Fashion and style provide unity through diversity.
I've come to the conclusion that shopping, dressing oneself, pursuing trends and resurrecting or romanticizing the past, through clothing and accessories is not just retail therapy but group therapy. Stick with me here. If my semester and a half of a Master's program in Mental Health Counseling taught me anything, it is how important it is for individuals to feel related, to feel connected or understood through universality.
Feelings of uniqueness allow us to elevate or remove, and overall isolate ourselves from others; thinking that we are alone in who we are, how we think, and ultimately creating separateness. The beauty in uniqueness is perspective which is only powerful when it is shared and when it connects us to each other. You wake up every morning and decide who you want to be. That's universal.
This concept of group therapy shows up in interactions with your friends as you each impart information on what looks good, what doesn't, the latest trend, the biggest deal you scored, the most coveted items you use Pintrest to daydream, the looks and comments you give other women on what they choose to wear.
It shows up in the most vulnerable place in retail...the fitting room. Here is where you bear-it-all to yourself, a friend you've made in the store, possibly the gal in the fitting room who wants your opinion or to give you hers. It can make or break us all but if there is one shred of connectedness or understanding, there is hope.
Where am I going with this? Through our uniqueness and personal style we are connected, we are not connected if we are all the same.
If you walk into a bar or see a group of women sitting together at brunch, isn't it a much more powerful statement of individualness through connectedness if the women are dressed differently rather than wearing the same lacey baby-tee cut drapey shirt, high-wasted shorts, and gladiator sandals? To guys it's like a lion trying to pick one zebra out of a close-knit heard. It creates barriers, it lacks character, and it screams I don't like to think for myself.Trends exist to guide and inspire not dictate.
Get creative and see how much more connected you feel when you try something new, forge your own path, and most importantly be authentic to you.
They do it best!