The graffiti artist suggested we find our own magic in ourselves, not our clothes.

I don’t normally approve of graffiti (even though, admittedly, some of it is funny and, heck, the great artist Keith Haring got his start that way.)  Most of it is vulgar, intrusive and downright thoughtless.  However, while waiting on a subway platform yesterday, I did see graffiti that I thought was quite wise.  I snapped the photo above.

The reason I liked it has nothing to do with whether or not I like Macy’s.  The ad could have been for any store.  The graffiti artist wasn’t bashing the store, he/she was bashing the slogan and I couldn’t have agreed more with when they implied that: your magic can’t be found in your clothes, your magic is found in you.

You may find it surprising that I, of all people, would be supporting this statement.  After all, my job and the job of my company is to dress people.  Yet, my firm position on styling women and transforming their image is that clothing is to be used as the language to more effectively express the magic that is inside all of our clients.   Your magic IS in you, NOT your clothing.

The goal for you, when getting dressed, is to know your own magic, to know who you are, to feel it’s worthy of shining bright and to walk through the world with that magic for all to see.  Clothing is a great way to do that because it is one of the largest forms of personal communication we have.

Most of us live the other way.  We look to external things, like our clothing, to fill the void of magic that we can’t find within ourselves.  I believe that this is the difference between someone who exudes a sense of style, no matter what they wear, and those who look like a trend-victim who has not tapped within themselves first.

My suggestion to you is that you heed the advice of this very wise graffiti artist (I swear, it wasn’t me) and learn to find your magic within you first and choose what to wear based on that.


Bridgette Raes is the president of Bridgette Raes Style Group, author of the book Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want and a sought-after spokesperson, style expert and writer for many media outlets including CNN, Good Morning America and Real Simple Magazine. She and her Style Consultants are available worldwide for consultation, in-person or virtually.