An Open Letter for Those Who Don't Know About Fashion

By Andrea Loaiza on April 5, 2017

To the girls who are always called less feminine just because they don’t know about fashion:

You are not alone. I know what you’ve been going through.

We don’t always look bad …

I’m pretty sure we’ve heard a lot of compliments when we try on our best outfit when we just wake up with this burning desire of taking down our closet just to find the perfect match. However, these compliments usually have to do with the fact that they’ve never seen us “in something like that before.” That’s also the moment where people go to you and start giving you more fashion advice, as they see it’s not impossible for you to dress as a normal human.

Hearing these phrases that start out really sweet but end up insulting you in any way, type, or shape is just common in our daily life. They start saying how “brave” and “cool” you are for not bothering on dressing better, just because you don’t dress as a model every morning for your 8 a.m. class.

Many times we’ve heard something like an “OMG, I just love that you don’t even care what you wear,” when, in fact, we were feeling completely comfortable and pretty on the outfit they just insulted. We also know that these people don’t mean bad, but it’s just a matter of seconds before we start regretting even feeling comfortable to begin with.

We know we shouldn’t be explaining to people why we are not a big fan of skirts, or why most of our wardrobe is black and white. However, we end up doing it because sometimes we just feel that we need an excuse for our lack of knowledge in the fashion world.

How many times have we worn a dress just because we didn’t know how to combine our wardrobe, or we were just too lazy to do so?

It’s not a surprise to anyone when I say I don’t know about fashion; however, they still judge me when I accept the fact that I don’t know any major clothing brand or even the brand of the jeans I’m wearing. I’m just used to their gaze at me, sighing while they just answer with a small “should’ve imagined.”

I used to get angry at myself for not having a sense of fashion. I will always remember a specific day in sixth grade. It was “casual day” so I got to use whatever I wanted, just not our uniform. I remember not remembering “casual day” until five minutes before the school bus went to pick me up. I took the first two things I saw, lilac sweatpants and a pink t-shirt. I never thought that this outfit was going to stay with me forever.

I remember a group of girls, ready to make a list of the people who knew how to dress and the people who didn’t. I couldn’t believe that these girls — I remind you, this was in sixth grade, where everybody dressed poorly — were actually judging what kind of clothes you had, and how good your sense of fashion was among the other students. This girl who came to me just mentioned the two colors that I was wearing out loud, laughed, and walked away.

I was a little ashamed, I must say, but something that really got me angry is that the outfit I had didn’t represent me at all. It represented a girl who forgot what day it was and took the first thing she saw in her wardrobe. I saw my classmate’s outfits and they were beautiful but different.

I’m proud to say that my mindset changed since that day. I wasn’t going to study fashion merchandising or be a supermodel, but I was going to find my style. I know there’s still people out there that don’t really care about their outfit. However, the more I’ve grown up, the more I’ve learned about this topic that I used to find useless.

Now that I’m in college, I’ve realized that having a fashion statement is important to stand out as a person. Unlike what people usually think when I say I don’t know anything about fashion, I do think that people should wear anything they want as long as it represents who they are and they feel comfortable with it.

Knowing what to use, when to use it, and how to use it is always handy. Being honest, I didn’t even know the difference between business casual and business professional.

The way we present ourselves, in a physical way, says a lot about us: the way you style your hair or if you have ever dyed it, the kind of shoes you prefer, deciding between whether you prefer using makeup just on the important days or every day. They all say a little bit about how you feel about yourself.

I really wish I could put my thoughts into something physical, like my clothing. Now that I’m in college, I’ve realized that having a fashion statement is important to stand out as a person. Fashion isn’t just Passarella, or at least that’s how I feel in regards to that word. Knowing what you like, and working on an image is difficult to maintain.

Fashion is in every part of the world. It’s not only about what type of hairstyle to use, or what shoes combine with what, but how you want to portray yourself to the world. As long as you feel comfortable with what you’re wearing, then just smile at the next compliment and keep looking lit.  

And for those who want to inform themselves, but don’t know how: Pinterest can be your best friend.

Born in Panama, but ended up living in the U.S. to attend Florida State University (Go Noles!). Currently pursuing a BA on Editing, Writing and Media with a minor in Communication, and Psychology. Trying to get involved in the different aspects that writing can allow me. Obsessed with stepping out of my comfort zone as much as I can. Bilingual. Bookaholic. Love every kind of art.

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