I admit that I go clothes shopping when I'm down or not feeling confident. I now realize that fashion plays a big role in my life, and serves many purposes.
Even as a history major I was exposed to fashion: the red coats of the British army during the American Revolution, the Sans Culottes (the poorer class in France who wore pantaloons instead of the popular culottes in the 1790s). I would have looked very poor in 18th-century France because I wouldn't be caught dead in culottes.
Now that Fashion Week is over, I wanted to list what fashion means to me:
Everyone has that outfit that gives them confidence. We all want to make that grand entrance into a room and own it.
The right threads can portray intelligence, funkiness, spontaneity, or whatever. Successful women use fashion to complement their personality. You can say a lot with the right shoes or crazy accessory.
Fashion is a visual way to exercise your right to choose. It's easy to take this freedom for granted when you're picking out whatever you want to wear every day. I went to one of the few private schools in Baltimore that didn't mandate uniforms, and the kids at the other schools used to envy us for our right to choose our clothes every day.
Fashion accentuates beauty. Fashion, itself, is also beautiful. So, one might aim to adorn themselves with a beautiful print, material, texture, or shape (cut). It can work hand-in-hand with your natural looks to create a statement.
I remember when a girl at work dyed her hair and another girl at the office said it was "the only way she could change because she wants to break up with her boyfriend but she can't." Hopefully most of us don't change our look for that kind of depressing reason, but fashion does provide another lever to pull if you want change in your life. You can change your style any time by cutting your hair or revamping your look.
From Marilyn Monroe to James Dean to Madonna, people have used fashion to create a persona and attitude. Are you someone who kicks butt in leather and fur, or are you a preppie? I like to mix my looks: part preppie, part hipster (I suppose). And, of course, there are always those looks that we wish we could pull off but don't have the attitude to make it work.
It's never a good idea to go over the top to get attention through fashion but if you can pull it off by rocking an amazing look that everyone loves, then you've got it. I've always wanted to be one of those people that get their picture taken on the street (the Street Style genre). People on blogs comment on them: "Absolutely stunning." I could never pull that off.
Do you agree with my list, and how do you use fashion? What does fashion mean to you?