Let Go of Your Fashion Security Blankets
By Krystle Wright
I have a confession to make: in the not-so-distant past, Iíve been guilty of some definite fashion doníts.
For years, I lived in shapeless fleece pullovers from November to March. Iíve never rocked the socks-and-sandals look, but I have made other questionable footwear choices, like wearing a pair of sneakers well beyond their Ďbetter daysí Ė sometimes until holes in the sole were big enough to catch and hold small stones, so that my feet clicked when I walked. It was just more comfortable to keep wearing them than it was to break in a new pair of sneakers Ė or actual shoes.
But you know what? In the past year or so, thereís been something fun about dressing in, well, grown-up clothes. Itís something people have been saying for a long time now: if you look better, you feel better. So much so that even the days I donít have a reason I have to dress up, I no longer feel that temptation to settle for those fleece hoodies.
So while youíre making those annual resolutions to lower the number on the scale and raise the number in your bank account, why not set a fashion resolution thatís so easy you may actually keep it?
Whatís that one item of clothing that you wear even though you know itís not flattering, just because itís so darn comfortable? This year, Iím challenging you to replace that fashion security blanket with something, well, a little more fashionable. You donít have to go cold turkey Ė I still wear those hoodies, say, when Iím shoveling snow or sitting around a fire pit Ė and you donít have to make a major change to your fashion.
Instead, just find something to replace those wrong-sized, worn out or just plain shouldnít-have-been-worn-in-the-first-place fashion failures. If the oversized hoodie is your personal poison, try wearing a light jacket or a cardigan sweater instead. Choose something that has structure to it Ė the key is not to hide behind it. If youíre still hesitant, try for something in between, like a hoodie jacket. Companies like Old Navy are using that warm and fuzzy hoodie material in products that have the flattering shape of a jacket and cute details like toggle closures. The best part? You can find them on sale as low as $20, no more (and possibly less) than the cost of a hoodie.
Many womenís favorite fashion donít is that comfortable sweat suit. The good news is that the sweat suit has received a style upgrade in the last few years, in the form of more flattering styles and interesting materials like velour and terrycloth. But itís still a sweat suit. So if youíre hitting the gym, fine. But for everyday wear, Iím challenging you to say ďnoĒ to the sweats and ďyesĒ to, well, almost any other item of clothing.
If other clothes arenít as comfortable, you may be buying the wrong clothes. When you shop, choose a size and material that fits you (with a little extra room, if youíre planning to put your clothes in the dryer). If you donít find jeans comfortable, for example, you may be buying the wrong size, the wrong cut, or the wrong material. Remember, just because you can get a pair of jeans on your body doesnít mean they actually fit you. If you find that the tight ďstretchĒ jean material stretches enough to put on but not to give you room to breathe, find a less stretchy pair of pants that you can actually live in. Similarly, skinny jeans may be all the rage, but if you canít comfortably get them over your calves (guilty!), pass on that trend in favor of a straight cut or boot-cut pair.
Maybe shoes are your fashion security blanket. If itís sneakers, start trying to step up your footwear style during non-athletic activities. You need to be comfortable on the treadmill, but do you really need running shoes for shopping, visiting friends or going to the bank? At least make sure your sneaks are in good condition and replace them (yes, even though theyíre so comfortable after theyíve been broken in!) when they show signs of wear, like damage to the soles or decrease in inside cushioning and support.
By the way, you donít need to go with sky-high heels to make that confident style statement. There are plenty of shoes out there that look and feel good. Whether youíre talking boots or ballet flats, you can find a style that fits your foot comfortably and flaunts your style. For added comfort, you can buy inserts to support the arch of your foot, keep the back of the heel from rubbing against your foot and causing blisters, and fix any number of other shoe-related irritations. Itís an inexpensive way to make your fashion shoes as comfortable as your gym shoes.
We all love our security blankets because they keep us comfortable, but they can also hold us back from putting forward our best, most confident selves. Now is the perfect time to start the year out right by saying, ďI donít need this anymore!Ē
Krystle L. Wright graduated
from Rowan University in May 2011
with her M.A. in Writing
and her B.A. in Writing Arts.
Krystle just took on her first client as a freelance public relations writer. She loves all kinds of writing but especially fiction, and sheís working on her first novel. When sheís not writing (and even when she is), sheís probably listening to music or shopping.