You've just arrived at a "very special" fashion show. The invite was kind of vague and the show notes limited to something about being "inspired by you." Whatever...hey, look - the swag bag contains your favorite snack. How cool is that? The lights dim and the music cranks. Another weird coincidence: it's your latest fave song. Making a note to self to compliment the DJ, your head bobs and you start munching happily as the first look strides out. Wha?! The model looks...exactly. Like. You.
You're sitting there, looking up an army of you-clones strolling by. They're wearing your work clothes, your off-duty uniform, your workout gear, what you put on to go out to dinner or a night out. And, yes, the stuff you run errands in. Are you proud of how cool your closet is? Or are you hiding your head in your hands?
But wait, there's more.
These outfits, they talk, too. Some whisper hoarsely, "I wish I could blend into the wallpaper"...hoarse because you spend so much time shushing that inner fashionista who is hellbent on getting you to sex up your style. She's very insistent and shouting back can certainly wear down a blandly-dressed girl. Then there's your persistent femme fatale side; she's unhappy because you keep blowing her off and force-feeding her boring khakis, ugly footwear and drab, wallpaper'y colors. And who is that raising such a ruckus? Oh, just your smarter self who adores the style of an Audrey Hepburn or Queen Latifah and is hiding her eyes right along with you, appalled at so much runway roadkill. When you first realize the extent to which your outer shell and inner authentic self are out of synch, it is jarring. "We've all been there," sympathizes Natalie Jobity, author of "FRUMPY TO FABULOUS - Flaunting It: Your Ultimate Guide to Effortless Style" (Elan Image Management). As an in-demand image consultant, she often takes her clients through the closet fashion-show exercise. To find out just what your closet has been saying behind (and on) your back, here are some questions to ask it.
For the questions & what the answers mean to you - and your image - be sure to check out my latest column for Answers.com.
- Lesley Scott
(illustrations by Peter Arkle for NY Mag via source; above right - Viktor & Rolf Fall 2008)