I vaguely remember one of Ben Affleck’s less memorable films called Boiler Room. Yes, I saw it: it had Vin Diesel and Giovanni Ribisi so I won’t apologize for it. Ben Affleck basically says you have to look expensive to charge expensive.
Same year American Psycho is released. Same theme, same sentiment, just with more chasing hookers with chainsaws in the buff.
So many thoughts occur to me about this subject. Just like with the Force, there is a light side and a dark side to fashion and style. Here’s the truth: image matters. As much as I wish the PC-verse of the 90s were still around, they’re not. The touchy feely-ness of being accepted for being you, even if you think leggings and UGGs are the height of fashion, is over.
As stylists, we have to dress to attract what we want to attract. Do I want to attract punk rockers or pros? Kmart or Kors? Do I want to use combs from 1987, or the new nano technology ergonomic tools? Is it right to charge a ton of money for a color service if my roots are down to my ears? And yet…how responsible is it to spend a couple grand on the right wardrobe, the right glasses, the right shoes and make-up and earrings and edgy yet easily hide-able half-sleeve, when I have to pay for rent and daycare?
At the end of the day it is an investment in one’s self. Put your best self forward. David Adams posed the question: do you spend more time getting ready to go out on a Saturday night than to go to work on a Tuesday morning? you DO? WHY? Put your best self forward ALL THE TIME. I do believe it is a combination of physical image and mental confidence. I do believe it boils down to ‘know thyself’ and ‘dress the part’. I also believe it is a fine line between that and buying into all the bullshit that causes human beings to choose felonies, ferraris, and fucking over other people. It’s a fine line; most of the time I feel like we deserve to be destroyed by aliens because we get so pumped over the opening of a new Whole Foods when children are starving in Africa…and I digress. That is another discussion, one involving priorities.
In the meantime…put your best self forward. Scrounge through thrift stores and secondhand shops. Learn how to sew buttons, hems, and accessorize. Learn how to do laundry the right way so the colors last longer. Don’t scrimp on glasses or footwear. Budget for haircare and a good lipstick. Get a really great haircut.
And don’t judge me for watching Fast and the Furious 3:Tokyo Drift. The Asian-boy haircuts in it are amaaaaaaaaazing.