The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
For many years, I was never someone who cared much for fashion or new trends. I would often dress according to the weather or throw on whatever was comfortable. At fifteen years old, I mostly lived off of hoodies and sweatshirts and based my purchases on my friend’s judgment of “good” fashion choices. At the time, I recall being very self-conscious and insecure about my own image–both physically and internally. I struggled to have confidence in every aspect of my life, especially in how I dressed. It was only until the year leading up to my sophomore year of college when I started to actually consider having a presentable and decent style. Not only was it the pivot of my renewed style, but also the sudden burst of confidence that emerged.
Through the pandemic, my body experienced many changes and sudden growth. Even as I was determined to fit into my tight skinny jeans, a drastic wardrobe transformation was much overdue. Since I had very minimal knowledge of fashion, I spent most of my time scrolling through social media and Pinterest for fashion inspiration. Seeing stylish influencers compose an outfit so effortlessly compelled me to try out clothes outside of my comfort zone and simply experiment. I no longer limited myself to only shopping from the popular brands such as H&M and Forever21, but branched out to Yesstyle, Levi’s, PacSun, and sometimes even Zara. Though I envied influencers who had the luxury of constantly buying new clothes from even the most expensive stores, I recognized the beauty of styling one or two pieces of clothing in four different ways and still being able to make a decent outfit.
Sure, shopping at new stores and trying new clothes played a huge factor in bolstering my confidence, but if I had done that years ago with the same friends before, I would still lack the courage to buy those clothes. The community you surround yourself with can make such a huge impact when it comes to feeling confident. I feel privileged enough to have the friends I do today who continually support me when I try out different styles. Rather than surrounding myself with people who are more likely to bring me down, I can be bold enough to walk out of a store with a variety of clothes that aren’t within my comfort zone.
Feeling comfortable in my skin also means letting go of any self-deprecating thoughts. Instead of dressing for others, we should be dressing for ourselves and be confident and comfortable with whatever we choose to wear. If I were to tell my fifteen-year-old self that I now love jewelry, mom jeans, and sweater vests, I would not believe myself because it seems so out of the ordinary for me to try on. Perhaps it was community or maturity that caused me to desire a change in my wardrobe. Whatever it may have been, I am certain that my new style gives me the confidence to walk out the door each morning, prepared to embrace a new day.
I encourage you to try something new today; whether it is thrifting for a piece of clothing you have always wanted to wear or trying out an unorthodox color scheme, don’t be afraid to do it because, at the end of the day, it only matters how you perceive yourself, not others.