It’s Fashion Week in NYC, that magical time of year when designers trot out their new looks for the upcoming year and everyone who is anyone descends into Manhattan to get a peek (not to mention, get photographed sitting along the runway, maybe rubbing elbows with Heidi Klum). I like Fashion Week because I love the pictures that come out of those shows- the models, the lighting, the clothes, (the cats) – it’s art, it really is. But, in my day to day life, I am pretty much the least fashionable person around.
Not everyone is into fashion. It’s tough. You have to have money to keep up with what’s new for each season, you have to know what’s IN and what’s OUT, and you can’t wear the same thing too many times. Plus, you really have to be aware of your body and what looks good on you. Not everyone is going to look as awesome wearing a gorgeous dress as the 5’11”, size 00 model. They just aren’t. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t look good in your everyday life, no matter what your fashion education or financial constraints.
I’m a jeans and tees girl. I have been for pretty much my entire life- there is a vast array of photographical evidence in the spare room at my parents’ house. It’s just what I’m comfortable in and I don’t care who knows it. And, when I feel the most comfortable, that’s when I feel like I look the best. I also try to wear more ‘trendier’ versions of jeans/tees. I don’t go around just wearing any old tee, I like a good v-neck. I also like to layer and add accessories to make me feel more feminine. Long necklaces, watches, blazers, cardigans…I can layer like nobody’s business. I always know I can add my favorite pair of black heels, or in the summer, wedges. I also, on occasion, dress up, like really dress up (little secret, I actually really like dressing up once in a while, it makes me feel awesome) and it also doesn’t mean I never switch it up. I get gussied up for professional events, I get gussied up on holidays, I get gussied when I’m feeling blue.
It took me a while to get to a point where I was comfortable with my own style and learned not to care about what I perceived to be others’ opinions of my wardrobe. It’s a big step for women, to be ok in their skin and their clothing. I’m not the girliest of girls, but I can be girly when I want to be. It used to make me self-conscious, especially when I would see my roommates getting all dolled up to go to 8AM classes. Or, when I felt that I was seriously underdressed because my friends all wanted to wear skirts/dresses and I didn’t get the memo. Or care enough to change my outfit instead of adding on to the one I had already been wearing (that whole easy day to night look, I like that look). Being semi-sort of ready for anything is a big deal for me, especially when I lived in a big city where walking was a huge part of my day. That’s not to say I was all Megan-in-Bridesmaids, but I like to know my outfit won’t hold me back from new adventures.
Finding my fashion boundaries was a big step to adulthood for me. Figuring out how low I wanted my v-neck or scoop cut shirt to fall, how sexy I could make something while still feeling like I wasn’t crossing a line into too, too sexy. How to dress flirty, how to dress when I need to be conservative and taken seriously and, most importantly, how to flaunt what I have and not worry about what I do not have. (I’m not gonna lie to you, I know when my boobs look good).
Someone may not like my outfit, but if I’m comfortable and I think I look good (and the mirror thinks I look good too…it’s highly critical, so I trust it) then I really don’t care what other people may think.
How can you find your own fashion boundaries? It’s simple, start with what you know you like, and move on from there little by little. Changing your look can be drastic, or it can be simple additions to what you already work with. I recently started experimenting with tall heeled boots, after I found some that fit my calves. Figuring out your own version of sexy or risque or flirty can go a long way in how you view yourself. You don’t want to go around looking like a ‘ho (or maybe you do, whatever floats your boat) but, you also can’t let other people’s opinions form too much of your own identity.