Sometimes you think you know yourself pretty well but you realise you could know yourself better.
Shops and magazines bombard us with images of wonderful things but only a small handful of these items are right for any one person.
The better you know yourself, the less time you waste shopping (because you zoom in on the pieces which suit you), the more money you save (not buying stuff you wont wear) and the happier you are when you open the closet door every morning (because you dont have the closet full of clothes and nothing to wear syndrome happening).
For me, the epiphany happened when I was magazine shopping.
At the newsagencies in Sydney which receive USA Harper's Bazaar, no-one has seen the November 2013 issue for a month after its due date.
So I contacted the distributor & have been hassling them for about a week as to what is going on. Apparently they are in the country, but MIA.
Finally they found one copy from the Melbourne contractor (who was supposed to be distributing these babies) & brought it up to Sydney for me.
So I went to Alexandria to collect. You cant trust Australia Post with such valuable merchandise after all.
Turns out I was going to the Europress offices. This company is responsible for bringing in most of the collections magazines we see in the "fashion" newsagencies in the inner city & eastern suburbs.
I am talking massive books, hundreds of pages, filled with photos of the collections and the trends. Usually an RRP of $100+.
These arent just runway books for couture or ready to wear. There are also specialist books - for kids, for mens, for tops, tees (yes, tees), bottoms, dresses, embroidery (yes, embroidery) and each of these types has books which feature close ups as well as the books which feature the "normal" photos.
Ideally, aimed at designers, for inspiration.
Before the internet & www.style.com, I used to go there all the time & buy their back issues. Alot cheaper than RRP, usually 70% off, give or take.
When I mentioned this to the lady helping me with the Harper's, she offered to let me play in the back issue room.
I was in magazine heaven. For me, these books are the best because they dont show some editor's interpretation of the look - they show the look exactly as the designer intended - on the runway.
In fact, I was in sale frenzy mode because these babies stir this up in me. Have you called the paddy wagon yet?
So I started to pile up mags. I got to a metre high of mags - a veritable sculpture & it did occur to me that this wasnt good for the pre-existing space challenges which my mags cause.
And then it happened.
I saw the jewellery books - "bijoux". They were in a far corner, just sitting there, stacked & duplicated because no one loved them enough to allow them to sell out. Hence why they were piled up in the back copy room.
It was like I found the mother ship.
Pages & pages of heavy glossy paper just showing close ups of runway costume jewellery. All designer names are credited and each book is by season.
This was the sort of recreational reading I was after.
Some snippets here, although the do no justice to the real life books:
The epiphany here was as soon as I found the bijoux books, I completely lost interest in the metre high stack I was creating.
Finding bijoux was mother ship stuff for Style into Action.
What do I mean by mother ship?
SIA dresses simply & adds "the twist" with accessories. Occasionally my twist is with shoes or a bag or with a colourful burst in the fabric - but I'd say 80% of the time - its jewellery. That's my thing.
SIA is big boned, so loves strong jewellery. Guess what is shown on the runways because runway makes the statement? Strong jewellery.
Its the same as being in a shop & looking at racks of clothes. When so many things are placed in front of you, sometimes its hard to zoom in on what is right for you.
Shops & shop assistants can be overwhelming (& pushy). Confusing. Frustrating. Depressing. And things are on sale, so you gotta buy it, right? Especially if you have an occasion coming up. No. No. No.
Unless the item is a resounding YES, the moment you put it on, tread carefully.
For me, it took spotting the right books, to make me see that there was in point in buying the metre high sculpture.
Dont get me wrong - I am not advocating buying 20 of something you like. Just make sure you have enough versions on rotation for any look you wear & love & loves you back.
Recognise your mothership & board it.
The white shirt
It may be a statement accessory which you are known for, but more often than not, its an item which is re-created in various versions and most of them work for you.
This list can go on & on.
What's your mothership of fashion?