Fierce Fashion. It’s a term that popped into my head last week as I was pondering the focus of this week’s post. I was trying to come up with a good way to communicate the idea of being fashion forward and making a statement while being true to your individual style and respecting your level of fashion comfort.
Fierce Fashion seems to cover it.
Here’s how I interpret Fierce Fashion.
You might conjure up a bizarre image of black lips, long, spikey fingernails, and head-to-toe animal print. Fierce Fashion is not that! It’s putting personality into fashion, using fashion in a bold way, making a statement, throwing in something fun and unexpected, adding a new and noticeable style discovery. It’s pushing the edges of your comfort zone a little, but still being comfortable.
Fierce Fashion NO
Fierce Fashion YES
Incorporating elements of Fierce Fashion into my style has been an evolving road.
Growing up, I was a chubby little girl – not obese, but not thin like most of my elementary school friends. Just being different in that way made me feel unattractive and uncool. I’m talking about age 8 and 9. I remember shopping for clothes with my mom and being limited in my choices because so many of the styles didn’t work for my body. Way back then I realized that I didn’t look cute in some of the pants styles that my peers were wearing. It’s possible that I exaggerated some of this in my own mind at the time, but perception is reality, so it really only matters that this image of myself was real to me.
This imprint became who I was for years. I don’t recall being particularly interested in clothes as a preteen. Maybe it was because of my body image. Or maybe it was because I was a kid and clothes weren’t that important (not including Christmas and Easter outfits!).
There were also many fewer options in those years compared to today when technology has had a significant impact on fashion styles, fabrics, and prices. And though I believe we still have a skewed societal acceptance of body type, fashion today is much more flexible, and we are finally celebrating a variety of body types and seeing this in fashion magazines and other media.
(Way pre-Fierce Fashion: Before I grew to love fashion, I thought brown was my best color. My reasoning was that as a girl with brown hair and brown eyes, brown clothes created harmony, and other colors just kind of clashed. Wow – what a narrow definition of fashion I created for myself!)
Not Fierce yet!
I think I finally began to feel a little more positive about my body between the ages of 13 and 14. I was coming into my more grown-up figure for sure, but there was something else . . . bell bottoms came onto the fashion scene. Hallelujah! That was a game changer for those of us who could use a little body balance. The flare of that style created a balanced silhouette from shoulders, to hips, to flared out legs. A door to the world of fashion and fun clothes opened.
Still, at that time in my life, I was more about blending in and conforming than being fierce in my fashion! I wasn’t confident enough in myself, brave enough to stand out from the crowd, sure enough of my style intelligence to even consider being a person of Fierce Fashion.
Fierceness through the decades.
My fashion journey continued. I spent my 20s experimenting with style and cultivating a taste for quality, stepping a little outside of the box, developing an affinity for being fashion forward. During my 30s and 40s, my style hobby took a back seat to raising a family and keeping four kids fed, clothed, active, and healthy. Fierce Fashion was not even on the radar! By my 50s, the kids were off living their lives, and I rediscovered my intrigue with fashion trends.
Finally . . . Fierce!
My shift to a lover of Fierce Fashion was leisurely. And it wasn’t an isolated happening. Newly untethered from my everyday mom duties, I was freer to spend time on fitness, healthy eating, and playing with makeup, hairstyle, and fashion. I was older too, and at a time in my life when I wasn’t so invested in what everyone else thought of me as much as I was in what I thought of me. It was the perfect time for me to discover my own signature style.
My Fierce Fashion collection slowly grew. When I came across bold or unusual accessories, edgy shoes, clothes in unusual fabrics, quirky patterns, I was drawn to them and integrated them into my wardrobe. These things not only attracted my attention but when I wore them, they attracted the attention of other fashion lovers.
The goal of dressing should be more than just covering your body. Fierce Fashion is really an art form. It’s the ability to express yourself through your fashion. It’s confidence. It’s playful. It’s experimental. It’s fun.
You can be a Fierce Fashionista!
Want to be fierce with your fashion? What will you notice when your incorporate Fierce Fashion into your style? So what if you feel slightly uncomfortable the first few times you step a little outside your comfort zone. Think about the women you always notice because there is something about them that is striking. What is that thing? It may start or end with a fabulous accessory, but the secret is that it’s actually a confidence that comes from within, and at the same time the ability to not take it all too seriously.
Start with baby steps. Do you already have a special accessory – colorful scarf, fabulous purse, edgy pair of shoes, stunning statement necklace – that is just waiting to take you from flat to Fierce? How about pairing an unexpected color combo (check out Be Your Own Color Stylist for a primer on color pairing)? Go for it!
Not sure how to put together a Fierce look? I can help! If you’d like some input, just shoot me an email (email@example.com) and let me know what piece you’d like to incorporate. I can give you some ideas to inspire you!
My Fierce Fashion
Below is Fierce Fashion straight out of my closet. And the results of my flat lay photography practice!
Use bold color as the focus of your look. This bright orange-red skirt was a color completely outside of my comfort zone, but I decided I wasn’t going to play it safe and went for it! Pairing soft looks like this flowy skirt with a denim jacket is always a win. The juxtaposition of two contrasting styles can be an attention getter. Adding a statement necklace or interesting print scarf pulls the eye up so attention is focused on my face.
Use a bold, graphic print to make a statement. Keep accessories neutral and simple so they don’t compete. The similar print scarf here works because the top and scarf are in the same color family and the size of the stripes complement each other. The lines of the chambray jacket are just different enough to stand out.
The bold print top turns the bright pants into a neutral. Pairing the contrasting patterns of stripes and polka dots in the bag and top bring a whimsical feel to this look. The strong patterns mesh since both are in black and white. Feminine black shoes tie this outfit together.
These favorite shiny pewter oxfords (my $35 bargain from DSW!) capture the spotlight in this casual ensemble. The shoes are hard not to notice and always elicit comments! They work with both a dressed-down gray jeans look or a slightly more polished black legging outfit. With these unusual shoes, I like to keep other accessories simple so they aren’t battling with each other.
This outfit features a strong and colorful pattern in the plaid shirt. It’s paired with a jacket that pulls out one of the less prominent colors (it’s a light turquoise but hard to tell in this photo). The shoes are a statement style but in a neutral tone that doesn’t compete with the striking mix on top. Adding an interesting bag to an ensemble always finishes a look with flair.
Accessories like scarves and belts are a great place to NOT play it safe. It’s easy to start being fierce this way. Funny note about the “enough sex” scarf. I bought this colorful scarf while visiting Barcelona few years ago. I loved the boldness and versatility. One day, about 6 months after I bought it, while folding the scarf I noticed that there was writing on it – and this was it! Now I like it even better because it’s a little naughty but no one knows but me!
Jewelry is a perfect way to incorporate fierceness since it’s such a personal expression. When you wear bold jewelry pieces, make sure that you don’t have a battle going on between your statement necklace and fabulous earrings. Choose one piece to garner the attention – it’s much more stylish.
Bags, bags, bags. What a fun way to make a style statement. Have fun with bags in unusual shapes, fun and trendy colors, and bold patterns.