The Secret to Dressing Well

Grace is a New York based designer, studying at Parsons School of Design. She has worked at Fashion Times Magazine and Alice and Trixie Apparel.

You wrap a towel around you. Inspecting your closet, you go over what you have to do, and who you have to meet. As you decide how you want to look today you feel that familiar rush of frustration creeping in. Didn’t I just go shopping last week? I thought I had at least a week of outfits ready to go! You gasp. As clichéd as it sounds, we’ve all been there. Somehow, nothing seems to resolve this everyday morning conundrum. If it’s your lucky day, you may come out successful; sporting a striking outfit that makes eyes turn. But more often than not, you’d find yourself to be among the majority of us that feel defeated by our incompetence for fashion. It doesn’t end there. You often carry on that defeat or success all day. If you feel your outfit is inept, you’ll find yourself less comfortable in being expressive, and less confident, which could affect your personal and professional life. You know what? I empathize; and so would most people. It is easy to feel frustrated by the overwhelming amounts of trends thrown down on us, season after season. In our attempts to be fashionable and looking on trend, we hoard on clothes from forever 21 and H&M and maybe Zara, if it’s payday, that seem promising in ensuring immunity in our morning struggles at not a very hefty cost! But here’s the thing, there is an inherent problem in this habit. The more we shop these clothes, the more frustrated we are bound to feel because these clothes are designed to make us feel discontented so that we buy more. These outfits we buy may seem exciting in the store but they somehow never work in reality. What’s missing in the equation is that clothes don’t make outfits, people do. Clothes on their own can never make an outfit; if you don’t own the outfit, it will never click. This is because your body doesn’t want to be told what to do and how to look. Dressing is an expression and just like any other form of expression, it must come from within. So before you get frustrated about having nothing to wear, slow down, and listen to yourself. Instead of making yourself go to these clothes, let the clothes come to you. You might be surprised and find you own a lot more than you think if you consider clothes ingredients for a recipe that is your outfit. Instead of buying premade microwaveable meals, create your own recipes! What I mean to say is, once you look at clothes as tools, and yourself, as the guideline, it is easy to dress yourself. Feeling adventurous? Wear that denim bustier that doesn’t seem to go with anything on top of that shabby white shirt and those eccentric printed sweater tights. Feel like keeping to yourself today? Offset those simple high-waisted jeggings with a knotted up cozy oversized sweater. Finding yourself in desperate need of some brightening up? That old tacky sweater could just be what you need if you cut it up and twist it into a bright striking muffler. The idea is to be creative and resourceful while being aware of your inner state; take inspiration from trends but don’t let them decide how you should look. Remember, a person who is dressed well is a person who embodies his/her clothes, and the only way to make that happen is by listening to what your body wants to wear! When your outfit is your own, no matter what it is, people are drawn to it, not because of that outfit, but because of the connection you have with it that makes you exude a formidable aura of ease and confidence!
Stay tuned for more tips; but until then, try this little trick tomorrow morning when you find yourself in the same situation!

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