Styled is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
I'll admit it. Back when I was in middle school, high school, and college, I was a fashion victim. My wardrobe was so bad, I literally had people who refused to hang out with me based on the clothing I'd wear. I've been rejected for jobs, bullied relentlessly, and also just turned down for dates because of it.
My sense of style evolved, and truth be told, I now tend to be fairly lax about my clothing these days. I don't really "dress to impress," because I like to think my personality impresses enough most of the time.
That being said, when I do choose to dress up, I'm way more adept at it now. I clean up good, when I do choose to whip out my unique sense of style.
As a former fashion victim, I can tell you that those who are total slaves to fashion and fads are doing themselves a huge disservice. These days, I can spot a fashion victim from a mile away.
Concerned that you're a fashion victim? Here are the biggest dead giveaways.
You don't dress for your frame.
I don't care what kind of style you wear. I don't care how big or small you are. You're a fashion victim if you don't know how to dress to flatter your figure, period.
We've all seen heavyset people who wear miniskirts and short shorts that are clearly not for their figure. We've all seen super skinny people who hide under a pile of clothing. Neither looks good.
You should try to dress to accentuate your curves if you have them. If you don't know how to dress to flatter your figure, read up on it. The Science of Sexy is a great start if you're just trying to get your feet wet.
Actually, you wear clothes that don't fit.
Back in college, I was known for wearing a trench coat that was about three sizes too large for me. A colleague of mine was known as "Little Pants" because he wore pants too short for him. We both spent all our money on these items.
See where I'm going here?
I'll be honest with you. Most people will never be able to guess how much money you spend on clothing if it fits well on you. A $10 jacket that fits you perfectly will look expensive as can be. On the other hand, a poorly-fitting pair of $300 jeans will look cheap and awful if they're too small.
Everyone knows that fashion sizing is pretty variable based on brand, cut, and fit model. So, stop paying attention to numbers on a tag. Buy by fit, not by clothing size.
You don't actually have wardrobe staples.
As someone who lives an extreme alternative lifestyle, I understand that wardrobe staples can shift from person to person—but only to a certain point. Certain clothing items are just a must have regardless of who you are or what you do. These include:
- A pair of black jeans
- A pair of denim jeans
- A black tee
- A white tee
- A leather jacket
- An office-appropriate outfit
- A dress shirt
If you don't have these in your closet, in your size, then you're a fashion victim. Get some staples, and start incorporating them into your apparel.
People have told you that your outfits are totally inappropriate for where you are.
When you're a fashion victim, people tend to avoid you and resist inviting you out places. Sadly, there's a reason why that only made sense to me after I realized the importance of appearances in today's world.
You see, appearances give off a lot of signals that people pay attention to. They signal class, self-awareness, and a certain level of social awareness.
When you dress inappropriately for an occasion, you're showing that you lack self-awareness necessary for social interactions. You're literally saying, "I won't realize I embarrass you! I don't care about how you look next to me!"
I'm not saying that you need to conform completely; that's another kind of fashion victimhood that's all too common. However, you do need to take into account where you're going.
Your body and clothes both change drastically when trends shift.
Fashion, as an industry, has a very strong pull. It's something that's designed to make us feel like we need to follow it. It's what the cool kids wear, after all.
Like all industries, fashion has trends. People follow those trends. The difference between a fashionista and a fashion victim is how hard you follow these trends.
A fashionista and trendsetter will indulge once in a while in those trends; using style as a tool towards success with this mentality just makes sense. They do it because it suits their own unique sense of style rather than what magazines suggest they like.
A fashion victim will change their entire look with every major trend. So, they'll be the ones going from a size 0 to a "thicc" size 12 when they see body acceptance going into fashion. If you constantly try to buy up what Kylie's wearing, you're a fashion victim.
Your closet is filled with clothes you don't wear, have never worn, and refuse to throw out.
Look, this happens with everyone once in a while. We find a shirt we forgot about, or maybe we found a pair of pants that we just never got around to wearing. The thing is, most people will clean out their closet once in a while.
Fashion victims don't, and won't. They'll come up with reasons to keep those clothes, even if they're not the right size, are torn up, or are starting to turn yellow from age.
A bulked-up closet filled with crap you don't wear won't do you any favors. It will only make putting a good outfit together pretty difficult, and will even cause you anxiety.
Throw out your bad clothes! Or hell, donate them! Someone needs that stuff.
You just *need* more clothes, even though you don't even know if it fits you well.
Many a fashion victim has just bought something they saw in a store because they "need" that one last piece of clothing. Some will even say that it's what they "need" to make their wardrobe complete. It's an investment, they say!
Did you ever notice that people who say this always end up with more than that "last piece" they so touted? Or, worse, they never actually wear that piece they splurged on? It's a pattern.
Fashionable people tend to buy with intent. When they see an item they like, they ask themselves what they have in their closet that it would work with. They try things on. If it doesn't match with what they have, they don't buy it.
This habit isn't just a sign that you're a fashion victim; it's a sign that you have a shopping addiction. You might want to look into it, especially if it's costing you a lot of cash.
You keep wearing the same clothing, even though they're a wreck.
Oh, this one is a problem I *still* struggle with. When I fall in love with a clothing item, I will end up wearing it until it falls apart—and afterwards, too.
A little aesthetic tear in jeans or an overshirt is one thing. A clothing item that's clearly ragged from heavy use is another. Sadly, shabby clothing doesn't really make for a good outfit. It just looks like you rolled out of bed, and that's not a great look in most cases.
You don't have a personal style of your own.
Following the trends and following the crowd may be a safe bet for most, but the truth is, it doesn't really make you fashionable. It makes you unremarkable—and unless you're into normcore, you really don't want to be unremarkable.
Do you know what you like to wear? Do you know what aesthetic works for you? If you don't really follow your heart and wear clothes that make you happy, then you're probably a fashion victim.
My suggestion would be to take a moment to figure out your aesthetic. In fact, make a mood board that shows the kind of "looks" and vibes you like. Then, follow that mood board while you remodel your look.
The clothing you buy is "disposable."
Now, I understand that it's possible to buy cheap clothes that last a long time. I get it, I really do. A lot of my Fashion Nova gear falls into this category, people!
However, I'm also very well aware that cheap clothing has a tendency to destroy itself after one or two wears. In particular, shiny material (like gold leggings) can look awful after just one day.
If you find yourself spending a lot of money in order to keep your "disposable looks" intact, it's time to face the music. You're a fashion victim and you need to re-evaluate your spending.
People have told you that you tend to overkill trends.
There's wearing a little bit of a trend, and then there's wearing too much of a trend. This is never a good look, people! When you see a lot of people "overkilling" a trend, it's actually a sign that the trend is dying out.
For example, back in the 2000s, there was a trend at the Jersey Shore that involved tanning. It started off with people having a sun kissed look. Then, it got darker. And darker. And darker... until you ended up with the orange bozos you saw on Jersey Shore.
Do you find yourself being the one with the most extreme form of a trend, time after time? Chances are that you're a fashion victim.
Every outfit you has matches a little *too* much, and people have remarked about it to you.
Most people remember seeing Barbie dolls as a kid, and marveling at how every little aspect of her outfits matched down to a T. The pink was all the same pink, the clothes all had the right pink, even the accessories matched with the same hot pink hue.
In theory, this is great, but have you ever seen what a person dressed like a real-life Barbie looks like? It's kind of creepy, reeks of "trying too hard," and is one of the signs someone doesn't know how to dress themselves.
Don't go full-runway for day-to-day stuff. It's a very bad fashion look, even if you have the money to do so.
You don't match your outfits—at all
Sure, going all matchy-matchy isn't good, but not matching anything is usually a way worse look than being "Barbie Dolled" up. When you literally look like you've crawled out of a dumpster filled with clothes, people notice and cringe.
You really don't have an excuse not to match your clothes. This video above shows you how to match your clothes like a true stylist.
You think price denotes quality.
A lot of the worst fashion victims I know are brand-obsessed zombies. The idea of wearing something that doesn't flash a brand, or that doesn't belong to a specific design house, will make them balk.
Why? Because they think branding equals instant style, or that price denotes quality. It's a sign that fashion marketing has taken control of their opinions a little too well.
The amount you spend on a label doesn't match style. A stylish person wears clothes that look good on them, not on store floors.
You buy things just because your friends do.
Are you all about your squad? Be careful. One of the bigger signs you're a fashion victim deals with you copying your friends. If you buy clothes just because your friends do, you may have a problem trying to face your own individuality.
Unless it's for a YouTube vid like this, of course.