Fashion is More than Frivolity

Widely considered exclusive and elitist, fashion was never my bread and butter. I couldn’t see the connection between the power of a well-assembled ensemble and feeling empowered until I embraced fashion and my personal style as battle armor for a series of unfortunate events.

It was then that I remembered how strong and confident I could feel by taking pleasure in the details, carefully crafting the pieces that exuded who I believed I was – or could be – how, as a result, my self-worth and confidence came gushing through, and I walked taller, more gracefully and with the poise I needed to handle a few hard times.

Fashion, in fact, is a powerful means to cultivating confidence and a stronger self-concept. Used as a mode of self-expression, fashion is one of many ways we speak to the world with our own unique blend of nuance, passion and vulnerability.

When we fully express who we are, we access the deepest parts of our authenticity and personal power, which paves our path towards optimal well-being.

"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak" overlay on an image of a runway behind
photo cred: Pinterest board of myperfectline.com

Much like how you organize and decorate your home or office or what you post on social media, how you put yourself together, your personal style says, “here’s who I am, here’s what I’m about.” Although, at times scary, in expressing ourselves through creativity, e.g. fashion and personal style, we satisfy an intrinsic desire to speak our truth and express our individuality.

Want a few ideas to awaken your inner muse without breaking the bank?

Try these on for size (see what I did there? 😉 ) :

  • Browse Pinterest and Instagram for real-world fashionistas, the kind who are your size or exude confidence, boldness, or other attributes that inspire you
  • Write down a few words (or print a few pictures) that describe your style
    Bonus points: Make a mood board
  • Take an inventory of your closet
  • Note which items awaken that inner confidence? Keep these!
  • Note the items that make you feel drab or frumpy? If there’s hope that a good tailor can resurrect some beloved pieces, keep them; if not, donate them!
  • Decide on a budget for any additional pieces you want to add

Once you have an idea of what you’re working with, slowly fill in your wardrobe with the key pieces that you can wear again and again!

To make your budget go even farther, shop sales at your favorite department stores and mosey through TJMaxx, Marshalls, Saks Off Fifth, Nordstrom Rack, etc. to shop the look you want without going broke. Set a time limit for how long you’ll shop and shop with intention! You’re on a mission!

Fashion is simply one of many fluid, flexible means to enliven your creativity, satisfy your desire to show up in the world and be seen as only YOU can. No matter your size, income level or personal style!

How are you using Fashion to express who you are?

We love to hear real-world stories on how you do Fashion (and so does our community!), so leave a comment below, share this post, or discuss your great ideas with friends, and report back!

Stopping the Shame Game.

Each of us is awesome. Body shaming and comparing ourselves to one another is not necessary.

I got very stirred up while listening to E! News yesterday.

In discussing a recent Instagram post by Paris Jackson in which she was pictured almost nude and, as a result, subsequently received body-shaming comments online, Catt Sadler (one of the hosts) mused that she could not understand how people could body shame Ms. Paris because she has a beautiful body.

It was at this point that I had to change the channel lest I start arguing with the TV while on the elliptical machine and be removed from the gym. (The irony that I was at the gym while hearing this was not lost on me.)

By no means do I believe that Ms. Sadler was intimating that body shaming of anyone is acceptable; however it got me thinking about how easily we criticize one another, particularly around our outward appearances.

Body shaming, or any shaming of any sort, directed at any human being, is a counterproductive, negative practice that only ensures the race to the bottom of civilized society as we know it. Regardless of the body shape, size or style of the recipient, is it not, by now, an outdated practice that we would all like to see discontinued?

Shame is a scare tactic, not a technique for lasting, positive change.  Click to tweet.

To stop these unhealthy, harmful practices, we can do a few things, but first, we must let go of the belief that our outward appearance – and the exhausting practice of ensuring ageless perfection at all times – is our primary source of worth, value or beauty.

Once we acknowledge that we are more than the skin we’re in, we can begin speaking to ourselves with more kindness and grace and encouraging our daughters, friends and yes, even the men in our families and communities to, instead, see and elevate the true beauty within us all. Regardless of age, shape, gender or race, each of us is a gift to our families, communities and organizations, and to truly lift up these institutions to reach a fuller potential, we must start by building each other up as individuals, and that means stopping with the shame game.

If you have a friend, colleague or family member who could use a dose of positive feedback, take a moment and send them a quick note or share this post. Both of you will be better for it! 

We’d love to hear what’s working in your world that helps stop the shame game and gets the conversation going in a different – and more positive – direction!