Price. Perfect Fit. Style.
Merriam-Webster defines fashion as “the prevailing style during a particular time.” More than a popular trend, fashion is a choice in grooming, with an aesthetic that appeals to a person’s personality, occupation, personal branding, and self-expression. The way a person dresses and carries herself while in that particular manner reflects her fashion sense. People always have a reason for dressing up, particularly the way they do, though some do it intentionally, while others simply do not have a choice. The fact is everyone will at one point have to go to the store to purchase apparel. The purpose of the intended item to be purchased varies — either for work or casual work or something else.
In buying clothes, no matter what they are for, there are things that one needs to bear in mind. Always remember three guidelines. First is the price. Will you blow an entire week’s budget for one shirt? If so, then it is not worth it. Next is it should fit perfectly. No matter how enticing a dress might seem, if it does not fit you perfectly, you would not look good in it. The last thing to look out for is style. Can you rock that specific style or not? Or does it even belong in the workplace? Though it can be tempting to go for the premium brands, avoid being too brand conscious. Brand tags are hidden from plain sight anyway.
At work, people are often issued uniforms, though not every company issues them. Uniforms are often industry or job description specific. Employees who are not issued uniforms are expected to comply with the company’s usual strict dress codes. Workplace fashion can be classified as corporate or semi-formal. For men, collars are a must, but it can just be any collared shirt that has to be buttoned-up. Polo shirts are reserved for dress-down days or fieldwork. Whether to go long or short sleeves usually depends on the weather. When choosing a shirt, make sure they fit well along the shoulders and biceps. Avoid anything too loose that the wind blows it off when you wear it or too tight that the buttons look like they are about to pop.
Make sure to pair your shirt with pants that are either slacks, khakis, or chinos. Save the denim for dress-down and casual days. Make sure the pants fit perfectly through your thighs and waistline. Belts and suspenders are essential accessories as these are meant to prevent pants from falling. Women have more freedom in choosing for bottom pairs. They can either choose to go slacks or skirts. Be wary though, skirts that are more than three inches above the knee are too short and inappropriate. The sleeve length for the blouse is also weather-dependent, but sleeveless blouses and tubes should be worn with a blazer. A standard one-inch heel is recommended for women’s office shoes, as any higher can be too restricting, even for those working on a desk.
Formal or evening wear is usually worn in high-end parties, formal events, award ceremonies, dance parties, and other socialization events. While having a wardrobe specific for such events can be handy, renting is a more common approach due to the steep prices. A strict coat and tie rule is in place for men — missing either of the two can make one seem underdressed. Make sure to wear a dress shirt (or polo) under the coat, and not those plain shirts worn by the heroes in the Miami Vice TV series. Also, bear in mind that not every guy has what it takes to wear flamboyant colored suits such as red, pink, green, teal, etc. Women can either go evening gown or cocktail dress. Never rush into the event without seeing and fitting your dress at least one day before. Some dresses can be very fancy with their flowing design or extra appendage. Not that it is a bad thing, but it can cause discomfort for the uninitiated. An uncomfortable dress can really ruin one’s night. Heels should be based on one’s capacity to carry a pair. Never wear heels that you cannot rock. Aside from the discomfort, it makes one prone to accidents such as tripping.
When going out with family or friends, on vacation, or simply out to buy something, there are very few rules on picking clothes. Casual clothes are the most comfortable type to wear. This set is also the most basic. Usually, it is a t-shirt for men and a casual blouse for women. All gender can wear long pants, shorts, or denim. They can also wear sneakers, flip-flops, sandals, and slip-on shoes. It all depends on the destination. Men can wear loafers while women have varying choices such as flats, open shoes, doll shoes, etc. Women’s pairs are also the easiest to find, as casual wear is usually displayed in department stores and boutiques.
Trendy, as the name implies, is the one that is currently favored by the market. Are skinny jeans still in? Will gladiator sandals make a comeback? Can you still look good in plaids? Is animal print still fierce? These are the types that can be seen being promoted on social media and worn by influencers and celebrities. Though these are not all equal in popularity as others, the point of being trendy is that it is more stylish and has more novelty than casual. Since consumers gravitate towards these items, it appears almost everywhere — from physical stores to online shops. We might even have a friend or two who sells such apparel as a side hustle. The thing about trendy items, though, is they can grow old fast. Though some are enduring, like skinny jeans and bell bottoms, others have fallen out of style, such as the harem pants.
An article in lifestyle blog Lifestyle by PS states, “As a form of self-expression, fashion can make us feel empowered and more in touch with our inner self.” More than cloth pieces to cover one’s body, clothes can make someone more in touch with their status. Having a choice for what to wear in any given situation can give someone the feeling of control. It influences self-esteem, especially when others compliment said clothes and how well a person carries them. As mentioned earlier, different situations call for different sets of clothes, though some situations provide better liberty than others. But if given a choice, would it not be nice to wear what one feels comfortable and confident wearing while adhering to requirements that the situation gives? Fashion is what makes your individuality. OWN IT!