I haven’t always been enthralled with fashion or style or whatever you want to call it. As a matter of fact, I used to be a Northface, Choco-wearing, jeans girl, a kind of clothing cruise control person in my way of thinking. Eventually I started fully driving my own car.
First off I want to say that abandoning the cruise control, uniform approach to fashion is a little dangerous. The way is hazardous. It’s feels like a free fall. Takes some getting used to. It is not for the risk averse. But the results are beautiful.
I learned that loving fashion doesn’t mean you always put together the most finished looking outfit. There were days I left my house feeling fabulous, knowing I was a camera magnet and as the day dragged on I realized that I was anything but. I was a threat to good taste. But here is the point: I had to go there to get here.
Being willing to risk the unfashionable is a first step to becoming stylish or as I like to say, “who you really are.” This cannot be ignored, stepped over, or skipped. It’s as axiomatic as the law of gravity. You have to make mistakes. It’s essential to ANY process. Not making mistakes is like not putting eggs in a cake because you’re worried you might get shell in the batter. You just have to risk it. It’s what makes it rise. It’s what makes it fluffy. It’s what creates texture and shape.
I don’t consider my journey to sartorial-dom anywhere near finished, but I do feel that over the past year I’ve learned a couple of lessons. The biggest one is that quality matters. Say it out loud with me, “Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y M-A-T-T-E-R-S!”
Places such as forever 21 lure us in with their shiny floors and trendy lighting, distracting our good sense away from noticing that the seams in their clothes look like a sixth grade boy sewed them while blindfolded. I’ll be the first to admit, I Paris have fallen for this dirty trap. I mean who isn’t drawn to that pink polyester polka dotted top with a Peter Pan collar that’s only $15?!
After several of those purchases I found myself…
1. feeling physically uncomfortable. Maybe the fabric was itchy or the shoulders didn’t allow for me to lift my hands above me head.
2. Disappointed because they were trendy purchases and they became old news to me in a matter of weeks.
3. Going back to buy more attempting to find something that would complete my look.
“Buy less, choose well.” Vivienne Westwood (English fashion designer, businesswoman and all around GAWWD of dressing the female form.)
Once while I was hanging clothes back in stock with my manager, Brianna Lamberson, we were talking about fashion (because we’re sort of slightly addicted) and she turned around, looked me dead in the eye and said, “Paris, when your poor you can’t afford cheap.” This stuck with me.
Recently, I went on a fashion “diet” which entailed the harsh guidelines of no purchasing of any clothes for a month. It was probably one of the most painful things that I have ever done. And if you’re just as addicted as me you know I’m not exaggerating. During the “diet” I lost a considerable amount of “weight” and found out many things about my closet, the most prevalent one was that I lacked clothes in my closet that could support my lifestyle. I lacked clothing that I could put together in multiple ways and still feel comfortable and put together.
When the diet finally ended, I was READY TO SHOP! Even though my sister pointed out that I was kind of missing the point, I beg to differ.
I learned that I gather more enjoyment from shopping when it’s not a habit, but a treat. I also learned that when choosing clothing I need to..
1. Choose clothing that’s comfortable.
2. Make sure the piece fits perfectly…even if it’s only slightly too tight and 75% off.
3. Double check that I’m buying for me and not buying for a lifestyle I wish I had (as in ten pairs of stilettos)
And if you forget all of these guidelines just remember one: Think about it!