“Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” —Bill Cunningham
“Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.” —Lauren Hutton
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” —Rachel Zoe
“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn”
― Orson Welles
One of the most satisfying things about fashion, is how it enables us to transform ourselves over and over again. In a chameleon-like way, we can express all the different sides of our personality by shining a spot-light on a specific part of ourselves through the clothes we choose to put on. We can visit different eras in history and through styling the fashions of the time, we get a taste of the energy of that time and get to experience the feeling of that moment in history. We can also mix and match eras with our fashion and create a new energy and feeling that is all our own, or try on a lifestyle we don’t have just to see how it might feel. The clothes we wear can also allow us ease in manoeuvring through the variety of places, people, and circumstances we find ourselves in. I have found that my ability to adapt my style to the company I’m keeping, places I visit, or events I attend has been invaluable to me, and it’s also half the fun! Fashion allows us to wear our feelings on the outside if we want to, or to change our mood when we start the day in a funk and want to turn that around.
You can almost always tell how I am feeling or what type of mood I am in by what I’m wearing. The process of getting dressed in the morning is so much more than just covering my body with coordinated clothing. It is about tuning into how I’m feeling, or how I’d like to feel, checking in with myself and becoming aware of what traits of mine are feeling amplified. I dress to the dominant characteristics that come through with the mood I’m in each day. Some days I’m subdued and all I want is comfort and ease. Some days spike heels and a push-up bra feel like my second skin. Sometimes I’m wacky and contrasting because I’m feeling artistic or counter culture. Some days I’m just in jeans and a t-shirt, although admittedly, this is pretty rare for me. Some days I like to push the bar with a provacative attitude that says, “just try and question me on this look! I dare you!”
I think that it’s important for people not to get too attached to a specific style or look that they identify with, or they may begin to feel uncomfortable when they aren’t wearing it. What I mean to say is, are you wearing your clothes or are your clothes wearing you? Is your comfort so tied to the style you’ve adopted that you are no longer expressing certain sides of yourself? Is your inner vamp being stifled by your black skinny jeans and t-shirt? Are you afraid of colour or contrast because you are afraid you’ll attract too much attention to yourself? Are you becoming less adventurous in life because every time you go out you wear your little black dress instead of trying something new? Does our lack of adventurousness in life cause a lack of adventurousness in our style, or is it the other way around? Hmmm. I would hazard a guess that if you took more chances with your style, it would positively impact your life. I’m going to take the plunge and even suggest that being more adventurous and allowing your style to better reflect your feelings on a daily basis would have a dramatic positive effect on how you feel about yourself and that it will translate into a more positive life experience. The clothes you choose to put on every morning can empower you tremendously and transform your life, or they can drain you and sap you of your motivation. You have to admit that you feel exceptionally different in sweat pants and a hoodie than you do in a dress and heels, and I’m not talking about physical comfort. I’m talking about the energy created by how you feel about yourself in one look versus another. One of these looks leads to adventure and who knows what, and the other leads to Netflix and chips.
Sometimes you just need to push your own boundaries and step outside of your comfort zone. Even the simple addition of a scarf or other accessories to a very basic outfit can be an incredible energetic mood boost. Each one of us is made up of all kinds of personality traits, and moods that are equally a part of us. If you aren’t already, I strongly urge you to play with your style and express some of those sides of yourself, if for no other reason than just to have FUN! That is what fashion and style is really all about in the end. It’s not meant to be intimidating and serious. It’s about creation and exploration and self expression at it’s core. It’s a tool. It’s the paint and your body is the canvas. Have some fun, get creative and let those hidden sides of yourself shine forth. It’s so simple, yet so incredibly liberating!
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Michael Sanders, Electric Monk Media
STYLING, HAIR & MAKEUP BY: Tara Cole-McCaffrey, Patron of Dreams
THRIFTED FASHION: Traditional Scottish wool plaid skirt from Ruby Slipper, Boots from The Goodwill Store.
MODERN FASHION:Gold body suit and tights by American Apparel, feather earrings from The Haberdashery
VINTAGE: Faux fur leopard print jacket