Spiritual elevation via Shopping: Fashion philosophies from a style switcher's mouth
Writer, Sophie Chung delves into the ever-evolving world of fashion and in doing so gives us shopping addicts a little peace of mind… There is a tagline that forms the basis for retail philosophy - ‘buy now, wear forever’. It implies that we should find our signature style and be committed to it, no matter what, for the rest of our lives. So, what is fashion? This question will present numerous subjective answers. One philosophy that I adhere to, is that fashion is an outward expression of something internal. As much as shopping is considered to be an activity performed by pompous, self-important pretentious panjandrums, it is also an amazing tool for introspection and self-knowledge. You adopt an ethos that informs your shopping for the next amazingly hedonistic occasion. Shopping is spiritual! (You laugh, but you know it soothes your soul). Your style transforms with time; with time you grow, change, evolve and mature, which are all indications of life. In the spirit of really seizing the opportunity to express my personal individuality and feelings, I have in the past rocked faded, pilling sweatpants - still Nike, so don’t judge me too much, no makeup (freckles, dry skin heavily in need of exfoliation, dark-circles (and those under-eye bags are definitely not Chanel), and bad hair. Although, from what I remember, I think I still managed to spray du l’eau de toilette before I left the house. Intentional or unintentional, what you wear and how you present yourself says a lot about you – it’s inevitable. My hideous ‘bad hair, don’t care’ style co-ordination and attitude was not a modern-day-bohemian nonconformist proclamation. It was more along the lines of, ‘I, literally, woke up like this... not so flawless,’ while my facial expression said, ‘Hello. What do you want. You can’t have it. Goodbye.’ They don’t say ‘first impressions last the longest’ for no reason. Think of it like this - if you, as a person, were a window display, you would flaunt your best merchandise in the very best way! (I just want to point out that the rhyme was unintended but incredibly fortunate). Isn’t that what a resume is? Isn’t that what dating is? Isn’t that what life is? You are both the advertiser and the merchandise – you need to sell yourself to your employer, potential lover or life-long partner, the cool kids or queen-bees at school and whoever else you need to impress to get up that long, boundless ladder, and surpass the finish line overlooking the horizon that shines into a brighter future. It’s very fortunate that I don’t aspire to ‘wear forever’ because if that ‘comfortable’ look portrayed the person I am now and will be in the next however many years, I would potentially be a homeless vagrant. It’s safe to say that one’s wardrobe is a powerful portal that has the ability to construct and portray your identity. But your identity, values, lifestyle and aspirations will constantly be in flux, meaning your wardrobe will reflect this variability in your life. It’s a living discipline that is continuously changing, developing and progressing, dipping its toe into new possibilities and creating previously inconceivable designs. Styles come and go, you don't need to stick with a specific Modus Operandi. Fashion is a reflection of who you and your generation are; there shouldn’t be pressure to keep it forever, the world is infinitely changing, so don’t feel like you’ve become a backstabbing traitor when you think your style no longer appeals to your senses. Fashion is constantly changing under the influence of the dimension that is time. This means that you, fashion, and your style will change and evolve eternally, and change means you’re alive. So, stop with the criticism, and just embrace the beauty and the beautiful things that surround you. Wear what you want, express yourself and keep dressing on because fashion is great.