August 1, 2008

The True Fashionista

I often use the term "True Fashionista” on this blog when discussing how some trends (white shoes, visible lingerie, etc.) works for no one but this select few. Many of you have written me asking me what makes one a True Fashionista.

The True Fashionista…
… Understands, accepts and embraces her entire figure – bust, hips, height… you name it.

…Already knows how to accentuate her positives and also knows very well what those positives are.

…The only time she curses her reflection is when she notices a stain on her shirt or a run in her hose.

…Never searches magazines and the ‘Net for information on which haircut or glasses shape best suits her face shape.

…Knows she is fabulous in her own way, and even strangers are fully aware of how fabulous she is.

…When friends describe her, they can immediately describe her sense of style – a typical look, a signature accessory, a uniform of sorts (even if she changes inspirations and genres on a daily basis).

…Even if her tastes are 180 degrees the opposite of theirs, friends will always come to her for fashion and design advice.

…She doesn’t need this blog.

In essence, if you are reading this blog, you usually are here looking for style advice. If you are seeking style advice, you don’t fit into the True Fashionista category, and many of the zany, artsy and funky fashions will not carry off well on your person.

Don’t be upset or frustrated by me stating this; most of us women (myself included!) are NOT True Fashionistas, and will never be in our lifetime. We all can’t be award-winning journalists, coveted interior decorators, brilliant painters, or Oscar-worthy actresses. Fashion is an art form, and like an art form to be successful with it you need a combination of proper training and born-with-it talent.

One can be a wonderful painter with proper training and examination of one’s work; one can have a beautifully decorated home with some research of design books and Web sites; one can possess fabulous style without being born with the True Fashionista gene.

Style can be learned by understanding yourself, accepting yourself and the life that you lead. Researching, observing, trial and error will help you find your personal style. This doesn’t mean you will someday be able to sport snakeskin trousers, rockabilly chic, boho chic, or even leggings; but this doesn’t mean that you can’t be an utterly stylish and polished woman.

Fashion and Style are not synonymous and style can be achieved by every woman, regardless of figure, age, budget, lifestyle or how many years she has been wearing elastic-waist pleated polyester trousers. As with any other art form, it is possible to learn it and to understand it – and there is such beauty and talent in various levels of the craft.

Your first piano recital may have been the most beautiful sound you and your parents had ever heard; after five more years of lessons and practice you may laugh at or be embarrassed by that simple song you tripped over at that initial performance. That doesn’t make that first recital piece any less beautiful – it was beautiful because you took a first step. You practiced, you found something you felt relatively comfortable with, and you brought it to the public. You learned from it – tempo, how to better hold your hands, what style of music that seems to be a best fit for you and from it you grew. The same holds true for personal style. Making slow changes to your look is beautiful – no one expects you to become a virtuoso overnight, and not everyone can be Chopin… but everyone can find what works for them and bring a bit more beauty to them and to this world. Enjoy the journey and be proud of how far you have come!

5 comments:

  1. This is a terrific post! (I had to de-lurk to tell you.) I read on another site comments from people who were very upset about the "What to Toss" article you wrote, but I think you hit the nail on the head with both articles. I love how you are so supportive of getting every woman to accept herself as she is, and make changes to look her very best. I actually have a very different style from you, but love your writing and your spirit so much, I can't stop reading. :-) Thanks for all the effort you put into your blogs! --Jennifer

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  2. Allie, what an honest post. Fashion, like life, is a journey, and if you own your style and "voice" it without regard to current trends or other people's opinions, you are a genuine fashionista. Kind of like the redneck jokes, "If you have worn a pink polo shirt with the collar -- and nose -- turned up for twenty years, you might be a true fashionista."

    Love your style, Allie!

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  3. Hi Allie. Thanks for being an upstanding blogger. Your blog always exudes honesty.

    Fashion, like life, is a journey, but a true fashionista charges full speed ahead without looking back.

    In the same vein as "you might be a redneck," "If you have worn a pink Polo shirt with the collar turned up with pearls for twenty years, you might be a true fashionista."

    A true fashionista owns it without regard to current trends or evals of others. "Confidence" is her middle name.

    We love your style, Allie.

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  4. I am totally clueless about what to wear and your blog has been a huge help. I don't know if you might have time to answer my question but I thought I would be bold and ask:

    I am in my mid-30's and I am re-entering the workforce. I have amassed what I think is a pretty decent start for a collection of basics. I think I won't embarrass myself now, but I am totally missing the mysterious thing called you call "style". My wardrobe looks very bland - mostly flat front trousers and button down shirts. I am worried about looking too severe. I was wondering if you might have any suggestions to add some sparkle and visual interest?

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  5. I would say reading style blogs means you aren't a True Fashionista...

    Fashion is interesting and always changing...it is interesting to see what people dish as advice that can be shared. And if you're lucky, you find one that quotes Coco Chanel!

    Although it is oddly perplexing that a blog as good as yours still finds people dressing horribly :)

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