Are You Doubting Your Fashion Style? I Used To.
There are days when I doubt my style. This happens not because I do not like what I wear or how I style it. It happens because people make off-the-shoulder comments about my styling choices. The comments are not offensive, but they do make me feel like I am failing. I hope, my dear reader, you are not in the same boat; but if you are, I hope my post can be helpful.
The criticism I get is somewhat routine. Co-workers occasionally judge my color combinations or dislike for my bold shoe choices. I think the comments are not mean-spirited and instead highlight my bold fashion sense. Nevertheless, the comments make me feel uneasy.
Judging is nothing new. Most people judge others without giving it much thought. We make mental notes about what others wear, how they look, what they eat, and so on. We do not comment, but we make a judgment that in turn guides our interactions with them.
"Despite our best efforts, we all judge others. It might be over small things, like a co-worker who took too long of a lunch break. Or it might be over bigger issues, such as a person who behaves selfishly or hurts our feelings. " 10 Reasons Stop Judging People by Barbara Markway.
Unfortunately, I am not perfect either. I make mental notes about what people wear and how they style. I cannot help but identify the problem areas that need improvement. And I am not talking about color choices. I focus on a bigger picture: whether the cut is right or an item works for a body type.
My friends often ask me for advice, and I am happy to give one. Whenever I offer my ideas, I take into account many variables like lifestyle, budget, workplace, and personal preferences. I try to be constructive, positive, and useful with my feedback.
As I strive to make my feedback useful, not everyone else does the same. The comments that I hear are useless. They do nothing except make me feel a little bit disappointed and sad.
Recently, I was surfing the web for new fashion/style books to read. I needed some inspiration. I purchased Advanced Style: Older & Wiser book by Ari Seth Cohen. The book offers endless fashion and style inspirations. It is a collection of short bios about people in their 60ies, 70ies, 80ies, and 90ies. And they all passionately love fashion!
It took me only three days to read; every bio was captivating. The wisdom and experience that they all offer is priceless. The book inspired me! It gave me a new perspective and a fresh take on fashion. From now on, I am in charge of my style, and only I get to make decisions about it. No one else!
"I want/wish to be more colorful, I want to be more playful, I want to be more creative, I want to be more courageous. It all starts with the attitude - the attitude of gratitude" Debra Rapoport, Advance Style at p. 68.
Style and fashion have no age limit, no rules, and no restrictions. I need to trust myself and wear what I love and feel passionate about. I will no longer be affected by off-the-shoulder statements that offer no constructive feedback. I will follow MY heart.
There is one critical element that I noticed looking through all the photos in the book. Garments that I saw were of high quality. They were original and unique. Items like that do not come cheap or easy to find. Being a fashion addict, I know that quality and unique designs are pricy, but they do contribute significantly to any outfit.
When I said: they do not come cheap, I meant a few things. The first one is the price. Obvious, right? The second is the cost of caring for such items. All beautiful things require time, proper care, tailoring, and careful wear.
As I was pondering about my situation and the book, I thought of three fundamental rules to follow no matter what your style:
Purchase quality: Quality of your garments plays a critical role in an ensemble. An expertly cut and tailored dress will do wonders regardless of shape, pattern, color or style.
Take care of your clothes: Caring for your wardrobe pieces is a must. Even the most expensive items, will not look as impressive if they are not properly cleaned, stored, or worn with care. Do not think that the price tag buys you everlasting beauty.
Be you: Find your personal style that makes you happy. Fashion is exciting and fun so you should not limit yourself to what others around you wear. Be bold and not afraid to stand out. Guess what? Fashion takes guts!
"I believe that one must always find one's style and be true to it. Clothes are important as they tell the world who you are and your philosophy on life." Mme. Manuela Muguerza y Garcia-Moreno, Advanced Style at p. 55
I decided, from now on, to wear what I want and how I want it. I will no longer doubt myself and will enjoy the outfits I create. What will I do next time I hear comments about my styling? I am not sure, but I will not be affected by them. I will hold my head high.
My last piece of advice: do not listen to others. Be you, wear what you like, and create your style. Life is not about being the same as the rest. Life is about diversity, color, experiences, and bold choices.