When I started this article, I wanted it to be something from the heart. Something from the heart that is fashion related, you ask. However, tell me isn’t fashion and the way we look topmost in our minds? Then does not fashion truly belong to our hearts? Which girl or woman does not spend at least some part of her day thinking about fashion? The fact is fashion dominates our lives and we tend to think about it a lot.
It is not just about getting to learn about how to get your perfumes right, though that is important too, but it is also about taking fashion and making it work for us. A young friend of mine, let us call her Y came up to me and said “How is it that things look so good in the shop and they look good on my friends but never work on me?’ I think it was more of a loud thought than a question addressed to me. However being the nosy Nellie that I am, I had to answer her.
I looked at Y’s reflection in the mirror, I was struck by how very young, how fresh and how lovely she looked, but I also noticed that she did not look very happy with the reflection in the mirror. I sighed and said “Y you are a lovely young woman (she is just 22), what are you moaning about? In fact, if I had half your looks I would be out shopping a storm for really cute clothes!” She sighed and said, “You are just being nice. I have hair that is too curly, a backside that is huge, not enough curves on top and I am really short!”
As I looked at her, I realized that this is a lament that we hear all the time. Most girls and women are not at all happy with the way they look. They are led to believe by well-meaning peers, friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers that they could look better if they were shorter/taller/thinner/with better hair/clearer skin/bigger or smaller body parts etc. The list is never ending and the whole thing is fueled by images being bombarded at us from print and visual media.
However coming back to Y, I knew what I had to do. I sat her down and told her all the good things she had going in as far as her looks were concerned:
She had a nice face with good complexion and lovely eyes. With the use of eye makeup, she could make people focus on her eyes rather than her wild hair
She wore clothes that accommodated her backside. Instead, she could choose outfits that were darker in the bottom to make the area look smaller and lighter on top to even out her torso. This was a lesson about dressing in contrasts.
The one thing that I noticed was Y had really nice shoulders and arms. I advised her to wear sleeveless tops. This would show off her arms and also make her bustline look bigger than it was. This way the eye of the person looking at her would be drawn to the top half rather than the bottom half.
I also advised her on wearing heels. Y said that she was too clumsy to walk around in stilettos to which I told her to go with wedge heels to add to her height. I also said by lengthening her bottom half she would make her backside look smaller.
Another thing I advised her was about the use of color in her outfits to make things look more youthful. I told her dressing for work need not be like party wear for women, but could be more upbeat than the grays, browns and beiges she veered towards.
I am sure many a girl or woman will agree with me that fashion is not just about following trends but borrowing from it to look your best.