Magical Fashionista: Dress for the Life You Want
I looked at this book for months on Amazon, and knew it could be either a complete farce, or brilliant. I’m familiar with Tess Whitehurst’s work, she writes in a very matter-of-fact style, as if you’re reading advice from a big sister. She’s vastly eclectic, a perusal on her blog http://enchantingtheday.blogspot.com/ shows posts about Saint Germaine, Feng Shui (which she has studied thoroughly), crystals, dreams and astrology (this is not a complaint, just an observation).
So, caveat, the magical alchemy of “What not to Wear” is a favorite of mine. I adore this show wherein people of all shapes and sizes and lifestyles are given makeovers. I adore the transformation, inner and outer. And, yeah, I was expecting this book to be just, cheesy…
Alas, it isn’t. It’s very astute. Keeping in mind, that unless you live a very special life, you are going to have a wardrobe. That wardrobe communicates something to the world. You can use this to your advantage or your disadvantage.
We use clothing to express ourselves, or at the very least, clothing expresses something about us. Paint-spattered overalls mean you’re probably in home-repair or you’re an artist. Dirt stained ones, probably a farmer. We identify people by what they wear, in a cafe we find the person in an apron for assistance. At a ballpark, we look for another uniform. I had a friend who swore that she didn’t use fashion to express herself, and I pointed out that every t-shirt she owned said that she was Heathen, Geeky, or liked to knit. She took my point.
Many Pagans have ritual garb, which is grand, but what if you took the time to create a magical wardrobe you wore everyday?
So, another level of how much of an impression we can create in the world is with fashion. It’s non-verbal, yet speaks volumes. Which is Whitehurst’s point.
The book itself is filled with mundane and magical suggestions, as well as some exercises aimed at discovering what you’d actually want to look like. Once you discover that, she has real-world applications to help you add those influences into your everyday wardrobe.Some of them are brilliant-such as the notion that your clothes are a boundary between you and the world, or looking at your body as if it was a landscape-and accenting it.
Some of them are overly simple, like wearing earth tones is grounding. Other suggestions are just a bit beyond what most people have time for-like dressing according to your Chinese Element or choosing clothes based on the Moon Phase and it’s signs.
The book is aimed at women, which makes sense, since Whitehurst has been dressing a woman’s body her whole life, but there’s no reason that the information and exercises couldn’t be used by men. The layout is excellent, it’s neat, organized, it’s flawless, actually. The chapters are titled “You are a Work of Art” “You are a Celebration” and so on. It’s a very uplifting book that’s aimed at helping everyone embrace their inner selves, and then matching that essence to the way we decorate ourselves. It encourages cruelty-free, waste-free, fashion consciousness, and is useful no matter your budget or closet size.
If you want to improve your image, magically and mundanely, this is a very handy guide to have. Step away from the idea that fashion is vapid and useless, and embrace the idea that it is an art form and a way to express yourself, and you’ve discovered an entirely new realm of making magic everyday.
The downside, is now I have to figure out how to carry on ,my life of gardening, beekeeping, and child care working while dressed as some amalgamation of bellydancer, burlesque star, Josephine Baker, Stevie Nicks, Frida Kahlo, and yogini. Wish me luck.