Fashion is a tool, a device, a stylish vice used to empower and inspire us. There’s nothing more refreshing than putting on a power coat and matching sunglasses, walking down the road and feeling a surge of confidence in yourself, knowing that you are ready to take on the day and anything that is thrown your way.
For me, fashion has always acted as a confidence booster and a shield between me and the wider world. When I’m feeling low or as if I’m not ready to face the day, coordinating a great outfit and designing a look always brings me up, as if I’m saying to the world “This is me, here I am and I’m ready to take you on.” I’ve had days where I’ve felt weighed down with a lack of enthusiasm, uninspired by recent events, but there’s nothing that a good mascara and a long coat can’t fix for me.
Being trans, and recently having begun transitioning, feeling confident in my look or my appearance can be difficult sometimes, but I am indebted to fashion and its magical manner of conveying how I feel and what I want to express to the wider world. If I’m going for a job interview, a roll neck and a blazer gives me that professional, put together edge that I need to convey. If I’m on a night out, a statement bomber jacket will never fail me, it gives me faith in myself and my appearance; I look good, I feel good.
It is well known that fashion has been, and continues to be for many people, an important part of how they portray themselves to others. People in suits and uniforms garner respect and attention. A sharply dressed boss will always have an edge over a disorganised one. Could it be argued, that in this sense, fashion can have a powerful influence on people and even provide some sort of power in itself? If you can buy yourself a great suit and put together a great look, you immediately stand out from the crowd, you’re showing people you’re organised, put together and have a keen eye for detail.
After all, these are qualities and characteristics that are always sought for in anyone, a friend, a co-worker, a lover. It’s in this sense that fashion is powerful, something that influences its beholder and in return, serves those who follow it.
To conclude, it’s important that we focus on something that a wise woman, Iris Apfel, once said: “If your hair is done properly and you have on good shoes, you can get away with anything.” An important message from a flamboyant fashionista, fashion is a powerful tool and a good look can serve you more than you know.