me and do not represent me, so they are merely “hangers” for the clothes. When you look at fashion, train yourself to ONLY look at fashion…the clothes. Then, ask yourself, does this work for me…my figure type, style personality, coloring, lifestyle, etc. For example, from the above example, personally, I can get extremely excited about the suiting trend, as I love the structured drama of a well-cut suit. The strong shoulders completely satisfy my dramatic style personality, but at six feet tall and having a large bone structure, I know I am going to need to scale them back a bit or risk looking like a linebacker. The all-over print, however, does not get me excited much at all, as I really do prefer the minimalism of solids on myself. So I might need to imagine what that trend would look like for me and would I even WANT to incorporate that into my wardrobe. If so, how would I do it? A dress perhaps? A blazer? At the end of the day, it's my choice because I understand myself and I am in charge of my style.
Let me reiterate once again, however, that I never consider the models themselves or how THEY look in the clothes. I am thinking of how these styles would suit me and/or my clients. I am drilling down into what is actually being shown, NOT the illusion being created. Fashion is, after all, mostly smoke and mirrors meant to entertain and arouse our imagination. That is why I do not fear it and encourage you to not fear it either. The fashion industry is remarkably like theater. Nothing is quite what it appears to be and there is an element of art in the presentation of fashion.
So, my fashionable follower, what are your thoughts about fashion? Are you ready and willing to re-train your eyes and mind? Pop a comment below and let me know your thoughts or send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your thoughts!