I have strong opinions about all things fashion , and I know they aren't shared by everyone, nor should they be. I also know that my opinions and eye were informed through years of professional education, training, and in the workplace as a buyer, merchandiser , sales manager, and wholesale rep. You have to have a quick eye, and be able to make fast decisions. You look at hundreds of items at once determining which ones will work and which ones won't and have to be confident with your judgment . You have to know who will buy what , and who you customer is. Even in the publishing business (which I worked in for 20 years) we had to know what "they " (as we called them) wanted to read .

BUT, the language "we" used as buyers , retailers and wholesalers sounds harsh and judgmental to the lay person: the consumer. Something deemed dated or tired is moved on for something newer . If it's not selling in it's 2nd or 3rd season (as an example), it's marked down and never repeated . It's now dated and not current. Next. But written here on the forum , it reads as offensive and harsh.

So this is my way of explaining why or how words I use sound rude or harsh - something I've thought a lot about it recently .

Angie's blog post today was a real think-piece for me and a lightbulb went off about reframing my own thoughts around my clothes. I wore 2 items to work today that I haven't worn in ages (I'm going through my wardrobe and figuring out what I want to keep for next winter by evaluating-by-wearing lesser-worn pieces .) . These were a pair of skinny ponte pants and a pair of silver -metal-embellished black combat boots. I hated both within 10 minutes of getting to work. The initial words in my head were " these pants are dated and they look ridiculous now" and " I'm self-conscious and a little embarrassed to be in these boots now". But then I thought that no, those words aren't fair to those who love ponte pants or rocker combat boots. They AREN'T dated if you love them and feel great in them.

The new inner-dialogue: I don't love these anymore, and I don't feel good or enjoy wearing them. It has nothing to do with how current they are or aren't , or about who else might choose to wear them , it's about how they made me feel . You can up the currency-factor of ponte pants by pairing them with a dress for example. You can make the boots look elegant by pairing them with a satin slip skirt as another example . But for me, the pants were snug and thick and hot and it's not how I want to feel in a pair of pants anymore . The boots were flashy, and the silver was tarnishing anyways . They aren't pristine anymore and that doesn't make me feel good . What was once cool and rocker-chic no longer works with how I want to present myself. Zero happiness factor for either piece.

This might sound like a lot of navel gazing over something that may come naturally to others, but I've spent my life looking at fashion and style through a different lens. I'm a little excited to be able to use this new personal language to evaluate my wardrobe. If I eliminate the concept of dated and change the factor to " do I still love wearing it?" - maybe I can see things in a less judgmental way. I also look forward to using different language in response to forum and blog postings about style changes in the marketplace.

I'm always a work in progress and always working to improve.

Thoughts, comments are most welcome!

Oh, and btw , both the boots and the pants went STRAIGHT into the donate pile the minute I got home from work