I have a few tabs open on my very outdated internet browser as I type this. One is Facebook, the other is a line to a very popular online shopping site. I am looking at an a-line skirt. The a-line is the most sensible and flattering of all the skirts. It suits almost everyone – short ladies such as myself should probably wear mini lengths though. It is seldom considered an advantage when your skirt makes your legs look like chess pieces – and not particularly important chess pieces at that.
The only thing is this: The skirt is holographic. Properly holographic, like tinfoil with a rainbow running through it. It’s the wet, rigid plasticky material that Nineties kids will fondly remember as being the material for some seriously shiny pencil cases. At best, I would look like a castoff from the original series of Star Trek.
And yet, there it is and here I am and there is my mother kindly offering to buy me something nice before I pick up sticks and move to London, probably forever.
I might as well get the skirt. It’ll only be the second biggest risk that I’ll have taken that week, the first getting on a hastily-scheduled Ryanair flight to Luton. It could be a bad decision, but it’s so inviting. It looks so different and new and good. I’m talking about the skirt, that is.
Fashion and style are two very different things. Style is what you wear. It’s judged as good or bad by other people and you can choose to believe any opinion you want – but they’re probably all valid. Fashion is commerce. It is made up of trends that keep the business generating gigantic wads of cash and even more gigantic piles of clothes that are usually made in Third World countries in not very nice factories and workshops.
‘Trend’ isn’t a great word. The correct word is probably ‘risk’, for every trend you follow there is an inherent risk that you’ll look ridiculous and somehow outside of yourself.
Some risks will pay off. Maybe I’ll buy the holographic skirt and, distracted by the sun’s reflection off the material, someone in London will be so dazzled by my appearance that s/he will offer me my dream job, or at the very least, a sizeable Amazon voucher. Maybe, because of the skirt, someone will see something outgoing and visionary in me that I couldn’t previously express and I’ll make a new friend. Maybe it’ll just look kinda cool. Or maybe i’ll just look like a retro Sixties throwback on a detour from the Vulcan planet. Who know? It’s hard to calculate the risk involved.
I left my beloved Cork for a job before. That job did not work out. But I took the risk and accepted the consequences. Now, I take another risk. I take risks every day, and so do you. It might be as small as buying a skirt, it might be as life changing as moving country. Either way, I wish you luck, and I hope that you wish me luck too.