The age old question in fashion is who exactly determines what’s considered “fashionable”? It’s a loaded question that women of all sizes and ages have battled with for years. Ask 100 different women and you’ll get 120 different answers. Here is the answer. Fashion, much like art and beauty, are all in the eye of the beholder. See, I didn’t even make you wait until the end to answer the question.
Now don’t get it twisted. I LOVE clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories. Dare I say I’m an addict (though somewhat recovering). I’m a businesswoman but I’m a woman. My “job” (read: business, company, empire) allows me to work wherever I want whenever I want. Well that’s not entirely true because right now I’d love to be writing this from a sunny beach in Malibu, but I’m not. But I digress. My choice in clothing varies as much as the days and my moods do. And it doesn’t mean I don’t have a sense of style or fashion (which you know aren’t the same thing).
When I’m home, I mostly opt for the standard home office uniform- t-shirt and pajama bottoms, or sweats, or t-shirt and shorts. If I’m working outside on the deck, depending on the season, I may dress it up a little bit with a casual top and capris, or if I know I am hosting a livestream I’ll dress up fully or from the waist up. When I head out to a Starbucks, I try to go a little trendier. I’ll put on a nice top and either capris, jeans or maybe a nice casual skirt. I’ll carry along a nice light sweater and I’ll throw on some sandals (sometimes even sneakers if it’s cold out). I’ll put on some earrings and a bracelet, and maybe a necklace to spruce the look up. But when I go to church, events or meetings, all bets are off. I put on a fabulous suit or dress and glam it up.
But all of these looks are not considered fashionable in some circles, even though they look nice and are clean. I have some great statement pieces, the designer handbags, and a few high end labels in my closet. But I’m far from a fashionista by industry terms. My own nieces still can’t understand why sometimes I look so great and other times like I’m headed to Target. I laugh because they’re at that age where what other people think matters to them. At 15 and 16 they need to be what Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook people in fashion tell them they need to be. At 45, I could care less. I like what I like and I like what looks good on me, regardless of the current trend or who’s on the label.
Which brings me to this topic. I’m sitting in Starbucks working and I overhear a conversation between two 20-somethings chit chatting at another table. They’re talking about how each person who walked in the door looked. What they could improve, what would look better on them and how they should wear certain clothing. I just chuckled and continued with my work. But I wanted to turn around and ask them if they had some financial stake in what people wore. I mean, if they owned a label, I could see them concerned about what people wore. But they’re college girls from what I could tell, who dress nice, but someone told them they were the Fashion Police.
Why do we worry so much about what other people wear? I’m not exempt. Don’t think I’m a hypocrite here. There have been times where I’m driving along or at some place where someone walks by in what I think could be the most asinine outfit ever. I look at some fashion shows and think WTF were they thinking! Come on, some of these designers call themselves being bold and innovative when the common eye sees it as overpriced garbage. I love Project Runway and have watched since the beginning. But I often find myself at odds (in my mind of course) with some of the judges. But then I realize that taste is in the eye of the beholder. What may look nice on you may not look nice on me. And that’s OK. <—-That right there is HUGE.
You know why that’s huge? Because there will always be people out there who are not OK with how you look. It is however their problem and you have to learn how to not care. Sure, we could all use a little sprucing up at times. But do we really know what the other person’s situation is? It could be a woman who’s recently given birth and needs comfort and function right now. It could be a woman who is unemployed and worrying about where her next bill payment is coming from. She’s definitely not concerned with what’s on trend this season. Or it could be a woman who is just so comfortable in her own damn skin that she wears what she wants because she doesn’t care about what you think.
Stop giving unsolicited opinions. You have a right to how you feel but you don’t have the right to judge another person. Find what works for YOU and don’t worry about what the world thinks. And as a last note, I have found pieces I got from Target that I’ve successfully rocked that look better than some of the stuff on a high end runway at Fashion Week. Understand your body, know your style preference and have fun!