Looking for your Style Identity? Close your eyes….
Who am I? As existential dilemmas go, fashion’s an easy one. Pull up a couch, close your eyes and
ask yourself some questions: What color cheers me up? What pants am I most comfortable in? What
fabrics always feel great? Unrepress the glamorous self image buried in your unconscious.
Find your common denominator, then multiply.
You love shift dresses, so have weekend shift dresses, daytime shift dresses and evening shift dresses.
Some may be longer, some may be more bare, but they are all basically your dress. If you’re addicted
to slim pants, corner the market. In spring, they are showing a little more leg and in fun fabrics. In fall
they’re longer and more subdued. Tailor your clothing to your body, not the other way around. If you have
a power bootay, and the confidence to match, make a clingy skirt your deadliest weapon.
Let the moods swing
Everyone occasionally wakes up thinking, wanna change my hair, my clothes, my face (as Bruce
Springsteen sang). But you don’t want to look like a Miss Hippie one day and Jackie O the next. You
may want to even out the extreme mood swings with a little fashion Prozac. Wearing a poncho doesn’t
necessitate Birkenstocks, love beads and a fanny pack filled with granola. Turn the hippie vibe haute with
your most sophisticated ikat maxi dress. Should you rise from a nap feeling like the heroine of a Jane Austen
novel and reach for your muslin petticoat, halt before adding the antique blouse and pearls. Get ahold of
yourself – and something from this century. A comfy little tee will do just fine.
If you’re Miss Casual most of the time, there’s no reason to turn into Princess Grace every time the
invitation says black tie. You’re going to a wedding, not joining the witness protection program. Just doll
up the same thing you always wear. If it’s t-shirts, make it a silk one. Out of pants and you panic, pull
on tuxedo pants with high heels. If you feel more at ease gussied up, don’t peer pressure yourself into
dressing down. Sell your fashion soul and you’ll end up like one of those people who wear suntan panty
hose and shorts at a clam bake. You’ll be cooler wearing that sexy dress with no make-up and bare feet.
- Excerpt from Swell: A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life by Cynthia Rowley and Ilene Rosenzweig