Being a Filipina, we surround ourselves with beauty. We have the great mixture of ethnicities and I know we are gorgeous. I have been a fashionista all my life due to my mom, my sister, and my best friends. My mother was a seamstress and created beautiful clothes for people. She invented an L-square to cut patterns, she could look at any clothing and created the pattern through assessment and calculation. She was amazing at it. My sister was always so fashionable and I always looked up to her for having the latest designer something. My best friends Jen and Naomi influenced my use of make up and showed me there is a whole world of designers.
I know there are many friends that are minimalist and I respect your beliefs. I understand a few things are great in your closet and that you don’t want to buy into a conglomerate of greed and capitalism. I completely understand. I will go for a few months without buying a thing. But just a few months. I rotate my clothing and donate to nonprofits. I don’t mind if they resell items because it will help their cause. My favorite is UCP: http://www.ucpahi.org/.
I have accepted that I am not a minimalist, especially with fashion. My mother was raised in the Philipines and had very little but she valued the importance of looking and feeling confident. She started a sewing and beauty school for women after WWII so that they could support themselves. Some of the women were widowers at a very young age with children. She said that to support these so-called “beauty” industries is to support a woman in business. That came full circle for me when I met a young woman who was applying makeup on me for an event I was going to and she shared her story with me. She said that being a make up artist saved her from being in a violent relationship. She would go to work every day covering her bruises with make up and enjoyed making people happy when she applied make up on them. She earned enough money by being a top seller and got out of that relationship.
The urban dictionary defines fashionista as a person devoted to fashion clothing, particularly unique or high fashion. A person not to be called a fashionista would be someone who obsessively follows trends. REAL fashionistas do not believe in trends.
Fashionista defined by me is taking classic styles and infusing a few seasonal looks. I love clothing that can pull double duty. I tend to buy from people I know because they know my personal preferences better than I do and they seem to have me in mind when they see a style or a particular color. It’s like having several personal stylists looking out for what you want. I like to shop online and go to boutiques. I will also get a few things from Macy’s, TJMaxx, or Ross. Who doesn’t love a sale?
And to address everyone’s curiosity about my shoe: I wear the right shoe. I tend to hide my E.T. looking toes unless I’ve had a pedicure then they look like billboards! I have a counterpart who lost her right leg and we have the same size foot. I wear 4-6 inch heals a few times a year. I have hip dysplasia and will buy a few expensive shoes (the Ultimate Footstore) that are comfortable and several inexpensive ones if I know I will be sitting for a long period of time.
Here are my top recommendations and a majority of the businesses are owned by women:
I frequently use a bag within a bag or reversible bags: Cookies (http://www.cookiesclothingco.com/)
I wear Chloe & Isabel Jewelry because a lot of the pieces can have up to 6 different looks (https://www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/vince). Having that option to extend my wardrobe through simple and versatile pieces goes a long way.
I also recommend Kokoon, Lularoe, Cabi, and Niu (https://www.yelp.com/biz/niu-wahiawa)
Makeup and skin care: Senegence, Lipsense, Benefit, Bare Minerals, Merle Norman, The Face Shop, Tony Moly, and the list goes on and on.
The fourth week of every month is dedicated to being a fashionista to honor by mother’s love of design and beauty. Bring out your fashionista from time to time, be confident, and be beautiful.