Years ago, I walked into Barnes and Noble, and I was on a mission. I was tired of dealing with the 'You so skinny' jokes and 'Girl you need to put some meat on them bones' statements. So I decided that I was going to go on a weight gain journey. During this journey, there were a couple of days when I ate too much and got sick. I was on and off with a trainer. He gave me a list of foods to eat; I ate these foods month after month after month. There was no weight gain. As an avid reader, I decided to go on a search for a book perhaps that could help me find the answer.
"Excuse me sir," I asked one of the employees, "can you tell me where I can find books on weight gain?"
He chuckled, "I don't think we have books for that ma'am. We have books for gaining muscle."
Oh great I thought. That was the last thing I needed- a skinny girl with too much muscle. I wasn't trying to add muscle!!! Sure enough I looked around, and I found no books about weight gain. Discouraged and disappointed, I was headed out the door when I spotted this book.
I didn't know who she was at the time, but I grabbed the book. I actually ended up checking it out from the local library. I read it from front to back, and I was amazed at the things I found out. I was so intrigued by her story that I read additional books as well. My mentor, Dr. Stacia Pierce, had been teaching us about finding a fashion role model in The Image Course I was taking. Before this, I failed at finding someone out there that I wanted to emulate when it came to my physical image and dress. I didn't feel accepted especially in the black culture. So when it came to wardrobe, I didn't know what I wanted to portray. I had to find a style and clothing that suited me well. Through research, I found out that Audrey Hepburn and I were the same exact weight, height and wore the same shoe size. Her birthday is a week after mine, and we both grew up being told how much we resembled 'an aunt'. This was special to me because Audrey became a fashion icon during the years that Marilyn Monroe was the 'it' girl. When the curvy and voluptuous women were the highlight, she arrived on the scene with confidence and found her own place on the stage. People begin to emulate her style and grace and beauty, and she was different. That message resonated in me. It took a while to get to the point I'm at now, but I thank God for being concerned about this area of my life. There were a lot of keys in this equation, but being exposed to the story of Audrey Hepburn has been a blessing to my life.
The black dress, the pearls, the short hair..... That's me, and it's awesome to see my confidence get to a solid place. Yes you are your own person. Yes I am unique, but I wanted a blueprint of a potential style for myself. One can never duplicate, but emulation can work wonders. Having an example works wonders. From there, you can begin to create your own style and sense of fashion. There are some steps that one can take to find a fashion role model.
It's all about the research. Finding a fashion role model involves images and visualization. I was introduced to a concept called the "Look Book". This is a book that creatively and colorfully stores images of your desired style. Images can be stored in a portfolio book or a 3 Ring Binder.
It's all about the research. You can search the style of celebrity women or even certain fashionable business women or bloggers on Instagram. Once you find a fashion role model with consistency in your style, then you can find and collect images to use for the Look Book. There are examples everywhere.
Here are 3 different places you can search to find images to create a "Look Book".
1. Pinterest or Digital Look Books
You can sign up for a free account with Pinterest which will allow you to create an Image Board where you can pin and store your pictures. They have tons and tons of pictures to choose from. T specifically pulled up Audrey Hepburn pictures, and I made a board. I actually printed my boards out and placed them in a portfolio so that I could actually have the book in my hand. There are also actual digital look book sites. There is a great site called Moonfruit that you can use to create one and actually post on your website.
2. Fashion Magazines
There are tons of fashion magazines out there to purchase. You can find the magazine that depicts most of your style influences or even the latest styles and purchase them. You can cut out images and paste away.
3. Drawings or Sketches
For those that have artistic abilities, you can draw and sketch out the images. You can have an actual sketch book as the 'look book'.
It's a fun and rewarding process. It will create a blue print and a reality in a sense for your direction. You can be on your way to walking fully in fashion sense and confidence.