Choose Your Style
A reader writes:
I am in total confusion - I am a 22 year old fashion failure... altho i try to look good i find myself constantly wearing the same clothes over and over again (usually my comfiest jeans and a big jumper). I have plenty of clothes altho i can never think of anything to wear. I often find myself thinking - oh i musn't wear that because tomorrow i may really need to wear it and it will be in the wash.
I would love to look good every day and to have a certain style to call my own. How do i go about achieving this? How should i decide what i need to buy to complete my wardrobe and make it more 'user friendly'.
Can you help?
You're a 22-year-old fashion failure? You can't be a 22-year-old anything failure, except maybe gymnast or diaper model. And what bothers us more in your letter is the deep psychic block you seem to be struggling with. Carpe diem, darling. Do not put off until tomorrow what you can wear today. This is your life. This is really happening to you.
Take yourself more seriously, pronto. Do you think Bill Clinton slunk stoop-shouldered in the corners dreaming one day of becoming outgoing and personable? No, he practiced it right away, running for class office in kindergarten. He knew that one's performance as a seven-year-old does not sink into obscurity. And, like every president before and since, he was able to find later, for his campaign movie, many former classmates to say things like "I always knew he'd be president one day."
1) Identify your favorite parts of yourself. Your thick hair? Your sexy eyes? Your long legs? Your curves? Your sense of humor? Your daintiness? Whatever. Then identify clothes or looks that emphasize those things.
2) Make sure to wear at least one non-standard thing every day, whether it's an unusual color combination, fabulous boots, or a tiny vest.
3) If you find something that looks really good on you, buy more of that.
4) Throw away all of your so-so clothing, so you won't be tempted to ever wear them again.
5) Choose one item from Column A and one from Column B to add to your wardrobe this autumn. It doesn't take much to take a boring outfit and turn it wonderful.
Unfortunately, we cannot really give you a specific list of things to add to your closet, because we don't know you. But every 22-year-old should probably have a good pair of dark, skinny jeans, a riding jacket type of thing, a blouse made entirely of lace, blue shoes, a sleek black dress, boots, belts, something plaid, lipstick, a thin scarf to wind and wind around the throat, a pleated mini-skirt, a pencil skirt to just below the knees.
Someone sent in a question very similar to yours about a year ago. Our reply to her, titled "Help From the Clothing Fairy" might be of some interest to you as well.
Yrs with best wishes,