COLUMN: Fashion is more than spending money

Patricia Rocha, Editor in Chief

It’s a sad fact that the fashion world often gets a bad rap.

Any culture that defends spending hundreds of dollars on a single pair of sunglasses, or thousands on a single dress, is no doubt going to be called materialistic and shallow.

Just the connotation of the word “fashion” brings to mind spoiled celebrities and over-paid super models.

What most people don’t see is the artistic side, the creativity that comes with creating and wearing clothes.

A lot of people view getting dressed as a social obligation; wearing clothes is just something you do so you don’t get arrested for public indecency.

To me, though, clothing is an art form. Just as an artist takes the passion inside him and channels it into a canvas, a designer does so with fabric and notions.

The greatest thing about this is that these pieces of art don’t just hang on walls, they live our lives with us.

A first-date outfit, the tuxedo for the prom, a girl’s first pair of high heels, a wedding dress.

I’ve known people who sneer at such a viewpoint, and yet still find it impossible not to cherish their child’s first onesie.

Because this art plays such an important role in our everyday lives, it often saddens me when people don’t embrace it.

They buy what they think will impress others, or help them to fit in, when the best clothes are actually meant to help them stand out and define themselves.

The most influential clothing designers in the world never created a collection striving for mediocrity and acceptance, so why should that be the way society views getting dressed?

There are so many endless possibilities already out there, and with your own personal spin on it, your wardrobe can be your  outlet too.

Katherine Hepburn once said, “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

I am a huge believer in breaking some rules to get the look you want to achieve.

There’s no such thing as having to match your shoes to your bag or belt.

Red and purple can look great together.

You can wear white any day of the year, granted you’re not going to someone else’s wedding.

I don’t think anyone should take pieces of clothing at face value either.

If you love the bottom of a dress but hate the top, cut the top off. If you love a shirt but hate the buttons, replace them.

If you love everything about a certain top but hate the color, then dye it.

Besides not wearing tights as pants, there really are no rules you have to follow.

You have control over the clothes you wear, not the mall or outlet store you bought it from.

If you want to be an active participant in how you portray yourself non-verbally to the world around you, you should at least be having a little fun while doing it.

Yes, the fashion world has been called materialistic and shallow, but every day it gives us a chance to decorate the blank canvas we’ve been given. Take advantage.

Get out of the mind set that you can make a fashion mistake. The only real mistake is not wearing what you love when you have the chance.