I’ll never forget this friend I had in college who was always full of lipstick, glitter, and carefree whimsy. One day, she leaned in full of sunshine and whispered in my ear, “Mary a lady always does two things. Never wears sweats to a meal and always says ‘thank you’ when she receives a compliment.” I don’t know why but those whispers stuck. Maybe it was because she always managed to remain square in between feminism freedom and lady elegance, and I loved every bit of it. I wanted to emulate that and add my own soulful Caribbean flare. Ladyhood has countless constructs that should have been thrown out after the 1950s ended, but fashion, I think, the best thing about being a lady in our society.
Fashion to me is more than an interest, it’s a space that takes away words like ugly versus beauty. Otherwise plain girls are suddenly pieces of art to strut down a runway, and obese women with too much makeup have pizzazz, odd or eccentric face shapes are adorned then adored. Fashion is a massacre of rule breaking visually, and once I fell into it– I couldn’t get enough of it. I’m mostly an admirer, but occasionally I dabble with my own trend setting outfits only with the dream of having enough money to always be a woman that is fashionable and style conscious in my own way.
I believe there are three laws in beauty.
Number 1. No matter your size– your wardrobe should only have flattering clothes that support your own unique style.
Number 2. Eat healthily to live long, but never to fit in a dress.
Number 3. Move your body for something fun or a goal accomplished. Your goal shouldn’t be to go down a size.
My soul feels crushed when I see women exhibit frustration and discouragement regarding shopping for clothes. It shouldn’t weaken our will, but instead the whole affair should empower our femininity. Yesterday, I walked into a store, chose a dress that I knew would drape my curves in the right way, it’d be loose in the right parts, and tight where it counts for both sex appeal and classiness. And when I tried it on (after my purchase–because Korea has weird store rules)– I was right! It fit in the best way possible. It was more than the color, how it looked on the hanger, it was more than knowing my own body type and how material fits on it— it was all of that together to make that purchase easy for me. Moments like that fulfill a primitive part of my womanly-ness. The most satisfaction comes when I see a girl whatever size, friend or foe, rich or poor who can dress with all of the confidence in the world, strutting her colors and sense of style, and it comes together looking effortless. Its powerful.
Fashion exists for all. I wish everyone knew that. I’m constantly day dreaming about what the average bus goer sitting next to me or my neighbor would look like if Tommy, Coco, or Betsey Johnson got a hold of them.
May I entice the reader who can’t find her size for her favorite clothes to learn how your body curves and what clothes works best for it, to consider male clothes, dream up your ideal style and work at it, and never be afraid to make daunting statements– just find the most flattering way to do it. May I entice the reader who is at a loss regarding their own style, google your favorite singer, celebrity, or instagrammer and copy– because copying is the best form of flattery and creativity is just copying in an excellent and unique way. May I entice all to break a fashion rule, try sexy once a week, try weird once a week, and be confident in your own sense of style.