While paying for my purchases at Topshop Powerplant yesterday, the cashier on the counter handed my cousin’s girlfriend and I, this form to fill-up for a chance to win a P10,000 shopping spree. Not one to discard in-store promotions, moreover, the opportunity to shop for free, I eagerly grabbed the form and went over the questionnaire.
“What’s the one fashion rule you live by?” The innocent form inquired in fine print.
I hesitated and looked over my cousin’s girlfriend and saw her jotting away. I stared at the first question some more and realized that the inquiry didn’t seem so innocent anymore–the voice in my head taking a somewhat mocking tone.
What is the one fashion rule I live by?
Are there even rules?
A part of my brain said: “Buy the latest trends!”–it took the voice of my close friend Weesa, who I admired so much for knowing the ins and outs of fashion for every season like the back of her hand.
Another part went: “Strive to stand-out and be unique! Don’t be like everyone else!” –this one took the voice of my other close friend Dada, who made unconventional fashion work like no one’s business.
Mental voices (taking th form of my real-life friends’ voices) started chirping in and making a buzz. I’m pretty sure the cashier was wondering why I looked so conflicted and took so long to answer a simple question, one that my fashionable predecessors had filled up in mere seconds.
And there it came, an epiphany.
“Fuck rules!” My own mental voice declared.
And then everything made sense.
Fuck rules indeed. Obviously, that solid one-liner wasn’t politically correct enough to write down so I opted for a more people-friendly albeit unconventional answer. So I started my sentence with: “The one fashion rule I live by is to abide to zero fashion rules…” or something to the same effect (I tend to forget).
And it is true. The moment you allow rules to dictate your fashion or your life, then you lose sight of your own style. Of course, you have to know the basics of fashion and you have to embrace it, but those technical tidbits are not the be all and end all of fashion. In order for you to have real fun with fashion, you need to know a few rules that may be slightly different–points that are never taught in fashion school and definitely not something industry bigwigs will harp about in their varied fashion columns and articles.
So I know I’m going to sound slightly hypocritical (though I’d much prefer to think of it as oxymoronic) but allow me to lay down my “fashion rules” that’ll guarantee an enriched experience with fashion and exploring your own style.
Contact Lenses: Freshlook in True Sapphire (undoubtedly the safest, most comfortable pair that I own. Pretty much also the only pair I own that does a good job in hiding my already-brown irises–this is the second pair I’ve tried on after my favorite grey ones from last post)
Fashion Rule # 1: Don’t Always Try to Define Your Style
The tricky thing about having labels is that: once you define it, it sticks. I don’t mean it in a very literal way and I’m sure we all know full well I don’t mean sticker labels on inanimate objects.
The moment youd eclare yourself to be “glam babe” or the “girl next door“, you’re limiting yourself from exploring other styles and other perspectives on fashion. Of course, people will msot probably come up to you and say: “Wow, you sure do know your style!”–which is pretty great but the thing is with defining one’s style (and do know I’m not speaking in behalf of everyone and directing it to anyone) is that it restricts yoru views on what can be perceived as stylish and fashionable. Plus, it’ll give you a hard time to appreciate pieces, views, and styles that are leagues away from your own genre.
Fashion Rule # 2: Money is not a Determinant of Style but it’s still Important
You know how, when you’re reading some fashion persona’s interview on a magazine and at some point, they go: “money shouldn’t matter with fashion” and you get this strange urge (often accompanied with a faint twitch in the eye) to shred apart the article with your teeth because, and really, because, you know for a fact that without money you pretty much don’t enjoy fashion?
Well, let’s just put it this way, money is important–not just for fashion but practically for just about everything and that is undeniable but just because it’s important doesn’t mean you have to shell out money on a constant basis to keep your style up-to-date (yes, I struggle with this often too).
What I’m trying to say is moderation is key and this is where your creativity steps in. Money shouldn’t just be blown in high-street stores like Topshop, Zara, so on and forth all the time. Moreover, money shouldn’t be the only currency you use to update your style.
There are a lot of avenues for you to put your money to good use and there are ways for you to enrich your fashion smartly without having to overspend but more importantly, you still need to keep your expenses at bay and you definitely have to continue working hard and save in order for you to not just enjoy fashion but also enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Fashion Rule #3: Diversify Your Shopping Bag
And this is an extension of rule #2. When I said you have to be creative, a part of it meant you have to diversify. If you go back to rule #1, I asked you to diversify your style by not sticking to one, but to be more specific this time, in order for you to enrich the various styles you’re immersing yourself in, then you also have to diversify your shopping bag.
Fashion can be found just about anywhere so you shouldn’t restrict yourself to only a few stores. Sure, the likes of Forever 21 will keep you in on the most recent trends and will more or less give you a good investment piece but it doesn’t help you diversify and trust me, you’re most likely 1/1000 girls owning the same pair of top.
I like to own unique pieces, something I and probably only 5 other girls have. So sometimes, I have items custom-made but that can be really costly. I’ve tried out D.I.Y. options but I suck big time with arts and crafts, and so, for suckers like me, online shopping is pretty much gift from God.
The thing I love about online shopping is that it helps budding entrepreneurs and gives me limited options fashioned from the minds of people who’re interested in fashion at a fraction of a price. This is why I’ve a long standing relationship with Multiply, the e-commerce website. Multiply is a big haven for online shops–be it fashion or otherwise. It gives you options not readily available in free-standing stores and is pretty much diverse. I’ve long been shopping online, specifically in Multiply, and I love how it gives me pieces to integrate with my high-street items and designer wear.
For you on the other hand, you’ve countless options–online shopping being one, bazaars, D.I.Y., so on and forth. Creativity holds the upperhand when it comes to standing out!
Gorgeous photos by the Giant Flying Robot. The wide leg pants are a courtesy of Meg* Clothing, the brand with all sorts of candy-colored wide leg trousers I’ve lusted for about six months and runing already, plus a variety of trendy office wear.
Fashion Rule #4: Fashion Shouldn’t Be Exclusive
The reason people think that fashion is shallow and stupid is because it has a tendency to be exclusive and by that, I mean, snobby and judgmental. The big misconception with fashion is that only the rich have access to it but as we mentioned previously, money and style have no correlation–at least, not in the bigger scheme of things.
This is why I mentioned, and countlessly reiterated, that to generalize and state that some people have no taste in fashion is erroneous. Everyone has a certain style, one that you will never be privy of. Fashion is all about story-telling, what one wears is an expression of her feelings and is built upon numerous experiences and stories. The person right next to you could be wearing a decade-old sequin top that once belonged to her deceased mother–you know what I mean?
Judgment is the root of several problems. So before you go on spouting about how someone is a “fashion victim”, think twice and ponder if you know the story behind her outfit choice. Remember, fashion is a philosophy and it shouldn’t be shallow.
When I said that one shouldn’t abide to a single fashion rule doesn’t mean one shouldn’t abide to any, especially the ones I stated above. The important thing is to know each rule–be it the basics, the technicals, and the more introspective ones–explore, learn, apply, then break (and yes, I mean this in that specific order). Fashion is all about cycles, right? It’s all about taking it in, puttingyour knowledge inside a box, and then, finding ways to expand and think out of the box.
So those are my thoughts for the day, this day in particular, a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I hope you find merit in the wisdom that I’m sharing. Please feel free to let me in on your thoughts by dropping a comment or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
To the winners of my previous contests who have not received their items but had emailed me their addresses, I’ve replied to your respective emails and will have the items shipped out by Wednesday. For those of you who haven’t contacted me, please do so!
Next, the Multiply contest is still on-going. For those of you who are unaware: I’m giving away a free, all-expense-paid shopping spree over at the Multiply Market Place. All you have to do to win the shopping spreeworth 3,000 PHP is to check out Multiply’s virtual mall and recommend your store of choice–one that’s using the new “product listing platform” to be more specific. Please comment in any of my October posts–I will be announcing the winner by the end of this month.
Likewise, even if you don’t win the shopping spree, I will be giving 5 free Freshlook dailies for those who frequently comment my blog.
Thanks for reading!!!