So you know the saying, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or is it? When it comes to fashion, this can go either way. We’ve all dreaded going to a social event and seeing our dopelganger dressed exactly like us….hence the popular segment on E’s Fashion Police: Bitch Stole my Look. It’s a light hearted look at celebrities who have been seen wearing the exact same outfit with the hosts judging who wore it best. Here’s the thing: everyone has a different body type and an outfit that may look great on Jane may not be as flattering on Mary.
On my Polyvore page, I am constantly drawing inspiration from fashion icons and fashion bloggers especially those who are trending on Pinterest and Instagram. Does that mean I’m a copy cat? That I don’t have originality? Perhaps on some days when I’m too lazy or too rushed to come up with it on my own but no matter what, I will do my best to put on something that works for my body type and my lifestyle. And now that I’m in my 40’s, experience has taught me what colors, silhouettes and styles work best for my body. By experience I mean, those “what were you thinking” fashion moments that haunt or motivate me not to make the same mistakes.
Anyway, this really all boils down to coming up with your own style based on what works for you today…not the body you want tomorrow. Imitating someone else’s style whom you may admire can only work if you have the exact same body type and lifestyle…and even then, do you really want to look like someone else’s twin? This is a mantra that is often echoed in TLC’s popular and long running show “What Not to Wear“, where “contributors” are guided through the maze of wardrobe shopping after being nominated by their friends/families for wearing outfits that don’t do their current bodies justice. Sadly, this summer is What Not to Wear’s last season ever….so bummed.
Here are some factors to consider (that I’d like to humbly offer) when thinking about creating your own style. By the way, this can be done at any age – it’s never too late to develop one’s own fashion style.
- The Golden Ratio – let’s face it, there are very few people who have bodies that are perfectly proportional, or what is referred to as the Golden Ratio or Divine Proportion, as illustrated by DaVinci. And since most of us are not perfect, it would help to determine what our body type is; for example: Is your torso shorter in proportion to your body? Is your waist higher or lower on your torso? Do you have an average height but shorter legs? These are some questions you want to ask yourself.
- Body Shape – Look at your shape…is your shape: pear, boyish, inverted triangle, etc.?
- Height – are you petite, average or tall?
- Lifestyle – are you a working mom? are you a stay at home mom with active kids? are you a student with an active social life?
- Age – this has to do with age appropriate dressing; for example, I like to shop at Forever 21 for their bargains but I’m not going to purchase a cut-off shirt that says “LMAO” on it. Not sure anyone should at any age (lmao).
- Fashion Rules – this one is more personal. I’ve grown to abide by some rules that work for me. For example, if an outfit doesn’t make me smile in the morning, then I’m not walking out the door with it. Another rule I follow is, comfort does not preclude style. Most days I am very comfortable but not sloppy. You need to come up with a rule of your own that you can stick to…you’ll be happier.
When I was younger, I went out of my way NOT to copy anyone…that’s the Capricorn in me manifesting my stubbornness. I guess everyone goes through their adolescent rebellion..mine was not as crazy (no goth phase for me), hence this hideous but my very own “what was I thinking” moment (circa 1984..talk about misguided rebellion…lol).
In my more mature years, I’ve grown to know what works best for me and more importantly, what I feel most confident in…because that’s what it’s all about. Clothes should make you feel confident, happy and ready to take on the world. Unless you live in a nudist colony, we all need to get dressed in the morning; it would help if we had a style of our own to put a smile on our face.
Stay tuned for more on this blog series on creating your own style.