Jay Calderin

Reflections on the ideas behind fashion that place it at the center of my life’s work.

An Investment in Fashion: Find the Style that Works for You

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Are you a fashion victim? Do you rebel against fashion? Is fashion something you avoid? No matter where you fit in this spectrum, the key to success is meaningfulness. If clothes are a prefabricated package you adopt because someone told you to; you’re fighting the system on principle; or you just don’t have a clue, then you will never be able to make the best of all the tools that the world of fashion makes available to you. More importantly your ‘look’ will never be a reflection of the real you.

Regardless of whether it is fair or unfair, people make instantaneous assessments, if not judgments of who you are and what you’re about, based on your appearance. Like any other important facet of our lives it’s important to devote, time, energy and resources to figuring fashion out.

Knowledge is power. If you are familiar with trends you can access them and figure out if they are right for you. In this way you will never feel like you’re not ‘in’ fashion. Your look is based on well informed choices.

The public has been misled to think that fashion is about blindly following trends. If a fashion designer, editor or stylist says so, it must be true. Not so. They are guides not gatekeepers. Fashion is about change and creativity, but the motivation behind this should be about keeping things fresh for yourself, becoming empowered, and bolstering the cultivation of positive self esteem.

Anyone can take stock of their wardrobe, compare the items in that closet to their lifestyle and make the edits and additions that are relevant to them, but not everyone does. For someone who doesn’t have the time or the confidence to do this on their own, this is when they should seek professional help – a stylist, the equivalent of a fashion therapist.

There are no real rules regarding fashion because just as soon as you make a rule, someone is there breaking it, and doing it well. Some people feel more comfortable following a rigid structure, but I suggest that any set of rules be accompanied by a list of suggestions of how to bend or break them.

Their are guidelines and formulas that help to simplify the process of developing a sense of your own style. The individual who will actually be wearing the clothes should be very involved in the process of building a system they can live with. Ask yourself questions. What you do for work? What is that environment like? Where do you live? If you’re dating, what kind of message are you trying to send? The answer to every question helps to make smart decisions about what to cut, keep or acquire.

Build a customer profile for yourself based on the facts of who you are as well as the elements of design that best suit you. Think about color, texture, pattern, silhouette, layers, accessories, makeup, hair, foundation garments, fitness and wellness. All of these things contribute to the creation of a vehicle that allows you to express yourself. And if you’re like most people, there are many sides of you, so don’t sell yourself short. Consider what kinds of clothes will serve all of you.

There are so many resources to choose from, these are a few that provide consistently helpful information.

Vogue Magazine – Big trends that everyone will be talking about and a fun read, but by no means the final word on what real people are wearing. The September and March issues are by far the most influential throughout the year.

Lucky Magazine – A very useful shopping guide that helps you think strategically about buying fashion. Students of fashion use this magazine to understand how trends translate into different designer collections and to get a feel for what people are actually buying.

Style.com – This website brings the runways from around the world to your computer screen. Here you can have some fun learning about how designers from around the world are interpreting fashion.

It’s often said that fashion and style are two distinctly separate things. Fashion turns on a dime, but your style should evolve, not shift gears with each passing whim of the fashion industry. In the end, fashion is about ideas, and style is about what you do with them.

~

Written by Jay Calderin for Color Magazine/October 2010

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Written by jaycalderin

April 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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