Most of us know how to dress well to some degree, but do you know what it means to be truly fashion forward? This is a culture that goes beyond simply wearing nice clothes; it means staying up to date with the latest trends and weaving them into your everyday garb.
Growing up in a family full of females, I've always known what it means to be fashion forward. My mom and sisters would watch shows like Fashion Police and tuned in to all the red carpet events. I saw clothes I thought were odd, only to learn later that innovative fashion trends would become everyday fashion.
Fashion is important to me personally because it determines how people see you. You have to dress to get a good job, impress somebody, or even simply to feel good about yourself. I wore a pair of jeans and a t-shirt to my first "good" job interview and wasn't hired. A week later, a the owner of a booming small business hired me, dress clothes and all, in the middle of my first interview.
There are a variety of things you can do to become fashion forward. You can find a lot of information about fashion, and it's easy to dress better if you're willing to take some tips.
While I don't claim to be the most fashion forward person myself, I think everyone should have some degree of fashion knowledge. I've noticed that dressing well makes me feel better, which makes me do better in day to day life.
Taking a deep dive into the world of fashion may seem like a bit much, but we've put together a few tips to help you transform your style.
Has Fashion Always Mattered?
There was a time when clothing wasn't such an important decision. For most people, clothing was more of a necessity. Fabrics were hard to come by, and only those who could make or afford nice clothes wore them. As a result, there weren't a lot of fashion forward people in the old days.
Now, we have thousands of clothing companies churning out millions of shirts, with clothing lines out there for everybody. I can go to a mall and find multiple designer stores selling high fashion clothing. In fact, I do a lot of my shopping at Ralph Lauren.
That's not to say fashion wasn't a known concept centuries ago. People who had more money during the old days still wore nice clothes; the highest grades of fur coats were only worn by the higher class. If you didn't have a lot of money, you may have worn lower quality fur coats or even thinner fabrics.
Today's fashion has allowed even a poor schmuck like me to find great clothes at a reasonable price. If I don't feel like spending a fortune on the best clothes, I can go thrifting and find great deals on a wide range of styles.
What Is Fashion Forward?
Being fashionable means understanding not only which clothes are fashionable, but which styles you can combine for a single outfit. For example, I've been made fun of countless times for wearing socks with slide sandals. This may seem like an obvious rule, but simple rules like these are what land celebrities on Fashion Police.
Many rules aren't this cut and dried, either. There are a lot of simple style choices which fall out of fashion or gain favor each year. If you're not aware of current fashion trends, you may walk out of the house with an outfit that's breaking a major fashion rule from the past few days.
Being fashion forward also means choosing styles that fit you. Some people don't have the right body shape or personality to wear certain outfits, but there are endless style tricks you can use to make the most out of whatever you're working with. I'm a bigger guy, so I like to wear clothes that are slimming but don't fit too tightly.
Keep in mind you don't have to follow every rule. I personally break plenty of rules consciously for no reason other than that I want to do it. This is an important part of individuality, which is a big part of fashion.
Keeping Up with Fashion
So now that you know what it takes to be fashion forward, you're probably wondering where you can learn about all of these style trends. Luckily, there are a range of great sources for learning about fashion and keeping up with the latest fashion news and trends, including websites, blogs, television shows, YouTube channels and more.
I get inspiration from popular style bloggers like Charlotte Groeneveld and Helena Borden who influence fashion all over the world by posting short blog posts and photos to their blogs. You can peruse these websites to get ideas about various aesthetics and different accessories and clothing.
There are also lots of great YouTubers with a focus on fashion. The Notorious KIA offers tons of great looks achieved through a mix of expensive name-brand purchases and affordable thrift store choices. Annalee and Jesse are another great channel because they offer varied advice on range of topics, since on is a professional hair stylist and the other is a photographer.
No matter where I get my inspiration, I always make sure to sprinkle in a bit of my own flavor. After all, this is what fashion is all about.
Learning about fashion takes time and effort, but it's well worth it when you put together the perfect outfit and turn heads. Plus, we've already done some of the leg work for you. Your next step is to check out a few blogs, magazines and YouTube channels and start challenging yourself to become a bit more fashion forward each day.