A few years ago I went through a hipster phase with my personal style. I frequently wore faux glasses, enormous headbands, multi-colored tights, and strange thrifted clothing—oftentimes, all at once. My outfits were odd and a lot of people didn’t understand what look I was trying to achieve. And, frankly, I don’t think I did either. At the time, dressing that way made me happy. I was content with who I was and didn’t care how weird my outfits looked to others. However, the more bold I became with my style, the more criticism I received from those around me. Slowly but surely I started to take what others had to say to heart. I stopped dressing like that out of fear that people would mock me for what I was wearing. It was then that I stopped loving my style.
We all have experienced some form of this. Whether we are the ones changing our style or passing judgment on how others dress, it’s, sadly, an inevitable part of society. A large part of this stems from a lack of understanding. Our personal styles are just that: personal. They are compilations of our favorite style muses, travels, experiences, and changing personalities. At first glance, no one is going to understand that. We need to be respectful of how others dress rather than making fun of or judging their style.
Style is not about dressing for others. It is about representing and honoring who we are as individuals. People don’t have to like or even understand how we dress, but there must be an openness and level of respect. If wearing a particular item of clothing or accessory makes you happy and feel good about yourself, then that is all that matters. It’s your own style in your own way.