Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Storyteller (contributed by Kirstie Williams)

We’ve said for years that ‘you are what you eat’, but is it true that our fashion choices are equally as telling?

You wouldn’t catch me dead in mustard yellow, harem pants or leather skirts, but this doesn’t mean I don’t like them on other people; it’s just not ‘me’.

I, like most shoppers, have my regular ‘failsafe’ choices. It doesn’t matter how many fashion magazines I read, I simply cannot be swayed to buy a large clutch when I know I’d rather a shoulder bag. I’m not quite convinced about the colour camel and I still think that loafers would make me look too ‘mumsy’.

Have a think about it. You don’t need a psychology degree to piece together how much an outfit can say about a person’s stance on life, postcode, marital status, job and the list goes on.

I understand that for some people it’s purely a necessity thing, and they might not be a preppy office girl, but their job requires it. Or that money is tight, so the options are limited. Or that this is all they’ve ever known, but actually feel awkward in what they’re wearing.

Regardless, let’s take a large proportion of young adults aged 18-25 and we can still learn a little (or a lot) from the outer details.

You’d do it subconsciously when you’re walking down the street- think about what the following clothing choices might say about the person.

Preppy. High earner. Manicured & well-groomed. Lives in upper-class area.

Enjoys attention. Young; trying to make a point of sexuality. Musically inclined with rock look.

Mismatched so doesn’t like everything ordered, enjoys spontaneity, but perhaps gets very little. Vintage clothing. A little rebellious, wants to break out of the mould.

Quirky, a little eccentric. Obviously works in a fashion based or creative industry.

It would be a gross generalisation to say that we can know a person by their clothes. And this is why no means what I’m saying.

Clothes, however, can have a great way of telling a story. We can give a little glimpse of our mood, our interests and our personality through what we wear; and this is where fashion can be really fun. We can try something new for a night, dress-up and wear the charade. Or we can stick to what is familiar and gives the look that is most ‘me’.

I bought a burgundy red scarf yesterday. This is partly because I wanted a colour that wasn’t cream, pink, tan or pastel anything (which are often the colours I wear due to work) and also because it completed my outfit that day. The other reasons why I might have bought the red scarf? Well, they are for you to guess.

There’s a lot more to the book, but the cover’s sure got a lot of storytelling power.

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