Can we talk? I have been hesitant for years to talk about fashion in any authoritative manner. After all, although I’m a trained fashion designer, fashion is subjective and my point of view is just that. But hey, I’ve been teaching this stuff for 14 years, and as I look around me, I think we need to talk. Really talk.
So before we get too far into this discussion, let’s define a couple of terms. Here is what dictionary.com has to say: fashion defined and style defined. I am going to use fashion to refer to a bigger concept, and style to refer to the personal application of fashion. So that if I say “She is a great follower of fashion” you will know that I’m referring not only to currently fashionable styles, but the business, history, and world of clothing and dress, while if I said “She has great personal style” or, perhaps, “she showed no style whatsoever” you would know that I am referring to a particular individual’s application of fashion to their own clothing and dress.
I believe fashion and style can be transformative. Fashion can define a period of time (the Roaring 20s, the 60s, etc.) while style can change your day. How you dress yourself can change not only how you react to the world, but how the world reacts to you. So why have we abandoned style? If you think we haven’t, I challenge you to go out in public. Most people look dressed for doing housework (why?), not for going to a paying job or enjoying themselves. I am sometimes guilty of it too. Even though it really only takes a little longer to be fabulous, it doesn’t always seem like it is worth the effort.
When I ask, almost everyone has had the experience of having a day where they know they look good–and been distinctly aware of how differently it made them feel, and how that caused a different reaction back to them. So knowing that, why do we wear clothes that don’t fit, that don’t flatter us, and don’t make us feel fabulous? Why do we follow trends without editing and seek “comfort” over style?
Let’s talk about this. I think we’ve quit thinking about style (although as I watch people walking by my office on their way downtown for a Friday evening, I think there are times we remember), even as we follow fashion more closely than ever before. I’m practical, so don’t worry about this being a discussion that won’t work for you. I’ve been putting on my own style as long as I can remember, and while I have been wiling to go without meals and other things I wanted for a particular bit of fashion, it isn’t about money spent.
So stay tuned. I’ve dubbed Fridays “Fashion Fridays” and I’m going to talk about how to be fabulous.