Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quick change artist

I have a love/hate relationship with fashion magazines.

I love how they arrive in the mail, fresh and new, brimming with the latest trends and ideas. I hate how you have to flip past no less than 10 pages of advertisements -- convincing you that your teeth should be whiter, you should be thinner, your makeup should last longer and you really need to wear more diamonds -- to get to the "articles." An article is usually text wrapped around photos of models who are six feet tall, 115 pounds, dressed in beautiful clothes, their hair and make-up perfect. I silently chant "airbrushing, airbrushing, airbrushing," reminding myself that everyone could look this good with a team of make-up artists, hair stylists, 20 wardrobe changes, a two day photo shoot in Maui (to capture the perfect 5 pictures that actually end up in the magazine) and endless amounts of airbrushing.

I took a Women Studies course in college. I wrote my final paper on how fashion magazines affect the self-esteem of woman. Nailed it!

Having since moved past my collegiate ideals, I now read about 5 fashion magazines a month -- "research" for my wardrobe consultation business (write off!). Now, more than ever, most fashion magazines have a section wherein they show you one piece of clothing done two ways. Unfortunately, the piece of clothing is always something like a $285 blouse. Then they match it up with a $355 pair of pants for work OR for the casual weekend, a $175 denim micro mini. Nice!

Publishing house budget aside, I get the point. You should be able to wear your clothing more than one way. Whenever you are about to buy a new skirt (for example), stop and think -- What will I wear this with? Is that skirt worth buying if you also will have to buy a new top to go with it? Before this blog, I use to answer myself with a resounding "Hell yes!" and then keep shopping. If I felt particularly thrifty, I'll buy a dress -- its the top and bottom together.

Now, I aim to show women how to create outfits using the items already in their closets. Therefore, when shopping for clothes the question becomes: "Can I add this to what I already have in my closet and create another outfit? -- not, "What do I need to buy to go with what I just bought?"

Today I wore a top that I had bought for a concert last year. It was colorful and flouncy and served its purpose. It was inexpensive and I was in a rush. I didn't stop to think what else I could do with it. I wore it to the concert with jeans and back to my closet it went. I love the mixture of colors -- pinks, grays, black, white and a touch of purple. However, since it is sleeveless and has a wide band, fitted bottom, I never considered the possibility of wearing it to the office.

This morning as I stood in front of my closet, mulling over what to wear, a light bulb when off. I grabbed the top, grabbed my gray skirt and set about pulling together my outfit. I tucked the top in and the wide band, fitted bottom actually kept the shirt from riding up. Sleeveless? No problem. My trusty light gray cardigan has seen me through a lot. I accessorized with my strappy gray heels and gray toned jewelry, letting the colorful top be the focal point.

After work, if I was meeting the girls for dinner and drinks, I would just change into jeans and be ready to go. Viola! One top worn two ways -- just like a magazine. However, since I was not meeting the girls after work the photo to your left is for illustration purposes only and does not reflect real life -- just like a magazine. Hey, I may read them, but I still think fashion magazines are glossy books of propaganda devised by ad agencies to use as vehicles to sell their client's beauty products by convincing women they are fat and ugly. As I said, its a love/hate relationship.


  1. The girls and drinks missed you!

  2. Ditto that. Can't wait for my Style Within session on Saturday! I have a few problem pieces that need the Daniela magic to pair with something (ideally something I already have).

  3. I am liking the inclusion of Harley and--what's that other dog's name?--in your blog photos!

  4. I love this post! I have the same love/hate thing going on with the mags, too. Ugh. Your entry makes me want to delve into my oh-so-modest closet of clothes. I could really use your help...