Hello everyone! Today, I want to share with you a personal journey that shaped my understanding of fashion and style. Growing up, I had little knowledge about fashion trends or style. I simply wore what felt comfortable to me. To some extent, that still holds true today, as my outfit choice often depends on the activities I have planned for the day. Whether it's painting, cleaning, meeting a friend, or running errands, my attire reflects the occasion.

When it comes to painting, I don raggedy clothes and tie my hair up in a ponytail, fully aware that I'll end up with some paint on me, no matter how careful I am. I have a dedicated set of clothes for such tasks, and I make it a point to stay indoors until I'm presentable again. Painting allows me to connect with my artistic side, with music serving as my muse during the creative process.

Cleaning is another activity that calls for a ponytail and a casual ensemble of a tee shirt, shorts, athletic shoes, and socks. Matching isn't a priority, although there might be some subconscious coordination happening. Dressing for cleaning is all about practicality and comfort.

However, if I have a lunch date or a visit to the doctor, I step up my casual attire to a slightly more put-together look. I make an effort to color-coordinate my wardrobe and ensure that I feel confident and presentable. There was one instance when I chose to wear leggings and bright, colorful sandals to a doctor's appointment without giving it much thought. To my surprise, the receptionists couldn't help but notice my unconventional choice of footwear. Their initial giggles made me uncomfortable, but it turned out they were admiring my style and wanted to know where I got those shoes. It was a reminder that embracing our individuality can lead to positive and unexpected interactions.

When it comes to running errands, shopping, going on a date, or attending church, I take great pleasure in dressing up. After all, you never know who you might run into! I believe that our outfits are a representation of our true selves, and for me, color plays a central role. As an artist, color is not only my passion but also an integral part of my identity.

Intrigued by the varying fashion choices among women, I decided to survey a diverse group to gain insight into their decision-making process. I quickly realized that women are incredibly individualistic, autonomous, and unique in their approach to fashion. They prioritize embracing their distinct qualities and resist conforming to societal expectations. Each woman expressed a desire to meet her own needs independently, highlighting her independence and self-reliance. While their styles differed significantly, these traits were the common thread connecting them all.

Reflecting on my own fashion journey, I must credit my aunt, who served as my mentor. She consistently dressed impeccably and was always "dressed to the nines," exuding grace and beauty. Inspired by her, I even took a class on dressing according to a color chart. This class involved draping our hair and body in a white sheet, revealing only our skin and eye color. The resulting analysis categorized us into seasons—spring, summer, fall, or winter—and suggested colors that best complemented our complexions. As a redhead with dark brown eyes and a fair complexion with a golden hue, I discovered that I fell into the Fall/Autumn category. Embracing these warm, vibrant colors not only suited me physically but also resonated with my personality.

Today, we live in a society that celebrates individuality and values uniqueness. We aspire to be trendsetters, entrepreneurs, and trailblazers, setting our own rules and dictating the trends. Yet, fashion retailers face the challenge of deciphering what women truly want. Women's preferences are complex, and trends are evolving rapidly. What women desire today may change tomorrow. Retailers must adapt and find their niche, staying ahead of the curve to cater to the diverse needs of their customers.

Fashion is a cyclical phenomenon, with trends resurfacing throughout history. However, the rules of the game are constantly shifting. Women, with their diverse perspectives and preferences, keep us on our toes. They challenge us to understand their desires and offer them a clothing experience that aligns with their individuality. Although it may seem daunting, I see it as an exciting opportunity for growth and creativity.

In conclusion, my journey through fashion has been a testament to the ever-changing landscape of style. It has taught me the significance of embracing our individuality and celebrating our unique qualities. As we navigate the dynamic world of fashion, let us remember that trends may come and go, but our personal style remains a powerful form of self-expression.

Thank you for joining me on this fashion exploration. I look forward to continuing this journey together, uncovering new trends, and celebrating the beauty of our individuality. Stay stylish, stay true to yourself, and always dress to reflect your vibrant personality.Becky GreggFounder of The Gifted Ruby