Fast Fashion & First ImpressionsFeb 16, 2021
By Eliza Joanska
The world as we know it is in the midst of a huge transformation, and the fashion world is changing along with it.
One of the positive aspects of the Coronavirus (yes there are some!) is the opportunity we’ve been presented with to reflect on what’s really important in our lives, and the impact we’re having on the planet. And in the case of the fashion world the reflections have been around ‘fast fashion’.
At last the ethical and environmental impact that ‘fast fashion’ is having on consumers and on the planet is being discussed at a higher level by prominent figures in the fashion world. With the mass production of ever changing fashion collections it feels, to many, that there’s also a manipulation of the consumer to have to buy, buy, buy in order to keep up with the latest trends.
In a recent open letter Giorgio Armani shared:
“The decline of the fashion system as we know it began when the luxury segment adopted the operating methods of fast fashion, mimicking the latter’s endless delivery cycle in the hope of selling more, yet forgetting that luxury takes time to be achieved, and to be appreciated. Luxury cannot and must not be fast. It makes no sense for one of my jackets or suits to live in the shops for three weeks before becoming obsolete, replaced by new goods that are not too different. I don’t work like that and I find it immoral to do so!”
CHANGE BEGINS AT HOME
Because of the ‘fast fashion’ cycle many are caught up in, we completely lose sight of what clothes we already have. So, an important question to ask yourself is whether more really means better?
Before you can change your purchasing habits, you first need to look at where you’re at right now with the clothes you have. Now is a great time to have a good spring clean through your wardrobes and draws, to get clear on what items actually fit, what ones you actually like and which ones are really suitable for your body shape. And how about the colours – do they suit you and lift your complexion or do they drag it down?
If you’re struggling with items and can’t make a decision whether things need to stay or go, enlist the help of a stylist for some professional advice.
MAKING A FIRST IMPRESSION
The saying, ‘dress to impress’ is a very true one. Whether we like it or not, people make an initial snap judgement about who they think you are as a person, just by the clothes you wear. Before you’ve even opened your mouth and uttered a word, your style will be speaking for you and will leave an ongoing impression long after you’ve gone. Therefore getting clear on the pieces you have in your wardrobe will allow you to put multiple great looks together, ready for specific occasions when making that first impression really counts. And what about the position we’re in right now when so many of us are working from home. It’s tempting to think that your appearance doesn’t matter at all, but in reality if you’re still meeting people online in a professional capacity, then you need to make the effort to look the part!
As an experienced stylist, image consultant and designer studying at the Accademia del Lusso in Milan, I’ve been exploring the work-from-home vibe and where the balance can be struck between comfortable and stylish. To cover both bases, I see the clothing sweet-spot for women and men as casual elegance. But what does this actually mean?
CASUAL ELEGANCE FOR WOMEN
There are so many online shops that offer elegant tracksuits and beautiful loungewear. Of course the quality and fabrics will depend on your personal budget, but regardless you can still find brands that are super stylish. I personally love Chiara Ferragni, who’s an Italian influencer and designer. Her motto is comfort but also elegance. There are also shops like Zalando, that offer multiple brands under one virtual roof. But, in the spirit of not buying into ‘fast fashion’, casual elegance also means a pair of jeans and a nice elegant top, which are items I’m sure everyone already has in their wardrobe.
CASUAL ELEGANCE FOR MEN
Again in the online space there’s plenty of shops for men to explore. Jeans and a smart shirt or t-shirt are a comfortable and stylish combo that most men already have in their wardrobe. But if nothing you have really hits the mark, I highly recommend Massimo Dutti as a brand that I love and is quite affordable. But again, be mindful not to buy into their ‘fast fashion’ changing collection. Instead take time to mix and match some new pieces with things you already have, and keep an eye on colours that suit your skin tone and feel on brand with the image you’re wanting to portray.
For men and women alike, at this time of year when temperatures are getting warmer, my advice is to opt for light, natural materials such as linen, cotton or silk – these allow your skin to breathe and eliminate the worry of any sweaty patches!
So, those are my tips for today – I hope I’ve given you some food for thought and you’ll be checking in with your own spending habits and the first impressions your style is making.
Eliza Joanska is a stylist, image consultant and designer from the Dublin Institute of Design and Accademia Del Lusso in Milan. She works styling individual clients as well as corporate, working for campaigns and promotions of shops in Dublin and Fashion Shows styling models such as Ana Zens, international Model and Athlete and Model of London Fashion Week and Film Cannes Festival.
Eliza's favourite Motto comes from Armani: Elegance is not about being noticed but being remembered
Eliza is also the Founder of Digital platform Discovernewu connecting coaches and top experts around the world with clients using efficient technology. Based online they are able to connect with just one click and facilitate online consultations and give life-changing transformation in terms of health, mindset, wellbeing, money and career, personal brand communication and first impressions in an individual and corporate level.
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