Monday, May 17, 2010

Fashion: What's it to YOU?

  Original T-shirt by Sarah's Reef on Etsy

In my profile, it says I never follow fashion fads. Does that mean I'm against any fashion that's hot in the moment? Not at all! If something's "in" and I find it expresses a part of my personal style, I'll go for it. Personal style - those are the key words. What is my personal style? Well, it does change, just like fashion, depending on my inner landscape. But the underlying core of my style is based on what makes ME feel good in the moment and reflects personal themes I want to express now. And if something is in fashion that reflects that, awesome! If a fashion fad calls for something that I have no connection with and find personally distasteful, I'm secure enough in who I am to say, "No thanks!" and pass on it. 

Was I always this confident in my personal tastes and style? Nuh-uh! In my teen years I was insecure and wanting to fit in just like everyone else. I would have died to have the latest name brand of whatever everyone else was wearing. But looking back, I am very grateful that our family didn't have the means to help enslave me to fickle fads. My mother is a brilliant seamstress and worked with us to create clothes that were different. I didn't always appreciate it in some moments. There are times when I would have given my left thumb in trade for the hottest new brand of jeans so I would, at the very least, not be scorned by glares of the popular girls. 

But life has a way of preparing us for things in the future we can't see. Out of that time in my life came learning to distinguish my tastes outside of the manipulation of what's "in" at the moment. I'm ever grateful because it was out of that searching that Glint Gear was born. Rarely do I look "out there" to see what's in style and couldn't tell you one single thing that's "hot" right now. If I stumble upon a fad and it fits with personal themes I'm feeling in the moment, cool. If it's not "me" and "they're" all wearing it, I say good for them! They look fabulous, but no thanks. And I'm still learning what I like with each new day. 
These quotes express a few underlying themes behind Glint Gear: 
"Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are.”  - Quentin Crisp 
“Fashion is an imposition, a reign on freedom.”  - Golda Meir 
“... one of the goals of life is to try and be in touch with one's most personal themes - the values, ideas, styles, colors that are the touchstones of one's own individual life, its real texture and substance.” - Gloria Vanderbilt
Please don't misinterpret what I'm saying here! Am I saying following fashion fads is beneath me or that those who do are "weak" in some way? No, I'm not saying that at all. What I'm getting at is a challenge for you to begin a personal inquiry to see if you are truly expressing who YOU are instead of letting others dictate that for you. I challenge you to ask yourself these questions below and give yourself honest answers. Really and truly take a look. Explore. Get real with yourself. (And these questions can apply to men as well as women.)
"What type of fashions and accessories truly express who I am in the domain of personal style?
"What colors, shapes, textures, lines and themes am I drawn to that express a bit of who I am?"
"What inspires me to walk a little taller and gives me that extra bit of healthy attitude in my step?"
You may not have immediate answers to all of these questions, but great job on starting the inquiry! The more you continually look inward, the more you'll distinguish.
I now challenge you to the next step. Go take a peak in your closet or dresser. Let yourself find that one item you still wear that takes your energy down a notch every time you put it on. Yea, THAT baby blue cotton blouse. In the dressing room, you had your doubts about how the ruffles made you feel. But you bought it anyway because it was on sale and was a "safe" selection because ruffles are in right now. [This is just an example... I have no idea if ruffles are in right now! LOL] But every time you wear it, you just don't feel quite right. Take a good long look at those blue ruffles. Outside of your excitement over what a great bargain it was and how hip you felt when buying it, how do you really feel when you wear it? Put it on and then take a quick inventory of your energy. Be honest. Do you feel a spike of excitement and twinge of joy, or did your vibes fall down a bit? 
I just bet there was another blouse on that same rack in your size that was calling to you, but it was out of your box. Yep, that's it... the hot pink satin one. You never wear that color or fabric and were afraid you would have been too flashy in it. Imagine you brought it home. Close your eyes and visualize putting it on and looking in the mirror. Now, just between you, yourself and you, take a check-in of your energy. How do you feel now? YES! That's it... that tingle of joy and excitement. What was that? It was your individuality informing that you've hit on something that's in integrity with your sense of style.
Are you ready for the next steps? If not, it's ok. But if you are, here's what I want you to do. Take that baby blue blouse with the ruffles, look at it squarely in the buttons and thank it for trying to keep you safe. Tell it you are no longer in need of its services and put it in a bag of clothes to give away. And don't look back at it! The next step is to be on the lookout for a hot pink blouse in a fabric you love. Low on funds? That's ok! I'm not saying you need a ton of money to express your own style. There are a lot of ways to acquire clothes that make you feel good. Have a clothing swap with friends or check out your local thrift shops and store clearance racks. Have a sewing machine? Make it yourself. Attract it with your positive intentions. Close your eyes and visualize yourself draped in hot pink satin and how great that feels. You never know what might show up when you are being true to yourself. You might win a contest for a gift card. Your best friend may come home with a blouse she felt compelled to buy but really thinks it was made for you.
GREAT WORK! And if you need a little help or coaching to take that next step, I'm just an email away. The point of this post is what Shakespeare's Polonius said in Hamlet... "This above all: To thine own self be true."

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