You probably wouldn’t be reading YLF if you weren’t interested in fashion and personal style. For people like us, a grooming routine is more than just taking a daily shower, and our reasons for getting dressed extend beyond the need to cover our bodies in a practical and comfortable way. We expend the effort to present ourselves to the world in an appealing and fashionable manner for all sorts of reasons. Yours might be different to mine, but I can think of seven.
Appreciation of Aesthetics
I’m a very visual person and almost studied Fine Art after graduating from high school. My world is a happier place when I am surrounded by what I perceive to be beautiful design. From the interior of our home, the crockery that I choose, and the way I present food on a plate, right up to the way gifts are wrapped. Our doggies have carefully chosen collars and name tags, and don’t think that the tea towels in our kitchen are a random selection of colours and patterns. It’s important to me that things look nice. The way I dress is a very natural extension of my appreciation of aesthetics.
A Source of Self Esteem
Generally, you feel good when you look good. Dressing well can boost your confidence in a very real way, which in turn can make you more effective and dynamic in a work and social setting. Wearing the right outfit can make you feel authoritative, powerful, approachable, or attractive. A boosted confidence can create a more positive outlook on life, which makes you an all-round nicer person. And your own positive attitude is a good influence on others.
This is more than just a touchy feely thing. The improvement in our ability to perform certain tasks when we wear the right clothing is a very real phenomenon that psychologists refer to as enclothed cognition.
A Creative Outlet
I can’t think of a creative outlet that is accessible to more people than personal style. Creating outfits can be an art form, especially if you sew and make your own clothes. And this isn’t dictated by budget — constraints are fuel for creativity and sometimes the most beautiful outfits are combinations that you’ve had in your wardrobe for years.
Shopping can be therapeutic, social, entertaining and relaxing. And wardrobe management can become quite the science if you’re into the analytical side of things. Personal style is a wonderful way to have fun at any age.
Fashion as Spectator Sport
I love following trends at designer shows and at retail. I’m fascinated by how trends start on the catwalks or on the street, and how they filter down to retail. I’m curious to compare retail fashion with street fashion. I’m fascinated by the power that we as consumers have to keep a trend alive, despite them being off-trend. I also enjoy seeing trends repeat themselves as the decades go by. It’s like a sport to me, and definitely as much a leisure activity as it is part of my job.
A Topic to Share with Others
I can think of few topics that unite people as successfully as fashion and style. It covers all age groups, lifestyles, occupations, nationalities and budgets. It’s a topic that can be shared globally and across all media channels. Successful and supportive social communities such as YLF exist because people like to share their thoughts about fashion and style, and meaningful friendships are made both on and off line. Fashion camaraderie for the win.
A Career Path
Fashion and style can become your bread and butter, like it has been for me over the last 24 years. I love helping others find their style and maintain their wardrobes so that they feel fabulous, and I loved being a fashion buyer before that. Fashion and style is part of who I am, and I’m never giving it up.
Have fun with fashion and style. Don’t take it too seriously. Experiment with new things. Be surprised at what works, and learn from what doesn’t. Laugh a lot. Enjoy each leg of your style journey, and encourage others to feel fabulous about themselves just like you do.