How can someone who sells clothes be against Fashion?
Let's start with a couple of definitions
Fashion - Trends set by big businesses to help them sell clothes
Style - How I present myself. Doesn’t follow trends, more dress-how-I-feel
The fashion industry thrives on setting trends, and changing them as much as possible. This quick change of trend forces followers to continuously purchase more clothes to stay ‘on top of the current trends’.
I have been to the conferences and sat in the meetings. An exclusive group of people are able to define the trend movement from one season to another. They disseminate the information to the appropriate brands during the annual conference and brands follow the advice of the exclusive group. These people determine what people will wear, how they will look, and how good they will feel wearing it.
Fashion is for followers. It fuels the egos of the people who buy into its one-look-fits-all mentality. If someone has the latest pair of pants, then they are On Trend, and somehow look better than everyone else. Unfortunately, it is only a short time when that pair of pants is old and you need to pick up the next trending pair to continue feeling good about yourself.
That’s bullshit, and expensive! I don’t want to wear clothes that are an expression of how someone else thinks I should look. No thank you!
Ignoring Fashion trends and having a personal Style is much simpler. I get to wake up in the morning and dress how I feel THAT DAY. Sometimes I feel like being bright pink, and other days I want to blend into the crowd so I choose dark blues, greys and black. No matter what I choose for the day, it is my expression of myself, It doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else.
We all know someone that loves shoes, or hats, or jackets, or jeans. I don’t need someone else telling me what to wear. I want to wear what is comfortable, and wear the things that make me feel good THAT DAY. I want to express myself with color, shape and feel. I want to inspire myself to create something fun every morning.
How many times have you had this conversation:
You: Wow, I like that Jacket!
Friend: Thank you! I got it at Nieman’s. It is [X] brand. I saw it on this celebrity and thought it was cute. When I saw it in my size I HAD to have it. I probably paid too much for it, but don’t you love it?
Name-dropping stores, brand-dropping, mentioning how much you paid and how popular it is for celebrities are all facts, but it doesn’t say ANYTHING about your friend other than the fact that they enjoy paying high prices to follow someone else.
Here’s another conversation:
You: Wow, I like that shirt!
Friend: Thank you for noticing! I love pink, and I wanted just a splash today.
The first friend acknowledges that you saw their high-priced high-fashion item and tells you more about how exclusive it is so they can feel better. The second person takes your compliment personally. That pink shirt is a reflection of how they feel that day. Acknowledging their personal choices is much more impactful than the first.
Have you ever been in the situation where you have thought all night about a specific item that you will wear the next day. Maybe it is a pin, or a shirt with a popped collar, or a pair of pants that make you feel amazing. You woke up, and got dressed specifically around this item. When you were about to leave your bedroom, you second guessed yourself. Something felt strange. You worried if people may not like the item? You wondered if it was ‘too much’ for where you were going? Maybe you were scared to stand out too much? So, you changed into something that ‘blended’ with what everyone else is wearing. Sighed silently to yourself and left the bedroom in something ‘blendy’.
I know this defeated feeling too well, and I end up regretting it all day. Every time.
Have you ever succeeded in conquering those ‘demons’ and wore the thing you wanted to wear, despite all the negative thoughts? It is scary at first, but through the day you get more and more comfortable expressing yourself this way in public. I LOVE the feeling at the end of the day that I have succeeded in expressing myself through my clothes. I feel satisfied, and I feel like I’ve done myself a service. I feel proud of myself.
If you haven’t conquered those demons, I highly recommend continuing the battle. You aren’t alone and if you start small and work your way up, you will do it.
I make it a habit to compliment what people are wearing regularly. You never know what mental struggle someone had when getting dressed. I can always tell the difference between the ‘Fashionista’ and the person who dressed deliberately as an expression of themselves. I can see it on people’s faces when I compliment what they are wearing and it is part of them. Their eyes light up in a very special way.
You have heard me on videos saying: "Wear something small for yourself every day. Pop a collar, wear a pin, roll up your sleeves, pick a new color. If you see your friends doing it, give them a compliment, tell them you love them". I always practice what I preach. You never know how someone may have struggled to be themselves in the morning.
So, Fuck Fashion. Fuck it for taking away the individual accomplishments. Fuck it for making people believe they will be happier with trendy clothes. Fuck fashion for making people believe they need to purchase specific items to feel good about themselves. Fuck it for being an industry of rich elitists. And, Fuck the brands that perpetuate this whole thing.
I have a personal style. I choose what to wear every day based on how I feel THAT DAY. I compliment my friends that do the same. I create a circle of kindness, empathy, and encouragement for people to blossom with their personal style and self-expression.