Bomey Kim is a fashion merchandiser-turned-archivist. She physically and digitally catalogues, then properly stores runway collections for Korean men’s suit company Roygen. She holds a Master’s degree in Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Before attending FIT, she analyzed market trends, production costs, and previous sales numbers to determine the product direction that the manufacturers will take each season. She can be reached at [email protected]
Diane von Furstenberg said, “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the woman I wanted to be” –a powerful phrase that any woman who is in the midst of finding herself and her path in life can relate to. As we grow older, hopefully we grow wiser. Unfortunately we can get confused with the path we are trekking for we are constantly bombarded with a lot of opinions and advises from families and friends, and even from acquaintances and strangers. We also can get bombarded with messages from life experiences, and exposures to different cultures, art, and media. These constant communications sometimes confuses us on who we are, who we want to become, and who we can become.
We are constantly pushed and pulled to different kinds of ideas. Especially in the way we dress. The market today is filled with different kinds of minutiae that can make someone be confused on which clothes to wear, or what style to choose from. You are lucky if you can get the services of a stylist or a personal shopper to tell you what to wear, what is good on you, and what is in and what is not.
Fortunately for you, I can help you in defining your style, and defining you, through your style with these seven easy steps. With these seven easy steps, you don’t have to pay a stylist or a personal shopper. You can do it yourself. It is much fun anyway. You get to experience being kid in a candy store over and over again. You get to explore and experiment. You get the fun and the benefit of trial and error, for you are able to teach yourself and learn what is good and what is bad, and you able to decide what is best for you.
How you ask? Well you have to be like in school again. Boring? Wrong! Fashion is never boring especially to someone who is very interested in it. Like learning your ABC’s and 123’s, you already have learned them first through your parents, grandparents, guardians, and friends. Trained, along with your basic instinct, it is in you already, believe me. You just have to harness it and let it flow through.
Remember the time where you play dress up as a kid? Or want to have the same outfit your friends have, or even your mom has. You strut around your house in her big heels pretending to be the lady you wish to be? It is just like that. Although now that you are older and hopefully wiser, you know who you are and who you want to be. If not: KNOW. That is the best first advice I think I could give you. Unlike the time you were a kid, there is no excuse to wearing oversized heels and prancing –or in my case, twirling around in a nightgown—around town. And always stay true to yourself.
As you advanced in learning, like learning to read. You learn, through reading fashion and style books. There are an abundance of fashion and style books and tips nowadays –you cannot even fathom on how many they are right now. Pick and choose the books you want. If you want to read them all, you may. But, edit. That would be my second advice, EDIT. Take in what you want, and what applies, and get rid of the rest.
Like also learning and knowing your vocabulary, you need to know the vocabulary of fashion and style. Like studying the dictionary to expand your vocabulary, one must know the vocabulary of fashion. It doesn’t hurt to read Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion. This advice you may or may not do. This is only if you want to master your skill in fashion and style.
Aside from Fashion and Style books, you can even draw inspiration from other books like Graphic Novels and Children’s books. Come on! Who wouldn’t get inspired from Fancy Nancy? You can draw inspiration from Movies, and TV Shows as well. Do some people watching at the malls, or parks, or in your school campus. You can draw inspiration from the window display the visual merchandisers put up in your favorite stores.
These are the fashion RESOURCES one can draw inspiration from. Which is another tip. With the right resources, you can get unlimited amount of inspiration on how to look good. Feedback from your friends and family members, to even your boyfriend is another source of understanding. They have an opinion on what looks good on you and what does not. They have your best interest at heart. Besides you would also want know what you look like in eyes of another person, which is a good source to edit your style.
I am not telling you to let go of contacting stylist and personal shoppers entirely. You can get free advices from them. They are very happy to give you anyway. For example, there is one time, Macy’s had a fashion show in the mall I frequently go to. A Celebrity stylist was there to guide shoppers on what looks best on which type of body. He gave us a lot of good advices. He even invited us to come and talk to him in private if we want more fashion advices. See? It doesn’t hurt to take advantage of these kind of stuff!
With all of these to help you with, I think you wouldn’t have a hard time knowing or defining your OWN FASHION STYLE. Diane von Furstenberg also said that “Personal style is accepting who you are.” Remember the phrase you are what you eat? Well, it is true, you are what you wear. Draw your style to emit your personality and character. With these, you are be able to draw in further your SIGNITURE LOOK. Are you a jeans or pants person? Maybe a skirt or shorts person? Perhaps you love wearing dresses?
Another advice I can give you is don’t be afraid to REINVENT YOURSELF. I am not telling you reinvent your style every day, such as wearing casual today, and then being a glam princess the next. I am saying you can reinvent your wardrobe by simply styling it differently. You can also reinvent yourself by changing your fashion style. Celebrities like Madonna or Christina Aguilera are known to do this. You can evolve and transcend your wardrobe from one style to the next, depending on your ever evolving, ever growing personality and character, and/or your ever evolving and ever changing wants and needs in life, and so on and so forth. I am sure you could grasp the concept of reinventing oneself gradually, and not instantly. You would not want people get confused and label you the “C” word. Always stay true to who you are, what your mood, or what you feel. Truly one cannot pull off a “tough, I-am-hardcore, all leather and spikes” look if you are a bubbly person at heart.
As I have said, BE & STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF. Despite wherever and whoever you get your inspiration from you are in control and master of your own destiny. You are the one who is wearing it, and ultimately you are the one who should be happy. Hopefully like Diane von Furstenberg we are able to find and grasp our true happiness not just in our fashion and style but also in our life.