I was not too keen on writing a blog, but the state of fashion and basic civility are at more than at a crossroads, and I am compelled to throw my thoughts into the ring. The influence of reality TV, tech culture, and the pace of information coming at us from all of our devices is scrambling our brains!! We have been hacked! Then last, but not least, we have lost our use of basic manners. All of this has added up, and has had a very negative impact on how we show up.
I have been in and around fashion since the age of 16, and I have never witnessed more lack of effort or appropriateness. It’s all about comfort, athleisure ,which trendcasters said, would come and go, is now our go to. Leggings and sweatpants , (pajama pants) are ok for all occasions? Granted I grew up in a time that this was not at all acceptable or tolerated. In fact , a friend keeps saying to me , “ have you ever thought you are trying to buck the trend, look around, everyone is dressing way down.” My response is, that does not have to be part of my reality, I get to chose to make an effort, and look like I care how I show up. The whole conversation around comfort baffles me.
I own a retail clothing store, and a professional coaching practice. I am around product and this dialogue daily. In my store, and in the market there are good looking , put together clothes that are comfortable. Designers and manufacturers have heard the millennials loud and clear. It is the 2nd most asked for perk when they interview for a job, let me wear whatever I want to work. Fabric technology alone answers many of these comfort demands. Compact knits that have lots of stretch and move with you, offer comfort and a relaxed look. Tech fabrics that breathe , can be worn almost any season and they are very packable .
So, is it a “hip” factor we are all striving for? A look that says, we are on the page of what’s happening now? Well, what’s happening now is spreading like a cancer into every aspect of how we not only show up , but treat one another. It’s too relaxed and sloppy, it says, you don’t really matter, or worse, I could care less.I certainly can’t give a concrete solution to this scary mess, however, what I know for sure is that I feel better when I’ve made an effort. I am in a better mood, compelled to be more mannerly and kinder. My authentic me shines brighter, because I matter, my career matters , my community matters and my friends and colleagues matter. And I guess most importantly I’m comfortable that way.