Finding the meaning in fashion: Exploring my love for getting dressed


Getting dressed was never something I spent a mere 5 minutes doing. It was an event, a whole thought process on how I was going to get the outfit just right. Fashion was never on the back burner, it was an entire recipe for my self-expression journey.

I vividly remember designing clothing in the back of my parent’s car as a kid, when my mom raced horses at the fairgrounds in Grants Pass. I spent hours in that car drawing new outfits with wild patterns and colors. I became obsessed with how outfits looked together and knew that fashion was in my blood. I was engrossed in how fashion made me feel and it soon became a huge passion. As I grew older and got into college, I thought fashion design was my calling – well, that was short-lived because I don’t personally enjoy the technicality of sewing and measuring clothing. I enjoyed the design aspect but realized that I was more interested in how clothes worked together and the emotion that I felt with an outfit- rather than the feeling I got from designing. I went to Art Institute for two years and decided not only was it extremely hard to be a designer, I just lost my interest in that part of fashion. I honestly wish I would have majored in fashion merchandising/trend reporting. I think that knowledge would have been more useful in my everyday life. However, I have learned more from personal styling and creating my own photoshoots than I did in college. Style is not something you learn – you honestly either pick it up or you don’t. I truly believe that. People always say that I have amazing style – and I think that comes from my ability to just put an outfit together naturally. Not bragging, it’s just a talent I have that was never taught to me. Some people pick up piano – I have the talent of knowing how to put an outfit together.

You can spend years learning how to sew a garment, cut a pattern, and learn the technical side of fabrics and color theory – but being able to evoke emotion in an outfit and how it is put together, is not learned. You pick up your own style over your lifetime and it eventually snowballs into something bigger than you ever could have imagined. Starting with your school shoes to growing older and adding beautiful yellow gold pave engagement rings to the mix, you grow through incredible fashion transitions. All of which, teach you more about how and why you should love fashion.That is the definition of personal style and one of the reasons I love fashion. Knowing how to put garments together that make you (or the person you are styling) feel a certain emotion. I think of it like a painting: the point isn’t whether the art is good or bad, the point is what emotion you feel looking at it. Not everyone loves modern art like Jackson Pollock, but for me it sparks emotion. Some, like my boyfriend, don’t get that same feeling from paint splattered on a canvas. This is fine, not everyone sees modern art in the same way as others. When I look at a Jackson Pollock painting covered in random splatters I truly feel something because it is so chaotic. So when I see a garment or piece that I love, it immediately gives me the emotion of excitement. I am flooded with this feeling of joy – and putting outfits together makes me feel that too.

Fashion for me has never just been about the garments. It has always been about the emotion in the outfit and how the pieces make me feel.

I am a visual person through and through – I could’ve saved myself some serious debt knowing that from the beginning. I am not about the process of creating garments from scratch – I would rather work on the garment AFTER it is done. Whether that is through reworking, adding dye, or something that changes the feeling of the piece itself. I have a STRONG admiration for people that are tailors, couture creators, and seamstresses – I am just not that person who is interested or talented in the technicality of clothing. It is a beautiful talent and I truly have admiration for people who can look at a dress form and think: how can I make a stunning garment from absolutely nothing but an idea I had? Some of my favorite designers did exactly that. Alexander McQueen the GOAT himself had this ability to evoke a strong emotion from the simplest changes in a garment, like the bumsters. Showing just a little bit of buttcrack on a woman makes you feel something. Designing an entire collection around the idea of witches and rape – that is a strong emotion already and he thought, how can I create something beautiful from something so intense and terrifying? From McQueen to Dior and the New Look, creating emotional garments has always been the pinnacle of a fashion show and the very backbone of clothing. Now, not everyone has emotion with clothing as fashion lovers do. Some just put on a pair of sweats and walk the world – which is fine. Everyone has the thing they love, and for me it is clothing.

It took me a long time to understand that I enjoy putting outfits together more than other aspects of clothing. I worked for H&M for 7 years, and my favorite part of that job was being a fashion merchandiser. Granted my creativity in designing windows and styling mannequins wasn’t a large window because we had a booklet of how the floor and outfits needed to be styled – I still really enjoyed the process of dressing a mannequin. Whether it was learning that ironing linen is a total pain in the ass or finding alternatives to sold-out pieces, the journey of making an outfit that people were going to be influenced by was exciting.

My favorite classes in college and high school were always visually based. Painting, Art History, History of fashion – I loved all of those. Math, science, and sewing were my least favorite. I never had that gene in me to pick up a sewing machine and create something. Maybe if I had spent more time doing it I would have found my passion for it, but for now, it doesn’t interest me. And working at H&M definitely helped me realize that. Also writing. I am a decent writer because when I am talking about something I love, I can write and write and write about it without stopping. (as I type a huge blog post lol).

I used to collect Vogue magazines growing up – every issue I treated like “the book” from The Devil Wears Prada. A sacred, special book that held all the secrets and beauty of fashion and current trends. I read those September issues like it was the damn bible. I ripped out the advertisements and pasted them on my wall, using them for inspiration. I was immediately drawn to McQueen and his vision in clothing. He is the greatest designer in my eyes and I miss his beautiful chaos daily. He was the first designer I fell in love with – and since then it has grown. But clothing just sparked that excitement in my body – that gut feeling you get when you are doing something you love. It feels like a huge bubble in your abdomen at first and then you get a rush of ideas in your head. THAT was and is how fashion makes me feel. I get excited seeing runway shows, photoshoots, and people talking about why they love or hate something someone is wearing.

What will this Journal be used for?

The point of this blog is to explore why I love clothing. Why I am so interested in it? Why do I spend hours looking at runway shows, learning about the history of garments and designers? It has always been an enormous part of my life and I never fully found out/explored why I love it. So that is what this is for. My journal and my part of the internet where I can talk about whatever I am feeling about clothing. And as I get older and fall into routines and self-doubt, I need to remind myself WHY I love it. How does it make you feel Jessica? You have spent SO MUCH TIME exploring everything about fashion – you need to recognize what makes you enjoy it.

So this space will be used for learning everything I can about clothing. Learning why I love it and why it impacts my life so much. Why do I find something as simple as a great outfit beautiful and what that means? What is currently going on in fashion and how do I feel about it? AI in fashion, current trends – all the things that I care about will be put in this portion of my blog.

I am trying not to focus on the idea that not many people will read this, but rather using this space as a fashion journey or self-discovery for my personal use. Because who cares how many people do or don’t read this? This is my blog where I can talk about whatever I want.

If you have gotten this far, I thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope we can go on this fashion journey together, filled with wild ideas and constantly changing perspectives. As they say on Project Runway: In fashion one day you’re in, the next you’re out.


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