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A Passion for Fashion

Fashion, like art, imitates life. As today’s economic climate impacts our professional and financial lives, the economy also affects current trends and styles. The substandard economic state has resulted in two very different interpretations in the fashion world.

On the one hand, many designers are creating utilitarian, serious and simplistic lines, which designers consider appropriate for these dark economic times.

On the other hand, escapist fashion has become immensely popular, as designers with a different perspective produce astonishing feats of craftsmanship that are eccentric, loud and embellished in order to express designers’ optimism for the future. However, no matter which end of the spectrum observers identify with, be it classic or over-the-top, any runway-ready look can be achieved on a budget by simply honing one’s ability to articulate the proper style, fit and proportion.

Style refers to understanding various figure flaws in order to diminish them. This can be as simple as wearing a belt around the smallest part of the waist to emphasize the area, to more complicated tricks such as using a garment’s natural lines to emphasize or de-emphasize certain areas of the body.

Fit refers to understanding what fits are appropriate for what bodies. For example, someone who’s top half is larger than their bottom half will look balanced in a wide-leg pant. Additionally, someone with a long waist can make their legs appear longer by wearing pants with a higher rise and pairing it with a shoe that does not cover up the top of the foot– this creates a streamlined, long appearance from the top of the leg to the tip of the toe.

Proportion is where designers like to get creative. However, as impressive as some proportional feats may look on the runway, it takes skill and stylizing knowledge to make it real world appropriate. For example, someone who wants to minimize the appearance of larger hips, thighs or butt can accomplish this with a dramatic, a-line skirt. Conversely, a woman with broad shoulders will look balanced in a hip-grazing blazer that creates and hourglass shape.

During these dark economic times, fashion should not be put on a pedestal. While every season brings new trends to covet, looking on-trend is never out of reach. Anyone can purchase the latest Balmain jacket and look stylish in it, but a true understanding of clothing and trends will make high-style attainable without spending a fortune.

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