Thursday, March 5, 2015

What is fashion?**

I love fashion. Let me clarify -- I love "MY" fashion. I like to dress up, I like to mix and match colors,  I like the classics, I like the futuristic, I like quality fabrics, and I love accessories (hats, gloves, purses, jewelry, etc.). My favorite color is wedgewood blue and I love tailor made clothes -- mainly because I don't like seeing 10 of the same dress (the one I might be wearing at the time) at the same party. But most of all, I like to look nice. I don't always look as nice as I would like -- when I head into work, I throw on grubby clothes to ride the bus or train and then change into nice clothes at work (mainly because I'm afraid of sitting in gum on a bus seat or breaking a heel on the train platform). But for the most part, I like to look good for me, not anyone else, but for me. I like my body, my face, my mind and my personality and wouldn't change a hair on my head (well, maybe the gray ones). In fact, I think I'm lovely. That isn't conceit, its self appreciation.

But what I don't appreciate is other people telling me what the word "fashion" means. Just look at the cover of any magazine on the newsstand at the grocery store or street corner.

"Blue is the new black"*
"Mini skirts are 'in' again"*
"Big hair is making a comeback"*
"Slim down so you too can wear the fashionable catsuit"*
"If you aren't wearing leggins this fall, you are wrong"*
and on, and on, and on …

Who the Hell gets to decide what my fashion looks like? Vogue? Cosmo? WWD? Elle? New York Fashion Week? I don't know about you but I consider myself relatively intelligent. I would give a woman that "look" if she tried to tell me how to do my day-to-day job at my office. Who does she think she is telling me how to do my job? Bitch, I know how to do my job -- I wouldn't actually SAY that, but I would definitely give her the "look" that implied precisely that! And yet, we allow the people who produce fashion magazines, websites, blogs, TV shows, podcasts, runway shows, etc. to TELL us what fashion is or is not. Some of these people have never even seen the inside of a design college or own a sewing machine.

I'm not talking about the instructional videos on how to tie a scarf or apply eye makeup. I'm not even talking about the who tell you what not to wear so you won't get laughed at. I'm certainly not talking about some lesser-known clothing designers who make beautiful things because its what they love to do and take pride in offering quality goods (you don't often see these people demanding that you wear their clothes). I'm talking about the fashion industry and big brands that looks down its nose at us normal people and says "you must wear this to be fashionable." We women have been allowing other people to tell us what is "in" and what is "out" for centuries. Why? We have brains in our heads, we can make educated decisions for ourselves. So, why do we stress over what someone else tells us is "fashion"? Who cares if you wear crop jeans with stilettos and bomber jacket? Is it clean? Do you like the way you look in it? Are you showing your private bits to the world? Yes, Yes, no (hopefully you said no to showing your private bits). Fine, then that's your fashion and you go for it!

My blog will not be about making fun of anyone (other than me, myself and I at times). And it most certainly will not be about telling anyone how to dress or what to wear. Who am I to judge anyone (something about living in glass houses and throwing stones)? My blog is going to be about what I like and what I think is fashion. If you like what I like, that's great. If you don't like what I like, that's fine too. And if you like what I don't like, that is perfectly ok. Because you know what? We -- you (whoever is reading my blog) and me -- are not brainless lemmings. We can decide what we like, what looks good on us and what we think is fashionable without some overpaid pusher of a $10,000 purse and $45,000 yard of fabric they call a dress telling us we "NEED" to have a certain item of clothing/accessory in order to be accepted, loved, appreciated or "in" (i.e. fashionable).

So, there you have it. Next week, I'll dive into my closet to show you some of my favorite beautiful (of course this is my opinion, which is what this blog is all about -- having an opinion and thinking for myself) things. Until then, think for yourself and ask, "what is MY fashion"?

Happy thinking,
The Non-Fashionista

* These are all fictional headlines, but you get my point.
** This is a repost of a blog I wrote in October 2014 for another blog site, "Define Fashion".

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