Monday, November 12, 2012

Permission to Change..?

One of the things i love and also hate about fashion, is its transitory nature.  It's always in flux, this month's 'essential trouser' is next month's 'never to be seen again'.  For instance, you will not, ever, see me buying anything with a peplum on.  Apart from the fact that i'm 5'11 and therefore would look like a lampshade, they'll be totally over by christmas...

I love the transitory because, hey! New shiny! And i hate it because that thing that i loved, the look that i've clung to since 2007, the perfect jeans that i now can't buy anywhere, disappear without trace, never to be seen again.  Or at least for another 20 years or so anyway.  And while i am a big fashion geek, i get stuck in my ways as easily as anyone else who's been on the planet for more than five minutes - especially as, soon after my fashion geekism kicked in hard, i then became what's referred to as a 'lifestyle music fan'.  In this case, a goth.  For a long time.  And give or take the odd change of trouser shape and update of hairstyle, goths have pretty much looked the same since the 80s.  It's an extreme example, but think about your friends or your older female relatives (and the boys too, to a lesser extent). How many of them found a look that 'worked' in the time they felt happiest about themselves and stuck with it?  The 80s powersuit, the 90s grunge hair, the 60s bob and black eyeliner?

Fashion doesn't help, by the time most of us have the income to buy decent quality stuff, we're twice the age of the models that are being used to advertise it!  We're never going to look like that, so why bother?  Stick with what you know, right?

It often takes a major life changing event to make a woman change her look.  In my somewhat erratic career path, i spent some time as a hairdresser - and 9 times out of 10 (citation needed), any woman who booked in for a 'restyle' had generally had something major happen.  A brutal crop or a sudden change from brunette to blonde or blonde to scarlet would often coincide with a suddenly unadorned ring finger.  Hell, i did it myself - long blonde tresses went to short red bob went to bleached crop went to my current short brunette (really need to update that profile picture).  And each time, end of relationship, move of house, another move of house etc etc...


Its not always a big event though.  For instance, you wait your whole life for the shade of red lipstick that suits you and then two come along at once.  In this case, rimmel 'tantrum' (this makes all my friends laugh wryly for some reason) and also rimmel kate moss 01.  Both the perfect grown-up red, and both completely unsuitable to wear with the smudgey black kohl i've been doing since i was 19...  So, black eyeliner goes in the bin, out comes the nude shadow palette, and a couple of pixiwoo tutorials later i'm rocking the totally sophisticated scarlet pout that is apparently so this season....

It's easy to get stuck in that look that everyone knows as you. The hair, the makeup, the skinny jeans become your fashion 'brand' whether you like it or not.  Why change?  But then if change is thrust upon you anyway, if that 'you' uniform suddenly feels redundant, it can be a relief to drop the 'you' everyone thinks they know and go for it.

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