Why I’m Afraid of Fashion. 

Fashion terrifies me. It's not that vintage sweaters and mom jeans give me nightmares, but rather what underlies it. Let me explain. 

Fashion comes in so many forms that there’s no one way to categorize it. Do you remember skinny jeans and flannels? What about off-the-shoulder tops and Roots sweatpants? Faux fur, bucket hats, jean jackets and knee-high socks - I’m sure you’ve seen an outfit made up of any or all of these pieces of clothing and thought, “Their outfit looks so good.”

Fashion looks so different for every single person. There are so many styles. With that in mind, I guess you could say that fashion is whatever you want it to be. 

I think that’s the thing about fashion that terrifies me. Self-doubt and uncertainty make me question whether my perception of fashion is good enough. When I see a new style that appeals to me, I often question whether I’ll be able to pull it off, and whether the clothes I pick even look good at all. But honestly, I think that all of my questions and concerns can be combined into one overarching theme: “What if people judge me?” This is what truly terrifies me. 

I tend to play it safe with fashion choices because judgement genuinely scares me. Now this doesn’t just apply to fashion, but many aspects of my life. In things like group projects and presentations, I feel like there’s a part of me that’s always wondering what those around me think. In a way, I think this prevents me from being entirely myself.  

Now imagine this: You buy a pair of mom jeans before they were in style. You love how they look but fear others won’t, and this is what stops you from wearing them the house. 

**(Mom Jeans: a women's jeans of a style regarded as unfashionable or unflattering.) 

At some point, you finally decide to put those jeans on, and you realize how much you love wearing them. A few months later, somehow these “unfashionable” jeans are completely in style. 

Nothing actually changed about the way the jeans looked, but what did change was perception of them. A shift in self-image led you to wear them with pride. A shift in societal perception led to an increase in their popularity. This is what makes fashion so subjective, reflective and versatile. 

I’m sure many of us can relate to this. How many pieces of clothing have you wanted to buy but never did? Or bought but never wore? How many of those pieces of clothing did you eventually put on and now will never take off? 

This doesn’t just apply to fashion. Your words, actions, and the way you carry yourself will always be interpreted through different perspectives based on the interpreter's own biases. You can’t change your clothes, or who you are to fit a certain box, because overtime, boxes change.

This makes me more certain than ever that fashion truly is whatever I want it to be. There are no expectations or rules, except the ones we create ourselves. However, this cannot happen until you are completely unafraid of the judgement of others because, let’s be honest, not everyone will like what you wear and not everyone will be nice about it. Being okay with that comes from being confident in yourself. 

So I guess my fear isn’t related to whether leather jackets, ripped jeans, or long coats (my fashion choices) are good enough, but rather whether or not people will think I’m good enough. 

Maybe, anyone who fears trying a new style just needs to embrace their confidence, or maybe my fear of fashion has nothing to do with clothes.