People tell me I have “great style.” It’s humbling, but I’ve come to own it—and in as much as it’s true, I want to share what I’ve learned.
1. A woman with great style has a sense of self.
I was going to say has self-esteem, but I don’t think that’s quite it. Self-esteem is great but it won’t necessarily help you pick out an article of clothing that will flatter you, let alone make you happy. A sense of self is self-knowledge, including the ability to recognize that although you might like—even love—a particular style, it’s simply not for you.
Cashmere, wool, alpaca? What is the difference? Which animal is which and what do you want your sweater made of?
I’m often told that people don’t really know where to go for slow fashion. I understand that: it’s not like there are street signs pointing the way to the Slow Fashion Shop. So here’s a bit of help, a link to a slow fashion organization I follow and believe in, Project JUST. Natalie Grillon and Shahd Alshehail, who started this non-profit dedicated to slow and ethical fashion, say:
“We started JUST because we believe that real change can happen through the accumulation of the thoughtful choices you make every day.”
If you don’t know where to go for slow fashion, maybe your thoughtful choice today could be just becoming acquainted with Project JUST. In the spirit of the holiday season, and with compassion for the different types of animals your sweater may be made of, you can go here to read about knitwear. While you’re at it, click around; there’s a lot to discover on this beautiful site.
You may have noticed, Look for the Woman has a new face. With help from my friend Marion, we changed the banner, including my tagline. Slow fashion is still my passion and that’s not going away. But what do I mean by “fast women”?
The fast woman is the woman I’m writing for.
The term “fast” was used to label a woman as promiscuous, but I think we all know she was always much more than that. She embraced an eagerness to experience all of life without conventional boundaries. She wore pants, smoked cigarettes, and left home before anyone else did.
Today, to me, fast women embody feminism, politics, business — and meaning business. We’re about living well and being strong. We’re about style and substance and quality over quantity. We’re working women whether we have a job or not.
We are aging and concerned about ageism. We are honest about ourselves. We’ve taken some hard knocks.
We read serious books, wear safety pins, and know we are part of a global whole. We still have just as many questions as we do answers. If you’re here, you’re liberal-minded, more than just a bit angry, and you mean to be heard. You’re a fast woman. Thanks for making time for this blog!
Let me know what you think of the new look…
“I had grown used to being invisible, had all but forgotten what feminists call ‘the male gaze,’ until accompanying my visiting granddaughters down New York City streets I became aware of the change in atmosphere.
Men turned around to check them out. There were catcalls from construction sites. And the word ‘duenna’ suddenly popped to mind. That is what I was—the elderly chaperone, glaring and rushing my girls along; they all the while laughing (as those young Spanish maidens must have) at my futile efforts.
Do I miss being the recipient of a stranger’s sexual interest? Not at all.
Do I miss striding along without an ache or pain, in confidence that the physical self that was being contemplated could walk for miles on end without tiring. Yes, indeed.”
From The Lioness In Winter, by Ann Burack-Weiss
Photo: Tony Luciani.