On one of my other blogs, a reader noted that I wore black to a recent wedding. She believed that wearing black stated that you were not in favor of the marriage.
During a recent chat on the website for a prominent paper, a contributor asked why fashion right now is all billowing maternity-inspired fashion when men are more attracted to fashion that shows the figure.
Two weeks ago, I sported white pants with black shoes and top to work and had a coworker comment that she thought the rules still applied that white was reserved for between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
I had a reader the other day email me and ask me what foundation she should wear since she looks ghastly in yellow yet feels the need to wear it since it is in fashion this season.
This weekend a friend was getting married. While she was getting her hair done, the flower girls were being entertained by a children’s program on the television. I sat down and watched with the kids as that I had nothing to do at the time but wait. The episode was about rules. The puppets admitted they didn’t have any rules in their life and it was causing conflict and trouble. They learned what rules were and starting making rules right and left, believing more rules was better. If something is good, wouldn’t a large quantity make it great? They soon realized that having too many rules made their life no longer fun. They were tired, frustrated, confused by the rules. They soon learned to keep only the rules that made things run smoothly so all had fun.
This children’s show applies to fashion. We have gone through periods in America where fashion was dictated by dozens of rules. No white after Labor Day, patent leather only for day time, your shoes must match your purse, older women need to cut their hair, overweight women wear dark billowy fabrics to discourage attention, shimmery makeup is left to those under 25, black and red worn at weddings shows that you do not support the union, and black should always be worn to a funeral.
If you were purchasing a new refrigerator, you would do your homework. Out comes issues of Consumer Reports, neighbors would be asked about their recent buys, and often a few Internet searches would be conducted. You would enter the store armed with your information, ready to make an educated purchase. The same applies to most any purchase for your home. Even paint – you often look at catalogs and pamphlets seeing how color choices match with floor and furniture colors and get inspired from shows on HGTV and home-decorating periodicals.
The reason you do this homework is because there are so many options out there. Not everyone has a blue living room and a green kitchen, you can have any color you desire, and the options of wallpaper, borders, paint techniques, moldings and trim. If you find the options fun, you may get more creative with the colors or textures. If you find it overwhelming, you may stick with a basic or replicate a picture you saw in a book. Well, fashion is the same way. Yes, there are trends just as there are in home décor (remember avocado-hued appliances?), but there are always the standards, and there are always enough choices to find something that works just for you.
Just as everyone is now wearing babydoll tops and skinny jeans, so is everyone getting oak cabinets with green granite countertops and stainless appliances. But every so often, people choose white appliances, a modern look, restore old farmhouse kitchen cabinets or go Green with recycled countertops. Same with fashion. No need to follow the trends to the letter if they do not suit your shape, age or personal style.
You are the most fantastic story ever written. Your childhood, your education, your travels, your passions and hobbies. No one else has a story quite like yours. If you were to be published, you would desire a book jacket that illustrated your story well, so people would understand the plot just from the cover photo and the few paragraphs of text on the back. Well clothing is your book jacket. A simple cover shows class and elegance and invites those who like to read to delve in and learn more. A bright and colorful jacket informs potential readers that the story will be vibrant, unique and artistic. A photo in soft focus with delicate colors infers that the story is romantic, feminine and a bit mysterious. Think about your hobbies, your passions, your dreams. They are what make you the amazing person you are.
Clothing is a necessity in this society, there are certain rules regarding work, formal events, religious occasions, but few enough rules to still have fun. Like those moppets on that show, you need to understand the rules that are in place so all can enjoy this existence, and the rules that really just cause a headache and are superfluous. Do your homework, as you would for anything. A wardrobe should last you as long as many home appliances and furniture you purchase. You obviously already own clothing or else you are reading this from your bedroom swathed in your sheets. Point is, don’t rush into clothing just as you wouldn’t rush into purchasing a car or lawn mower. Don’t add to the collection unless it’s right – it’s better to stick for now with what you have and dislike than to spend money on things that will be added to the dislike pile. When you have the time and money and mentality to go shopping, remember who you are. Take photos and magazine clippings to inspire you and be true to yourself, inside and out.