With the change of seasons comes the change in wardrobe! And yet, what comes to your mind when you think of fashion?
To me, fashion conjures up images of self-improvement, self-awareness, self-empowerment, self-enlightenment, and self-expression. Renowned writer Amy Tan said it best in her article for Harper's Bazaar, "Perhaps nothing is more telling than the items of clothing a woman chooses to buy, keep, or toss (not to mention how she stores them) ... [her closet is] an amusing window into [one's] psyche. ... " Tan also posed the following existential question that each one of us confronts every time we get dressed: "I am what I wear, I wear what I am. Who am I today?" Simply put, fashion is something we deal with everyday.
So, as we go through the motions and figure out what works for our bodies as well as our closets, it's amazing how we -- by choice or not -- are part of the fashion world, a living, breathing, constantly evolving system. And as we become more conscious of our shopping habits, it's likely to think that buying anything made of organic and fair trade materials would be enough. But what about those who simply don't have the financial means to support these desires?
Eco-fashion, also known as slow fashion, doesn't just mean supporting environmentally friendly brands that use sustainable fabrics and socially responsible methods of production, or limiting ourselves to thrift stores and hand-me-downs, but also reducing our overall consumption by being more mindful and recognizing when we have to make do with what we have and embracing our creative sides in putting outfits together.
We are, after all, doing the best we can to live our lives as conscientiously as possible. As one of many fashionistas in New York City and beyond, I stumbled on several helpful resources that have helped me become a more resourceful, independent, and creative person:
Now, when creating your own style, blogger Greg Thompson said it best with his "Fashion vs. Style" commentary, "Your clothes provide a visual aspect to your own consciousness. ... Our wardrobe is our visual vocabulary, and style is our distinctive pattern of speech -- our individual poetry." He goes on to explain that one aspect of style is personal identity: "You can't have style until you have articulated a "self." And style requires security -- feeling at home in your body, physically and mentally. Of course, like all knowledge, self-knowledge must be updated as you grow and evolve; style takes ongoing self-assessment. We're all works in progress."
Whether you knew how to dress yourself when you were 10, 20, or 30, there's nothing like that happy -- at times relieved -- feeling you get when you find or put together the perfect outfit. After all, the never ending decision-making process is all about refining and fine tuning, so we might as well have some fun with it!