Your personality isn’t the first thing people see or notice about you. Today, actual human contact is so quick, it can be rare to get passed “how are you?” Fashion, however, is an instant language and style is a way to say who you are without even having to speak. It’s personal expression, it’s who we are and who we’d like to be, it’s confidence on the outside, it’s defining esthetically your mental attitude.
“Style is a deeply personal expression of who you are, and every time you dress, you are asserting a part of yourself.” – Nina Garcia
Most people tend to confuse ‘style’ with ‘fashion.’ Fashion is a trend, its ever-changing, it’s what other’s declare is ‘in’ and can be over very quickly. Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it. Style is very personal, it lives within a person. It’s forever, or as long as you feel it. I felt like that needed to be explained because I see more than ever people being bullied by others because their style doesn’t include Gucci belts, Adidas shoes, or Louis Vuitton bags. What those bullies are essentially making fun for is the fact that the person’s style isn’t matching high-end fashion. They believe that style is what’s expensive or what’s trendy. But really, how boring would America be if we all dressed the exact same? How trendy would Hermes bangles be if everyone had a stack on their arm? Would anyone even care about Lululemon if it was priced the same as Champion? This is where style is important, it differentiates us and sets us apart.
“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel
I personally really dislike trends. For one, they’re in and then they’re out; sometimes as fast as they get popular. Two, I can’t stand to be/look like everyone else. Fashion is way too fun to end up looking like fifteen other girls walking downtown. I’d much rather stand out or stand apart from the crowd than be just like it. Instead of joining a trend, I like to determine what’s next and start it myself. This fall/winter I’m thinking leather jackets with detailed patterns or designs are gonna be big, just because I personally love the idea, like bomber jackets last year. Being apart of a trend can be fine and dandy, so long as you still make it your own. For example, denim skirts. These can be seen at every public gathering you’ve attended this summer, but they can be styled so completely different person-to-person that I would consider them a basic piece. Same with Converse Chuck Taylors; from stadium games to a night on the town, they’re very transitional.
Working in two different clothing stores in a course of over three years has taught me a TON about fashion and style. I’ve used what I’ve learned along the way about design, combination of colors, textures, and prints, movement, and functionality to shape my own style. While most people think they need a definitive style, it’s not always something that can be defined simply as “modern” or “boho” or “chic.” When I’m not dressed in an oversized t-shirt and leggings for class; my style tends to change based on the mood I’m in, where I’m going, or who I want to be for the day. Every face that walks through the door where I work has their own sense of style, even if they don’t realize it. My job has been to assess a customer’s style and correlate it with new pieces of fashion to offer. A challenge sometimes, but mostly fun.
“Real style is never right or wrong. It’s a matter of being yourself on purpose.” – G. Bruce Boyer
Style is so intriguing to me because it varies so much between people. You really learn a lot about a person who is essentially a total stranger. Do they like bright or darker colors? Are they more modest or bold? Do they prefer structure or comfort? Where are they going in this piece? It’s all so personal, yet its a loud declaration of who they are. I love when I can find the right piece for someone because feeling good in what you’re wearing can literally make all the difference. I’ve seen it happen, the right outfit can take your confidence to a whole new level. Being confident in what you’re wearing allows you to be your upmost self and express your individuality. Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it and go get it; there inlays the power of an outfit, my friends.
“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head
I fully believe in dressing for the job you want, or the job you have. Similarly, I believe that dressing well for attendance is a form of good manners. It acknowledges that you are prepared for something important and that you have pride in being ready and presentable. It represents that you want to be present and took the time to piece together an ensemble fit for the gathering. You may not always be aware of it, but what you wear is your billboard – so what are you advertising? Work ethic? Knowledge and power? A team? Social status? Your body? A brand?
I like to be careful about what brands I wear that people can recognize, simply because it is free advertisement for that brand. For that reason I rarely wear clothing such as t-shirts that have the brand name or logo so obviously placed unless I really love the brand or what the brand stands for. It’s essential to recognize branding when shopping, but not for the reasons you may think. Obviously people recognize high-end brands when they see them, but knowing what makes a brand better than others is by far more important – whether it be a longer lasting material, dyes that won’t fade, or softer fabric. Other than paying for quality, price really isn’t a factor in creating an amazing look, so long as you know what you’re going for. A $20 top and $40 shorts when styled the right way can look better than a $200 outfit any day of the week.
Bottom line – style isn’t about the price tag, it’s not about the brand or what’s trendy. It’s knowing yourself. It’s taking fashion and creating self-love, self-expression, and self-confidence visible to the eye. It’s feeling comfortable in how you dress. You’ll find that when you’re allowed to express yourself, feel comfortable and confident in what you wear, you’ll always look amazing.
“Just remember that ultimately, dressing is always about attitude, feeling comfortable, and confidence.” – Kate Moss