A term hurled around in magazines and on television, Fashion Victim is a characterization we wouldn’t wish to be associated with. Coined by the internationally acclaimed designer Oscar de la Renta, Fashion Victim refers to people who follow trends regardless of whether they look good or feel right, falling victim to the material interest of the fashion world and the prejudices of society. The term ultimately connotes insecurity and shallow materialism. Truly the ultimate insult for aspiring fashionistas.
Dress for Yourself
Looking good should primarily be about feeling good about yourself. If your primary motivation when dressing up is to impress others even if what you are wearing does not feel right or does not make you feel beautiful at all, then your mindset has some tweaking to do. Remember how we become so much more sociable and confident when we are in a good mood? An outfit that is causing you discomfort will not help bring out this confident person. And confidence is just the accessory you need to complete an outfit that truly rocks.
Think of pleasing yourself first.
Accept Your Body
Come to terms with the fact that everyone has imperfections. Know your own problem areas and learn how to work around them. Learn the many ways you can draw attention to your assets, as well as the ways you can avoid unwittingly emphasizing your problem areas. If you are thick on the hips, a frilly-tiered skirt may not be your best option. If you are flat-chested, then a plunging neckline should be last on your list. There are clothes that you may never be able to wear and that’s fine. Stick with those that work for you.
Set a Budget
It’s easy to fall prey to marketing ploys that are out to get us and our hard-earned money. Retailers are well-versed in the art of getting you to purchase things that you may not actually need, from eye-catching displays to “rock-bottom” prices. The end result? A wardrobe filled to the brim with unwearable clothes and credit card debts that make you lose sleep at night. It’s just not worth it.
Now how do you protect yourself from falling into the trap? First, make sure your values are intact. No, expensive clothes don’t define you. No, brands are not equated with style. No, cheap purchases do not necessarily translate to savings and a good buy. And no, you don’t always have to chase trends to fit in. A healthy financial foundation and a sound self-esteem that does not feel the need to bend to society’s demands are still way more valuable. Second, just don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position. Plan your monthly finances and set aside the money you are willing and able to spend for fashion, then stick to this budget. Bring the only cash you need when out shopping, and leave your ATM and credit card at home. Third, shop smart and focus on quality and timeless style. Indulge yourself in trendy pieces only when you absolutely like them, and don’t overdo it.
Invest in Basics
Build a solid foundation for your wardrobe. Put in a little extra cash for high-quality basics, like a classic white shirt and a sharp pair of pants. Invest in a Capsule Wardrobe.
Coined in the 1970s by Susie Fox, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe”, the term ‘capsule wardrobe’ refers to a collection of essential clothing items that do not go out of fashion, such as white shirts, tailored jackets, and dress pants. The idea was popularized in 1985 when Donna Karan, a famous American designer, released an influential capsule collection made up of seven work-wear pieces.The term is now widely-used in the fashion world’s lingo.
Having a capsule collection lets you have an outfit for every occasion without hoarding an excessive amount of clothing. Also, the idea is to have basic pieces that can be augmented with seasonal pieces.
Buying essential items of superb quality – having a solid foundation – allows you to have a wardrobe that exudes substance.
It always pays to wear clothing that fits the occasion. You may look dressed to kill in your heels, but it would get you exhausted quickly if you force your stilettos into settings that require a lot of movement, especially outdoors on uneven terrain. Also, wearing overly casual attire at formal events may not get you the right kind of attention. Choosing outfits that do not work for your age or where you are in your life may not speak well for your level of maturity.
Remember not to get too caught up in the idea of looking fashionable that you forget the essentials – function and comfort!
Keep your style balanced. Avoid chasing trends that don’t match your style and personality. It is best to mix one trendy style with the basics. You will also do well to avoid over-accessorizing. You are not a Christmas tree.
Your sense of style speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. Make sure it sends out the right message, which brings us to our final point …
Develop Your Personal Sense of Style
It all boils down to developing your personal sense of style. This allows you to have a clear sense of identity and keeps you immune to the lures of trends, especially to the often hard to resist pull of the insidious Fast Fashion.
Fashion victims are too caught up in the world of fashion. While it is perfectly okay to be passionate about the field, getting too wrapped up in a narrow aspect of life can lead to a superficial personality and shallow intellect. Open your world up to literature, architecture, history, art, and other facets of the human experience. Take inspiration from other aspects of life. Develop substance, and it might just reflect in your sense of style.
Developing your own sense of style does not happen overnight. It is a slow-moving process that involves trial and error. But it is a fulfilling and exciting process all the same!
Author: Tahna de Veyra
Voracious eater. Coffee dependent. Book sniffer. Music addict. Profound thinker. Certified ambivert. Life-hungry maverick. Nonchalant realist. Hesitant blogger.