Since most women do not know themselves, they should try to do so.
I would say that this commandment is so true, it doesn't just pertain to women and it doesn't just pertain to fashion. Isn't this one of the great quests in life-- to "know" yourself? So who are you? There is a famous monolog in Fight Club about who you are NOT, but that doesn't really answer who you ARE (Okay, well, the monolog does go on to answer the question, but, I doubt that it should be many people's guiding principle). Of course, Elsa Schiaparelli is not necessarily talking about your life's mission, she is talking about what she knows, fashion.
I recently looked into Stitch Fix, an online styling service, and found it interesting that one of the things that they tell their potential customers is to BE HONEST about what they like to wear and not to choose things just because it looks nice on other people. I thought it was odd that this company feels the need to say this right up front, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Elsa Schiaparelli thought it made sense too.
Often when a client comes to visit me, they have a garment that they have to wear for one reason or another and they don't like it-- the fit, the cut, the style. I can usually fix it so they are a lot more comfortable and happy wearing it, but I have a much easier time if they know what they don't like about it in the first place and what they do want instead. I can give options and opinions, but in the end, I am influenced by my own aesthetic and taste. Knowing who they are as a person, with a real life to live while wearing these clothes, is dramatically helpful for finding clothes that meet that clients needs. I am constantly saying, "YOU have to like it and feel good in it!" And I really do believe that.
I'm Denise Meyer, apparel designer in State College, PA, saving the world one clothing problem at a time!