Friday, April 27, 2012

Own Your Style Decalogue 1: Know Fashion.


Know your Fashion (with a capital "F") facts:

Fashion is a form or artistic expression. Some times you must have wondered, what are designers thinking about when the send their pieces down the runway every season? Well, like other artists, they are trying to express their ideas on fashion through different silhouettes, combinations of proportions, and sensibilities. You can usually recognize different brands for their style, very much the same way one can recognize a certain artist in her/his paintings. Runway fashion is mostly about this self expression and much less about real women and their bodies.
Fashion is a business. Designers need to sell their creations, obviously. The idea is to keep things interesting in order to keep us buying. And they do both. Fashion and style magazines and websites are part of that business also.

Know your Fashion lies:
  1. You must have a model's figure to be stylish and fashionable. Wrong: then only one individual in a million (really tall women who have the size of most 14-year-olds? That's VERY rare) would be stylish. Models are chosen because designers want canvases on which they can express freely what they want to say. I think lots of them actually consider real women's bodies, to put it mildly, "inconvenient".
  2. You are more stylish when you are wearing a designer item. Should you feel more confident because you are wearing a really expensive item, possibly with lots of logos (or even a small one) on display? The answer is no, because what you are doing, in fact is, either displaying your monetary status quite unashamedly, or that you don't mind advertising someone else's product for free. It also shows some lack of imagination to the ones in the know, as you don't show a lot of personal criteria and individuality about fashion.
  3. You are more stylish when you are wearing the latest trend/s. You may be wearing this season's absolute must-have item, or the latest fashionable colour. But do they really flatter you?
  4. You can actually wear clothes off the rack. False: most pieces of clothing need adjustments to fit any woman's bodies well. The sizing on the racks seems to be, most of the times, pure conjecture, and to top it all, highly inconsistent in most brands.


In the end, there are only two kinds of clothes in the fashion universe: those that fit and flatter your body shape and size, and those that not. (Farr, 2004)
Simple? Well, to achieve it you need to shut out all the noise.
Most of that noise comes from the Fashion industry itself, via the fashion and style magazines and websites. None of them are there to educate you, but to make you buy things.
More specifically, those in the style business (from downwards), who are effectively in charge of broadcasting what is new and what is next, are there to make a profit and to continue existing, like any other business. They do that through selling advertising space, which means those who spend big money in advertising, will also receive tons of editorial mentions in a kind of self-fullfilled profecy.
They can be great fun if you manage to start seeing them just as huge ads with bits of information mixed in, but they are definitely not a good guide to great personal style.


  1. I love this, very refreshing and liberating :-)

    1. Thank you SO much. That was precisely my intention :)
      Best wishes

  2. I have just found your blog and I can not stop reading... I love your advice and the way everything is organized...You are very generous with the information you provide, so thank you... I hope you continue posting! Congratulations from Argentina! PD: I wish your blog was also in spanish so I could share it with all the people I know...some are in dire need of advice ;)

    1. Hello there,
      Thank you so much. I'm afraid the blog takes up a lot of time and I'm constantly feeling guilty about not writing for it, but one has to earn a living ;)
      You're not the first one suggesting I make it bilingual... I'll consider it, it would take me very little time to translate each post, but translating the whole blog would be a much bigger task!
      Kind regards,