Friday, January 4, 2008

Bionic Fashion

Well, sugar lovers, it's the New Year. Time for long, thoughtful thoughts on your way to work. Time for long, thoughtful walks at lunchtime and that long, thoughtful talk with yourself, where you ask, what the Hell am I doing?

Thinking about makeovers, I have a dear, dear friend who needed a fashion
intervention. I currently have a team of specialists rebuilding him to make him faster, stronger and better dressed than he was before. Part of the experience, I think, has to do with examining yourself, Proust style, to make sure that your clothes and surroundings reflect your creative vision of the world.

To that end, I have enclosed the worksheets I created to help one appraise themselves and their clothing. (Warning: Reinventing your fashion personality is hard work that should not be undertaken alone. Follow these steps with a brutally, honest friend (or two or five) to insure you don't buckle under the pressure).

  1. Step one: Go into your closet and remove everything that you haven't worn in the past year. Now, remove everything that doesn't fit you properly. This is going to take some time and I recommend reserving a weekend for this task. You will want to try things on, deliberate, then, much like summer camp, you will get depressed when you have to say goodbye. You may cry. Let the tears fall on the trash bag you will place the clothes directly into. Do not pass go. Do not let yourself see the clothes again. Do not save more than 8 pieces for a rainy day, or for when you loose/gain weight.

  2. Step two: Go into your bathroom. Remove everything in to that has mold on it. That includes old shampoo bottles and hair clay. Now, remove everything that makes you uncomfortable including fragrances you can't stand, scratchy towels, and uncomfortable toilet seats. You will be replacing them with things items that make you comfortable and happy in step four.

  3. Step three: Download and fill out the enclosed worksheet "About Me". This is designed to help you rediscover what images and styles of clothing and personal care make you happy. This process should also take two days. Fill it out. Then sleep on it and revisit the form.

  4. Step four: Buy some fashion magazines. Be creative! Try going to the bookstore and finding some fashion magazines from other countries. Rip out every image and/or product and/or fashion item that appeals to you, (after you buy the magazines, of course) even if you would never wear it, have no place to wear it, and will never look like that. Figure out why you like the images. Are they colorful? Are they sexy? Do they remind you of a certain period of time? A country? A movie star? A fictional character? A comic book world? A fashion icon? Use this information to help you fill more in the "About Me" worksheet.

  5. Step five, the finish! Now, its time to spend some time and money on yourself! If you chose your feet as one of the body parts you like in the "About Me" worksheet, you get to spend serious money on your feet. Shoes, pedicures (even if you are a guy), nail polish, foot scrubs, socks, whatever. Why? Because the truth about beauty is that it is all about confidence. That's why the fat chick has a skinny boyfriend and that's why the short guy gets the beauty queen. Anyone who thinks otherwise has low self-esteem and is a public nuisance. If you put on an outfit that fits you and take care of your personal hygiene you can be gorgeous. If you were honest about your prominent body parts in the "About Me" worksheet, you get to spend time and money on them, too! Why? Because some thing you can't hide. Or more aptly, flaunting them hides them just as effectively. If you said you like rocket ships in "About Me", you get to buy things with rocket ships on them, just because you like them. If you admire George Washington, you get to own things that make you feel a little bit like George Washington. Just. Because.
What is inside your body means much more than the outside, of course, but this can be an excuse to pity oneself. It takes a genius to make an impression like Will Smith did in the "Pursuit of Happyness". Smart clothes can cost as little as expensive ones and no one's confidence can overcome an outfit that is all wrong. And there are a million ways to make yourself feel pampered and polished. And this is the type of pampering that really pays off. Your body IS a temple and it is just as important as your mind. I'm not talking about working out. I'm talking about using things on your outside that reflect the things you want to put inside. You want the best education for your mind, right? You want to read the deep books and listen to the music that affects your emotions, right? You want to be treated with kind words, patience and caring because that affects the state of your mind, right? Well, fragrance, cleansers, facials, cosmetics, and clothes can affect your body (not to mention your moral and state of mind) just as keenly. And to quote Marjorie Hillis, so does a glass of sherry and an extra special dinner on a night when you are terribly tired and alone. Good luck my heroes!

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