Fashion Victim or Fashion Champion?

We all have fashion victim moments where we wore something that didn’t suit us, or that caused us extreme discomfort (blisters, anyone?) or was too short (blessings on granny panties), or didn’t fit right, or that turned out to be inappropriate to the situation, or any one of a number of reasons why we realized that our fashion choice of the day was an utter and irretrievable mistake. 

Have you ever fallen off your shoes? Or realized you gained five pounds and camel toe is imminent? Or after all the selfies were taken, you realized your (wrong-coloured) bra showed through your suddenly see-through top? All we can do with these instances is laugh at ourselves, and resolve to avoid those situations in the future.  

Okay, confession time.  Those kind of fashion blunders are pretty frequent in my life.  It’s a risk when you experiment with style so I am resigned to these kinds of fashion victim moments.  And I LOVE the silver lining to recognizing that sometimes I am a ‘fashion victim’. You are justified in getting rid of the ‘mistakes’ and passing them on to someone for whom they will be a ‘treasure’!  And that’s part of why I love second hand clothing. I don’t feel like I have made a ‘mistake’, instead I am just passing on something that doesn’t suit me to someone who will love it. And by passing the items on, I am also creating space in my closet to try something new!

Gilda Radner (comedian from Saturday Night Live) said something like, “My fashion is based on whatever doesn’t itch”.  Love that!  

All our celebrities seem to rely on stylists to ensure that the media doesn’t catch them in a fashion victim moment.  But then they start to look cookie-cutter monotonous. And where is the schadenfreude for us? I used to love the show ‘Fashion Police’ with Joan Rivers.  Sometimes I would cringe in sympathy for the celebrities who were mocked, but just as often I realized that the four panelists would disagree about what looked good and that is an important point to remember.  Not everything will look good to everyone all the time.

What is it they say? You can’t have it all. Nope, you can’t. You can experiment or you can play it safe. Either is fine, as long as you like it. Maybe one day you experiment with a different look, and one garment turns out to be a mistake, but you realize the rest of the outfit is great.  So you shouldn’t discard the entire look, just experiment again, substituting a different item for the garment that ‘victimized’ you previously. Or maybe another day, you are in a mood to play it safe and go with old favourites. Or maybe, you are always safe and conservative. Excellent choice! Or maybe you are consistently experimental. Another excellent choice!  

If you are afraid of being a fashion victim or you are highly uncomfortable with making any kind of sartorial ‘error’, that’s the hardest route, because you just can’t please everybody.  Your mother will have a different opinion than your friends do, or your boss does. Different standards for appropriate outfits depend on many factors. What’s a mistake in one situation might be exactly perfect in another. You probably cannot come up with a universally acceptable outfit. But you sure can try!  I wouldn’t advise putting all your effort toward pleasing others, though, since that would lay you open to valuing everyone else’s opinion before your own, and how would that teach you anything or give you any confidence? Plus, how do they know better than you do, what suits you?

 Perhaps you can learn to see your fashion ‘mistakes’ as ….(omg, I can’t believe I am using this phrase)…. ‘learning opportunities’.   Indulge your fashion whims. (Within reason, of course. I am not advising you to get yourself fired from your job.)

Enjoy yourself with fashion. Fashion is truly a personal choice.