Finding Your Style

As a child, I distinctly recall proclaiming that I hated fashion and couldn’t be bothered with all that nonsense. And I honestly believed it. I had completely bought into the lie that only dumb, shallow girls cared about their looks, and I wanted to distance myself from any whiff of makeup and style. So much so that I’m pretty sure I hurt a couple of people along the way with my snide remarks.

This ideology, of course, is a lie. Caring about outward appearance doesn’t for a second diminish personality and intelligence, in fact, a personal style is integral in reflecting who you are.

Looks do not replace substance, they express it.

Yet, in an age of fast fashion and everchanging influencers, how are we supposed to navigate a style? So many guides go on about labelling body types (do I look like an apple or pear to you?) and what clothes go with which and who and what shape. But the truth is that you are you, your body is yours and not an inch of your magnificence is going to fit 100% into those checklists. Don’t let a faceless corporation looking for your money control how you express yourself. And ironically in that same vein feel free to ignore me, a faceless writer telling you what to do! This isn’t some listicle of ‘ten essential wardrobe staples you need in 2020’ because the key isn’t in any style icon or strict set of rules, though these can be inspiring. Finding a style is mostly about finding who you are. If the outside is indeed a reflection of the inside, knowing what that is seems pretty important.

I know that sounds like I just came back from my 'gap yah' in Thailand, but in all honesty, self-reflection can be a little closer to home— no problem. 

 

So, who are you? Who am I?

 

I am a very creative and expressive person, so I love colour and cohesion! Most of my clothes are red, yellow, or blue with essential neutrals of brown and black. Not that you have to assign yourself a set of colours, but it might be fun to work out what kind of palette you gravitate towards or want to establish— have a go!

Back to body shape, I happen to be blessed with hips and boobs. This doesn’t tie me to any one item of clothing, but high waisted stuff tends to be my go-to as a way to keep all my wonderful jiggly bits safe and sound. I also like exposing my ankles to make me look a tad taller. This is obviously personal preference but figuring out silhouettes that you like and feel comfortable with is a good idea. Especially if you want to feel confident in whatever you’ve put on (even if it’s just leggings and a hoodie—they’re a confident pair of leggings and a hoodie!). Another factor in my style is hair, I’m not sure what it says about me that about once a year I drastically switch it up, but at the moment I’ve got very short bleached hair. This leaves my neck nicely empty for a statement turtleneck or choker necklace which is especially fun as I’ve always been drawn to a more classic aesthetic, not necessarily vintage but maybe a late-twentieth-century vibe. However, throughout my different interests and hairstyles, one thing that’s stayed consistent in my look is juxtaposition. If I’m wearing baggy trousers, you’ll probably find me in a tighter top (and vice versa).

Ultimately, you want to find an aesthetic you’ve always been drawn to. Whilst fashion should be fun to experiment with, at the end of the day you’re going to want a core look that you’re confident in. This means you’re not itching to buy new and different clothes all the time (who’s got that kind of commitment— in this economy?!).

I am the type of person to rock some stripey Lucy and Yak dungas and I always get compliments whenever I wear them out. They clearly make a statement, but not everyone’s looking to do that. You’re not dressing for anyone but you. It’s nice to receive validation now and then, but you are the one living in the clothes!

Beyond all this, however, it’s no secret that fast fashion is a problematic industry. So, despite this being the big-money-making-capitalist-corporations’ fault and not on you, the consumer, there’s no harm in finding affordable, yet ethical ways of shopping. To avoid pesky consumer guilt, and save money on great pieces, I tend to trail charity shops (obviously right now that’s not really safe or possible) but you can try online second-hand shopping. The internet is filled with marketplaces of people trying to make a quick buck or genuinely start a business selling second-hand treasures- a lot of them are vintage too!

So, as I sit here writing this in my perfectly tailored high waisted leggings and hoodie, I’m telling you to go strut your stuff!