Own Your “Fabulous”: Thoughts on Fashion Week

Fashion week just wrapped up here in NYC, and for the first time in years, I’m not participating in anything. Fun fact: One of the reasons I started job hunting in the city was to be closer to the fashion action… so what’s changed?

In my time as a fashion-focused blogger, it seemed like the natural thing to do – write about trends & designers, gather a following, score some invites, go to shows! It was equal parts exciting and stressful. I remember trying every possible way to get into the city from Jersey, and still missing more than one show. The shows and events were definitely fun, but so short compared to the chaos of getting there, unless you made it to the after parties.

Wait… what does this have to do with Style? I’m getting there!

For me, the most challenging part of Fashion Week was always deciding what to wear. How did I want to present myself? The end result was almost always an outfit I’d never worn and would never wear again. NYFW is “you never know who you’re going to meet” manifested. So I dressed with the hope of impressing, instead of highlighting my personality. I tried to be over-the-top enough to catch someone’s eye – but I never did, and I learned why.

A few years ago, I attended Charleston Fashion Week. It was much smaller than New York, all of the shows took place in the same tent with exhibits/trunk shows in the smaller tent across the courtyard. The environment was more relaxed, people were easy to talk to, and designers were around to chat after their shows.

Charleston FW Travel Outfit
Day 1, in my travel clothes, I was singled out by a photographer for the first time ever! I was excited, but I doubted that it was really about my style. Then, I was photographed again and it clicked:

I look my best when I am comfortable.
We all do.
That’s why some models have poopie face.

Discomfort & insecurity shine right through when you’re not confident in your look or comparing yourself to everyone else in the room (clothing or otherwise). From that week forward, I made sure that I was comfortable whether I dressed up or down, not just for fashion events, but for my daily life. Once I stopped worrying about impressing the mysterious folks in purple animal print pants (spotted just last week), I realized how crazy it was to hold myself to an imaginary standard of creativity and decided to be comfortable in my own skin and my real wardrobe.

Lesson learned.

I dress true to myself every single day, and I don’t mind skipping out on the hassle to see the shows. Instead, I put that energy into dressing up to hang out with my friends. Plus, I can always check fashion week news here, here, and here.

What I’m saying is: