I know what’s on your mind. Who am I to talk about fashion when I clearly need all the help I can get based on this photo? First off, I firmly believe that I am rocking this orange outfit with matching knee-high socks. It’s inspired (by Michael Jackson) and fashion-forward. You may be wondering right now, “What kind of mother would allow this to happen?” I am with you on this, guys. Contrary to what this picture suggests, my mother took care of me very well. But she couldn’t do anything cause I loved this ensemble. I thought I was fucking fresh. I would even pair this with a denim vest sometimes. You know, for swag.
Things didn’t go much better fashion-wise when I was in high school. I wasn’t comfortable with girly clothes to the point of wearing work shoes to school. My mom once bought these form-fitting blouses in pastel colors and I hated them. She kept on saying that they looked good on me but I couldn’t see it. I only wore jeans with rubber shoes before but it was my mom who forced me to wear them with sneakers and I loved it. See, guys? My mother really looks out for my best interest. In college, I wore pretty much the same thing every day: jeans/non-cute shorts, t-shirts and sneakers.
But once I started working at my current job, I felt like I had to step up my game. It’s not that I started working in the fashion industry but my coworkers are pretty ladies who dressed up and regularly put make-up on. I also started going out with this guy who said that he found ladies who wear pencil skirts and pumps sexy. I know we should be dressing up for our own enjoyment and not for anyone else but knowing that someone will appreciate how good you look is a great motivation.
In the short span of time that I’ve been into fashion, make-up and all those girly things, here are some of the things I’ve learned about dressing up:
1. Just because it looks good in picture, doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on you.
This is a hard lesson, you guys. Some skirt or collared top is in fashion, everyone is wearing it and you want to fit in. So you try it on but it doesn’t look good on you. It’s okay. Let it go and move on. You’re not doing yourself any favor by forcing it. I’m sure there are other trends you can rock.
2. Don’t wear it if it doesn’t make you feel confident.
Sometimes your outfit is so well put together and your friends swear they find you super cute in it, but then you don’t feel cute at all. It’s okay to say no to friends. (True friends would understand anyway.) If you don’t feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing, it’s going to show. And what is the point of wearing something that doesn’t make you happy anyway?
3. Beautiful things come at a price.
An outfit with a good fit, fabric and tailoring is an investment. It’s either you accept that or go back to your ukay-ukays and keep looking like a basic bitch. I know some people swear they found great things at bazaars but I just don’t have the patience. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, what you’ll find ain’t going to look good. That’s wasted time you can’t get back. It’s too exhausting and at best what you’ll find is something “acceptable”. I can’t. I’m sorry.
4. Buy versatile clothes.
Invest in something that can work both as casual and formal wear. Here’s how you rationalize your purchase: “This dress can be worn in the office with pumps. Then I can wear it to a night out if I change to wedges. It’s like I’m buying two outfits for the price of one!” Get it, girl.
5. If you want your clothes to last, wash and iron them yourself.
Many clothes have gone to waste because of negligence. A lot of my stuff now should only be washed on a delicate cycle. I put them in laundry nets just to be safe. I even have specific hanger requirements for my clothes. No one will take care of your stuff better than you. Guard your investments.
6. If you’re going to wear high heels, you better know how to walk in them.
Girls trudging in their high heels make me sad. It ruins an outfit. Lean back, sway those hips and channel your inner drag queen.
7. Go for classic pieces.
I would love to buy clothes that are trendy but my inner monologue goes like this: “Will I look stupid wearing this black and white checkered pants a year from now when no one else is wearing it but me?” If the answer is yes, I don’t buy it.
8. Don’t take it too seriously.
Dressing up should be fun. You don’t have to listen to anything I say. Break all the rules. Keep on experimenting like the 92-year-old fashion rock star Iris Apfel. Wear what makes you comfortable and happy. But to those girls who grew up being tomboys, if you feel like a lady wants to come out of that shell, know that it can be done. If the girl in the orange ensemble can do it, then anything is possible.