When I logged into WordPress this morning, I was poking around the new posts on the home page. One of them instantly caught my eye because it featured a picture of my role model and idol, Audrey Hepburn, with the tag line “Dress for Success.” Instinctively, I clicked on it.
The post was written by blogger, Gregg Hake, who writes about “observations in [his] life.” In his post, he discusses his concept of dress and effective ways to dress for work. One of the lines from his short article stuck out to me.
At the end of the day, it’s not so much what you wear but the goods you deliver that tell the tale. If you don’t have the resources to wear what you would like to wear, don’t be ashamed. Do the best you can with what you have and you can’t go wrong.
His closing and motivational statement got me thinking about the pressure that some of us feel who are interested in or are working in the fashion industry.
Clearly, the fashion industry is all about appearance. Of course it’s about the clothes and the shoes and the jewelry. But it’s also about how you present yourself, your weight and your hair and features.
For me, I am trying to break into the fashion world and already I am feeling the pressures about my appearance. The one thing that I feel like holds me back the most is my financial situation.
Being a college student is fun and enlightening because of the social and educational aspects. But, it can be overwhelming at times because as a student, money is tight. I do hold a part-time job on campus, but because my hours are limited (about 10 a week), my income is very little. On top of that, I am in a sorority and there’s always events going on where we have to buy a new t-shirt or go out to dinner and such. In the end, there’s not much money left over for shopping, even if I micro-manage my expenses.
As an inspiring designer and as a student working to go into the fashion industry, it is hard not to look at the labels of my clothes. Sometimes I feel that I need to be wearing Michael Kors and Donna Karan all the time to be considered a fashion guru or to even be taken seriously in the fashion world. Obviously, I don’t have any $200 to go out and purchase high-end items. So what am I to do? If I get an internship at a fashion company next summer, what will they think of my non-label clothing? What will happen when I graduate and go on to a fashion institute? Will they take me seriously?
Even though their opinions are out of my control, it’s hard not to consider them, especially in a place of work where image is essential to success. Reading Hake’s article helped put my worries at ease because it reminded me of something important: it doesn’t matter how much you have; what matters is what you make of what you do have.
I’ve realized with Hake’s help that I’ve taken my wardore and put together fashionable outfits without stressing my checkbook. I don’t need high-end products to follow trends if I can make myself look good.
And how do I do that? It’s because I have something that’s more important than money; I have talent and dedication. These two things is what will take me far. To an extent, yes, the labels and the price tag matter in the fashion world. But it’s the idea of a design that is more valuable because it is what drives fashion.