Dressing as a statement, a shield, a seduction. Imogen at Inside Out Style has an informative post in her archives, an interview about style with image consultant Sarah Brummitt. It’s worth a full read.
When asked, “What is the secret to great style?”, Ms. Brummit said:
“Knowing what you want your clothes to express about you. Women dress to make a statement, to provide a shield or to create a seduction…..and I definitely dress to make a statement.”
I love to break things down, analyze, categorize and list them. These qualities make me a very good student, and an occasionally annoying life partner. So I jumped all over this statement – are these the three reasons we dress? And if so, WHICH ONE IS ME?
It’s easy to discard the “create a seduction” reason. At age 65, and in a happy, long-term marriage, I rarely feel the need to seduce through clothing. A raised eyebrow, a glass of wine, a Bruce Springsteen song . . . well, we are getting off topic.
Clothing of course provides a shield, a physical one to protect us from exposure to the elements and to prying eyes. Clothes can also blur our uniqueness and identify us as part of a group. Obvious examples are school uniforms, military attire and the head-to-toe coverings required of certain religious groups. Less extreme, but still “shielding” are the uniforms some of us adapt to hide our specialness: the all-black, all-the-time look, or baggy clothing that says “Don’t look at me.”
“Dressing to make a statement” sounds like the go-to, in-between position. That statement can change from day to day, year to year, and according to one’s mood. It’s freeing to be able to express ourselves through the variety of clothing available at all price points. (Confession: It gets overwhelming sometimes too, and some days a uniform doesn’t sound so bad.)
My clothing statement as a practicing psychotherapist was pretty straightforward: “you can trust me.” I wanted to appear approachable and responsible, but not too stuffy/intimidating. My retirement years allow for much more freedom and therefore more challenges . . . what statement do I want to make around town, on dates with my husband? I’m in a Modern, Downtown, Neutrals mood as I write this post.
“Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.”–Lauren Hutton
I’d love to hear from you: Do you dress to seduce, shield, or make a statement? What are the statements your clothing makes about you?
Stay safe, xo
Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse: