What makes you such an authority on fashion?

Absolutely nothing at all, aside from the ability to dress myself well enough that perfect strangers stop me on the street to tell me I look great. Truth.

I don't actually think I'm a greater authority on fashion/makeup/style than anyone else. I'm rather terrible at telling people how to follow the latest trends, in fact. I'm better at telling people what elements they need to apply to themselves to look however they want to look, but that only works if the person asking knows what they want to look like in the first place.

What I think I bring to the discussion that is lacking in many other viewpoints is the ability to explain how to dress yourself in terms of social messages and artistic design. I'm not the only one who can do either of those, but in my experience, the combination is rare. It works particularly well when explaining this stuff to people who have never been interested in the immediate social payoff of playing the 'matching trends' game with the rest of their cohort, but who can appreciate the purpose of certain pieces of clothing or methods of face painting in an anthropological or game-theory context.

In short, I'm really good at telling geeks how to cosplay as not-geeks when interacting with the general public.