Karl Lagerfeld knows how to make the most of an outfit after paying attention to people's doubts and desires regarding fashion.
Unconsciously or not, we know our clothes can drastically change our mood and psychological state. Think about the intense discomfort we feel when we notice that we're underdressed or overdressed. We usually want to be different enough to be noticeable, but not so different that we become the center of attention. Even if we're not aware of it, we constantly compare other people's appearance to ours. After assessing ourselves in a room full of people, we can become confident or insecure, indifferent or anxious. Karl Lagerfeld is deeply aware of the effects of our clothes in our minds. These rules (both pieces of advice and hilarious suggestions) show how he obtains insight into people's behavior from just paying attention to their doubts and desires concerning fashion.
1. Never use the word “cheap.”
Trust Karl Lagerfeld with this. You don't need expensive clothes to look chic. We're all taught that quality costs a lot of money, and even if the quality isn't there, we'll believe it after knowing the price. Try to eliminate this bias from your life to understand that, as he suggests, you can look elegant in a T-shirt and jeans.
2. Reinvent new combinations of what you already own.
Have you ever seen another person wearing a piece of clothing you haven't worn in years, so the next day you decide to wear it again and it feels brand new? Seriously, sometimes you think you need new clothes, but you just have to take a look at your own closet. Did you wear a dress too many times but still love it? Turn it into a blouse or a skirt, or wear it when you're about to meet new people, since they've never seen you with it.
3. Don’t use expensive clothes as a screen for your personal doubts.
Karl Lagerfeld would be a wonderful therapist. If you're insecure about yourself, the expensive wardrobe will make you feel better for about two minutes. Then a new (or old) insecurity will rise. Clothes can help, but they won't save you. Go to actual therapy or learn how to feel great with an ordinary outfit.
4. Black, like white, is the best color!
Some days we wake up and feel that nothing works, or that nothing fits or looks right on us. We blame the mirror, the clothes, or our bodies. Don't go in that negative direction. Combine your dark mood with an all-black-everything outfit. It never fails.
5. Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.
Karl Lagerfeld is hilarious, but there's wisdom in this observation. It's not that sweatpants themselves mean you've literally lost control of your life. What he means is that clothes have the power to make you feel like you're wasting your life away, or on the contrary, turn that feeling around and make you feel powerful. So, always go for outfits that lift your mood.
6. You may look like a confused person if you wear things without being 100 percent convinced that they are perfect for you and your life.
Trying new things can be hard, but don't hesitate. If you're searching for a new outfit, go for the one you feel the most comfortable with. That comfort is essential so that you won't look out of character. And more importantly, you'll start wondering why did you wait for so long to try that look.
7. Better a split personality than no personality at all.
Sometimes the "New You" you're adding to your life doesn't match the "Old You" that is still there and refuses to abandon the ship quietly. Don't force it. Learn how to be comfortable with the confusing times, and let that internal conflict show in your look. It can actually make it look more interesting.
Karl Lagerfeld puts himself in the position of a therapist and does a great job with it: he's funny, practical, and insightful. He has plenty of advice concerning fashion and clothes, but he doesn't ever pretend that fashion is all that matters:
"Try to look a little deeper into yourself. Fashion is important, but it's not the only permanent booster."
If you're not feeling great, changing your style can symbolically present change in other areas of your life.
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