Revenge Fashion and Ch-Ch-Changes

Warning: this article contains an internal dialogue with a colloquial term that may be inappropriate for a professional audience. #revengefashion

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I was incredibly amused yesterday when I noticed #revengefashion was trending on Twitter. 

The first thing I thought was: “omg, I was so right about what’s going to happen next.” (My internal voice is much less professional than my written word.)

And my next thought was…

Which was supposed to be a comment on the WSJ article, “Tina Turner, Princess Diana, and the Power of Revenge Fashion”, but I failed to retweet the original message, giving no context to why I said that. (I often do this on Instagram as well; reply to my own comment rather than someone else’s.)


After 12+ months of wearing masks and sweatpants, it seems I’m not the only one who wants to dress up.

What revenge fashion is:

Think of Princess Diana’s “coming out” mode of dress after her divorce from Prince Charles. Revenge fashion was initially popularized by celebrities responding to a break-up with friends, lovers, or ideas.

However, the broader expression is a sense of freedom when we have been let out of a restrictive environment.

Revenge dressing nods to an internal feeling of freedom after imprisonment. 

In fashion, this can take the form of exposing more skin after a year covered up at home or buying an expensive piece to compensate for all the vacations, festivals, and nightclub outings we’ve missed.

This feeling of liberation is manifesting in other ways.

As I’ve been saying for a while now, when an entire world is held hostage for months on end, there is a lot of pent-up energy that will eventually come out. 

And so, here it is.

For those of you in the financial or real estate markets: liken this to a massive market correction, but on all levels: personal, spiritual, and social.

Here in America, these changes coincide with our voting in a Democratic president and more colorful designs that usually accompany these new regimes. Example: White Lexus = Republican presidents; Lime green Volkswagon bug = Democratic presidents.

I am observing push-back in my coaching clients as well. And it is affecting interpersonal relationships.

It can feel threatening, and conflict is nearly inevitable when we’ve felt comfortable having a person to ourselves, and it seems they are suddenly rejecting or moving on without us. 

A side note to designers: you may wish to strongly consider the word “freedom” as you think through delivering your projects.

If you care to read back through my previous articles, you will see that I offered skills to deal with what is here now. 

I also predicted these things:

  • There would be too few employees in the service industry to meet the coming boom. 
  • People would leave jobs in droves for better opportunities. 
  • The demand for houses would exceed the market as people took advantage of low-interest rates to seek housing that better suited the new selves that emerged from metaphoric cocoons this Spring.

Guess what? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Companies will need rapid responses to navigate these seemingly sudden, intense changes to consumer demand. And this will be stressful to employees who find their jobs and roles morphing.

From my vantage point, as a person who helps people with mental health conditions, push-back, anger, and independence are normal and healthy responses after feeling restricted.

So, what to do?

It is helpful to understand what is happening from a broader perspective in order to make sense of how it affects you personally and in your business.

The bottom line is: if you feel liberated and reflect on it on many levels, have fun!

And if all the change is rocking your boat, don’t take it personally when people assert themselves in any of these ways–likely, you are doing the same in ways you don’t realize. 

Tami Green, is a life coach, author, speaker, and mother of eight children and a helluva lot of grandkids, stepkids, and in-law kids. You can schedule a coaching session with her here.

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