Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fashion What?

What, exactly, is fashion? "Umm, what do mean?, you ask"....Fair enough; what does fashion mean to you - yes YOU - personally? Is it something you read about in magazines, or is it something you experience in your life as a means of self-expression? Clearly, I side with the latter.

Fashion can be more than just the clothes on your back if you'll just take the time to personalize it. Think about this: people who see you/meet you for the first time/already know you make a snap judgement about who you are and what you're all about in the first few seconds of laying eyes on you. (You do the same to everybody else, whether you know it or not.) That's why, for example, most people dress so carefully for an important job interview, or meeting the the In-Laws to-be, or even (gasp!) the 'ladies who lunch'!

                                                                Is This You??!!
 Yeah, I thought that is just frumpy at any age!  She looks that makes me sad....Maybe okay for cleaning the garage, but could you please consider not wearing it to the grocery store?

All it takes is knowing who you are and what you are. Okay, I'll be the guinea pig for this exercise.  I am a 56 year old average gal. I'm so average that even my name is Gail. Here's what I know about myself: I love being a Grandma, which totally surprises me; until I was in my late 40's that was, trust me, the last thing I wanted to be. Then all my friends started beaming and showing around photos of their little grandbabies and I lusted for my own. The day (Christmas, 2006) my daughter told me she was expecting, I broke down in tears of joy, and have never looked back.

I have been very active in helping to raise my granddaughter Abby, but does it mean I dress like the above sad, sad chick? No!!! I even bought special clothing to wear to play with Abbykins on the days I babysat with her, and I DO NOT mean sweatshirts with little teddies on them or ugly Christmas sweaters. And if you ever catch me in anything with Precious Moments on it you should assume I've succumbed to Alzheimer's.
                                                           Now that's more like it!
That was easy. So what else do I know about myself that I can reflect back in my personal style? Well, crazy as it sounds, I'm in a rock and roll band. I sing the oldies, yes I do. And I love the attention when I'm on stage. But given my age I am not going to garb myself in all black; that's so NYC socialite.
                                                        Beautiful color, beautiful details.

I'm going to wear something that shows me as the confident female that I am deep inside. Clothing that doesn't scream, but invites a glance, or two. Because I'm not really a screamer, so why would I wear this:

She looks a little demented. And even though I enjoy the occasional monotone outfit, that color would probably be my last choice...

One final thing I know about myself and am willing to share here, is that I love color. But that is a concept that can easily be taken to clown proportions if you're not editing yourself. Okay, myself. Key to using color effectively is learning what colors look good on you. This is so serious that there is a "Color Institute" and back in the 80's/90's people were having color experts 'do their colors'. Remember? Where you an Autumn or a Summer?

It's seems silly in retrospect, but knowing what shades suit your skin tone, hair color and personality can make dressing like your best self  a snap. My favorite color is green, always has been. But it's a cold day in Dubai when you see me wear it. That's because green makes me look jaundiced and just a little bit 'deer-in-the-headlights'. But turquoise! (which I also love) makes me look like Venus on the half shell.

That's one of the universally flattering colors, by the way. Turquoise or teal, soft pink, red and eggplant-y purple are practically guaranteed to work with every skin tone and hair color. Bonus: they all go equally well when mixed with black, navy or grey.

                                          Vivienne Westwood dress. Gorgeous on any gal.

So who is your neighbor/the folks at the DMV/the ticket taker at "The King & I" going to see when you show up? Somebody or YOU?

                                                       Now that's what I'm talking about!

Till next time, keep it classy ladies! XO

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