Fashion can be intimidating. All those magazines, runways, stores with one-sized mannequins showing the latest, newest, hippest clothing on a 17 year old model with 12% body fat and no boobs. How are you ever supposed to create a style that works for you when you can't find images that you see yourself in?
Here's a couple of suggestions to help clear the way for you:
Take it piece by piece Many times I'll see an outfit in a picture or shop and think, ooh, I love that jacket, or those shoes, sweater, etc. I may dislike what they put with it, and might tend to dismiss it as something I would never wear. Instead I try to focus on that one piece that I love.
Ask some questions:
What is it that drew me to it? The shape, the color, the print (no, print and pattern are not dirty words!) the feel of the fabric, the feeling I got inside when I saw it? Whatever the reason, I use that as my starting point.
What do I have in my wardrobe that I can wear it with? Recently I saw a blazer that I really liked. It was navy blue with burgundy and gold stripes, fitted, totally preppy and absolutely not my style. But, nonetheless, there was something about it that really appealed to me. I started thinking about what I had in my closet that would make this fit into my wardbrobe and be a piece that I wore regularly. Hmmm, I have those really dark indigo skinny jeans that would work, and I have those funky ecru ankle boots that would keep the outfit from making me look like I was trying to get into Harvard at the age of 54. I also have some basic tees that would be nice and a few button down shirts for a more professional look. Not to mention I was looking for a reason to buy a pair of burgundy jeans. Bonus!
This thought process took me a couple of days. Usually, if a piece is in my comfort zone, something that I know I would wear without hesitation, is in my budget, and something that I love, I'll buy it on the spot. Because this piece did not fit that description, I needed to go through my wardrobe and make sure that it could work and that I would feel good wearing it before I purchased it.
Trends are not just for the young. Metallics are in this season. My 19 year old daughter and I might like the same silver metallic jacket, but we cannot wear it the same way. She can wear it with lace shorts and ankle boots, I can wear it with a pencil skirt and heeled ankle boots or pumps. She can wear it with distressed ripped up jeans, I can wear it with dark, competley undistressed jeans. It's not the piece, it's what you put it with.
If you don't love it, don't buy it! When I owned my store, this was my number one rule. Don't let someone convince you to buy something. If they have to convince you, it is not right for you and you are not going to wear it. My store has been closed for three years now and I still run into customers who say "Laurie, I miss your store so much! Everything in my wardrobe that I love is from your store." Why? Because if they didn't love it, I didn't let them buy it!! Don't worry about hurting the sales person's feelings. If she was doing her job, she would be selling you something that you feel fabulous in, not trying to get a sale at any cost by selling you something that does not work for you.
Fashion is about you, not the "experts." Fashion is like a puzzle to me. It's about buying and wearing different pieces that you love and creating an outfit makes you feel beautiful, sexy, confident, comfortable, whimsical, or whatever emotion you want to express on any given day. Fashion is about figuring out who you are and what you like and showing it to the world. What's so scary about that?
So, what are your biggest fashion fears? How do you feel about pushy sales people? Are you open to stepping a bit out of your comfort zone?
Also, if there are topics on fashion that you'd like to hear about let me know and I'll do my best to address them!