Fashion is a renowned creative outlet. A way of expressing yourself through what clothing decisions you make. Part of the freedom is being able to alter this on a whim- ‘girly’ one day, ‘tough’ the next – your clothes can express your mood, ideas and much much more. The artistry involved envisaging yourself on a daily basis doesn’t stop there – we can be one person during the day, another at night. The freedom is evident and empowering.
Yet, as much as the creative opportunities of style can be discussed and anticipated it is often somewhat more difficult to replicate in reality.
One issue is money. Yes, it would be fabulous to have numerous statement coats, a biker leather jacket, ladylike fur, cosy winter duffle coat and even a trophy jacket thrown in the mix. (The list could go on). This way whatever your desired statement or mood, it would be achievable. Ladylike, cute, cool – various tangents of the style spectrum can be channelled. The limitation here is funding – not many can afford variations on one item, our clothing experimentation is, sadly, restricted by our bank balances.
This issue can also be recognised in regular magazine advice. The idea that if you buy a failsafe LBD it can be updated – dressed up and down for different occasions. Good idea in theory, but for most boredom sets in after three wears. The lure of a bold and brand new dress is stronger, but a ‘new occasion/new dress’ lifestyle is, unfortunately, impossible to upkeep. Hence, a catch 22 situation.
The second issue is more personal. The catwalk constantly highlights exciting new image ideas – clashing prints, colour blocking…the list goes on. When inspiration hits the urge for clothing, creativity might blur our inclinations of practicality and what actually suits us. Follow a number of impulse buys that simply just aren’t ‘you,’ that proceed to hang unworn in your wardrobe. We’ve all been there. So, in this way fashion aspirations are crushed by awareness of shape and personal style preference.
A particular personal hang up of mine is the need to feel well matched and put together. I admire and aspire to women who can throw on an outfit and look good. Yet, when trying to incorporate this in myself I simply just feel uncomfortable. The issue goes further. If something is slightly the wrong shape and doesn’t fit ‘just right’ I can’t allow myself to wear it. Even if a bra strap or accessory doesn’t match the overall outfit, it is rejected and changed. Again, an inherent sense of style restricts my ability to be as confident or creative in my outfit choices.
Many girls are not bound to these rules in the same way as I am. They might relish instead a more carefree style. Maybe they are geniuses but more likely they have their own fashion limitations also. Trends and styles they would like to try but for some reason just can’t quite follow through.
So, how free is your fashion spirit? It’s very possible our boundaries are restricted more than they ideally should be. The ‘stuck- in- a- rut’ syndrome that I can and will strive to overcome in the pursuit of a varied fashion repertoire. The issue of money is a bit more difficult but, hey, the challenge adds to the fun!
By Jessica Bowman