Reinvention is a sweet word, and at the start of a new year, on everyone’s mind. It holds promise of change – leaving behind the things that hold you back to become a new shiny version of yourself. One that is more “together”, more evolved, more confident, less petty, richer, freer, with a more enjoyable life. The reinvented you travels more, has more time to relax, she meditates, doesn’t look at her phone anxiously when she wakes up, doesn’t live paycheck to paycheck, and cares a lot less about what people think. She exercises consistently throughout the year, not just in panic-mode before a summer trip.
We yearn for reinvention when we feel a phase of our life is due to end. Like a movie that starts to drag, we sense that the people, things and habits in our lives are redundant and no longer serving us. The friend who you no longer enjoy talking to – there’s just something about their energy. Seeking reassurance from social media or one’s partner that satisfies you in the short term, but leaves you bankrupt of internal resources in the long term. The sweater that is from a brand you love and looks halfway nice but always itches and rides up unflatteringly. Why keep it?
This metamorphosis is nothing new. It affects everyone as they go through different phases of their lives. But how does fashion play a part? In the study of fashion psychology, we must examine how fashion fuels both an internal and external change.
For me, it was always fairly automatic. I can typically see a flash of the overall aesthetic of this "new me". A few years ago, on a melancholic summer day, I was frustrated with various things and ways I was handling my life and relationships. As I thought of September – another key reinvention time – I had a flash of me in a monochrome Emmanuelle Alt-esque outfit. Leather pants, white blazer, simple top. For some reason, a Chloé Drew Bag – nothing says progress like a new It-design. And a sharp new haircut. In contrast, my summer hair was too long loose and bohemian – not a look that aligns itself with my disciplined September self. Come fall, all this materialized. Not only did I possess the items and have sharper new ends, but I had actually also built up the new healthier habits I envisioned in tandem.
For me, it’s always about a bag, a haircut, and some kind of jacket. For others, it may be statement jewelry or killer boots. The most important thing is the order and process. You must have the vision first. Having this image in my head provided a touchpoint that helped me make all the everyday small right decisions that got me there. Both the outer and inner reality of that future best self. As for the next one? I think she’s got great dimensional balayage and a Saint Laurent croc-effect cross-body.
Lead image: Madame Figaro