1. Get rid of any previous notion of what fashion is.
Fashion is not scary. It will not point fingers at you and laugh if you do not know who Alexander McQueen is. People who you should avoid will do that, but not fashion. It will not affect your independence, or suggest that you are any less equal or intelligent as your peers and coworkers. It does not make you an airhead. It is not anorexia or throwing money away to look cool.
2. Accept that your thoughts about fashion are unique
This also stands for everyone else. You will meet people who make Walmart clothing look like a fashion editorial, you will meet people who spend thousands of dollars on Chanel everything. You will meet people who want to wear sweatpants to Starbucks, and people who love green dyed hair. None of their preferences are there for you to sneer at, and no one has the right to disagree with you. There may be a time and place to wear certain outfits (black tie events, nudist beaches, etc.), but for the most part, what you wear is your choice and yours only.
3. Find stores and blogs for you to follow
The best way to make fashion not seem like a scary cult is to, well, join a scary sub-cult. For whatever you like, I swear on my life there are hundreds, if not thousands, writing about it. You favorite store may have a blog, and from there they might link to other blogs, and others. Google things. Look around. Find people who inspire you and stores whose clothing describes your whole personality.
4. Keep track
Start your own blog. Create a Pinterest. Print out photos and post them on your wall. Do whatever you feel most comfortable with. No one can tell you how to run these things, do it for yourself. You can write about what you wear day to day. Write about new lines from designers you love. Just post pictures. However you want to keep track of the things you like.
5. Remember you do not have to spend any money to enjoy fashion
Fashion is an art. You may like Van Gogh, but that does not mean you have to go try to buy the original Starry Night. I doubt you even could. The same goes for fashion. Not everything has to be the real thing. Knock-offs get a bad rep, but not everyone can own a closet straight out of New York Fashion Week. There may be times that you will want to splurge on a designer piece, and you should every once and a while, but even the top names in the fashion industry know number 6, which is:
6. A good wardrobe and outfit is a mix of high and low
Now what that means is that your wardrobe does not need to be all designer names, but nor should it be everything from the clearance rack — unless it is all designer pieces from the TJMaxx clearance rack in which case, you’re amazing and really do not really need to be reading this. A lot of the things you own will not be designer name. This is okay. Things that are unique and will not be worn often do not need to be top of the line quality. You should still aim to buy good quality in everything, but that patterned blazer will probably only be in style for 3 years max, so it does not need to last 10. Likewise, that black dress that you will probably wear at every other formal event will occupy a place in your closet for a while, and spending more to have one that lasts longer is not a bad idea.
And last but not least…
7. Remember: this is for you
Fashion is not something you should be interested in because you friends are. You should not just follow it because you are a girl and “That is just what girls do.” You should not not follow it because you are a guy and “Guys just don’t do that kind of thing.” What you want to wear and like is part of your personality just like your favorite movie and what you like to eat for breakfast. Anyone who tells who you cannot like something or that it is wrong for you to care, or not care if you wish, is the problem, not you.