.The Look of Mental Health—Fashion for Maximum Wellness

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Hi, everyone! It’s been too long. I was out with—yes—Covid, so alas no “Look” last week, and I’m still waiting on the photos everyone is supposed to send me from their early childhood. Yes, Steve Jaxon from KSRO’s “The Drive,” I’m talking to you. We had a verbal contract. Don’t forget to post your look on socials and tag the North Bay Bohemian or Marin Pacific Sun, respectively. I’ve got my eyes peeled for the best look.

This week is our Health and Wellness issue, and I’ve done a fair amount of research into mental health, as handled by different county health boards and by us as individuals. The fashion industry is complex—a source of both expression and personal freedom, and repression and body dysmorphia. Designers like Vivien Westwood and the late, great Virgil Abloh were pioneers who pushed fashion boundaries, using clothing as a source of liberation, art and exploration. But there is the darker side of fashion—demanding on the body and non-inclusive. Our bodies, like our personalities, are different, and the ways we choose to adorn ourselves should be as varied in fit as they are visually. The idea that a certain size or shape dictates elegance is ludicrous, but it’s taken a fair amount of struggle for American culture to finally catch up to body positivity. One of the greatest developments to come out of Covid, and something I experienced firsthand, was the liberation of the body in contemporary fashion marketing—walking into Target and seeing a normal body advertising the clothing is jarring, helpful and the way of the future. 

Fashion is meant to amplify who we are, and help us feel like our best selves. To this end, I want to highlight a local fashion designer who has fully mastered the art of comfort in couture. Taylor Jay, in Oakland—a drive for those of us in Sonoma or Marin counties, but so worth it, I promise—is a triumph of comfort and fashion. The soft, sustainably sourced and sewn fabrics hug the body and amplify breath and movement without sacrificing a second of style, and as a woman of color advocating for body positivity and minority voice, Taylor Jay’s a true icon in the fashion world. 

Go check out Taylor Jay on 2355 Broadway, Suite 1, Oakland, and shop her line at taylorjaycollection.com. And be sure to prioritize comfort and freedom of expression—that’s the best look.

Looking good, everyone.


Jane Jane Vick is a painter, writer and journalist who has spent time in Europe, New York and New Mexico. She is currently based in Sonoma County. Contact her at janevick.com.


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