I’ve rarely ever seen a person in the flesh look perfect. I find the perfection in fashion magazines–and increasingly on social media–to be un-relatable, un-real and un-imaginative.
Over the years, I’ve learned to ignore as well as cease giving comments like, “You look great, but…”
In our obsession to see what is wrong, we fail to see what is right.
When it comes to how we choose to dress, the discussion often turns to style icons–especially celebrities or famous people. In the midst of the glitz and the glam of the unreal perfection, we fail to see the miracles of beauty that unfold between and among us everyday.
Fashion shows were never meant for the general public. They were primarily targeted towards captivating jaded insiders who were seeking something to excite them. Designers made use of grand theatrics not just to sell clothes, but to embody ‘the dream’. To grab attention, it had to be outlandish, different and provocative.
This, in turn, would inspire others to showcase these clothes in the media.
When it comes to what we wear, most of us do not aspire to look like runway models. We don’t even want to be compared to them. We really only want to look like a better version of ourselves or the best version of ourselves. We have our daily look and our ‘I’ve made special effort today’ look. When it comes to the latter, it sends a strong message that this is a special day.
Does this colour suit me? Do these two colours work well together? Do these patterns clash?
Everyday, we ask people the ageless question, “How do I look?” Generally speaking, as long as we’ve stuck to the basics, our outfit will neither offend anybody nor attract attention. Black-and-white is usually a safe bet. It is when we start experimenting outside societal norms that we raise a few eyebrows.
When I was in my early 20s, I enjoyed wearing a pair of yellow mustard-coloured loafers that I absolutely loved. It’s a love-it-or-hate-it type of look. I did get a few criticisms, but mostly, people thought it was cool. Over the years, I’ve received the same sorts of comments whenever I decide to play with colour. Some people will love it and others just won’t.
Sometimes, we just have to take risks with how we choose to dress. I’ve got an aubergine-coloured suit jacket that I simply adore, but it rubs a lot of people the wrong way. They say I shouldn’t wear a colour like that during a formal occasion. I listen and nod. It still hasn’t stopped me from wearing it, though. I get positive comments, too. People who love the colour and the feeling it inspires in them. The key, when it comes to fashion, is to experiment with what feels good to you.
It is no different to an artist putting together colours and styles until the bare canvas–the naked body–comes together in a way that others will appreciate. For most people, it comes down to finding a few things they like to wear and that they feel truly comfortable in. Then, it’s about making sure that it looks good on you.
If you’re happy with it, then, that’s all that matters.
I’ve also learned to be open to suggestions regarding new looks I haven’t tried. For me, this usually means blending traditional pieces from my cultural heritage along with modern attire. I’ve always had a penchant for heirlooms and when done right, it serves as a symbolic reminder of our roots.
For most people, however, the shoe is what makes or breaks them. A comfortable shoe that looks beautiful is something that we are bound to notice.
One of the truisms in fashion is that no matter how beautifully something is crafted, it still has to fit and suit the person who is wearing it. There is nothing that ruins an outfit quite like shoes that are uncomfortable and leave your feet blistered. It affects the way that you walk and the confidence with which you present yourself.
Which is why the yellow loafer was always a winner in my books. I also had a silver pair of boots once. I used to wear them at formal black-tie events. It was my way of conforming, but making sure that I did it with a flash of inspiration. The best part was that there were ridiculously comfortable and did not break the bank.
All hail the silver boot!