10th August 2016
Finding Your Style Identity.
With the ever increasing popularity of social media and the rise of the online celebrity, it's hard not to compare yourself to the glitz and glam and painfully cool imagery of your favourite influencers and whilst there's nothing wrong with a bit of inspiration, it's very easy to lose track of your own identity. I've found myself buying items of clothing before thinking "XXX would totally wear this" and then feeling disheartened when trying to style them at home and they just don't suit me. I think it's definitely a confidence trap that we all fall into, especially now that we're engulfed in an image over sharing culture and don't get me wrong - I LOVE instagram - but I think it's important to find confidence and comfort in our own personal style and understand what that style really is. I've put plenty of outfits together that I've thought would look great and then the dreaded idea of social media pops into my head and I change what I'm wearing, however I'm starting to come out of my shell and buy things for me and not others.
Building your own wardrobe of aesthetically pleasing items might seem like a bit of a challenge, but when you really think about it you do actually know what you like and you probably find yourself gravitating towards particular pieces of clothing when you're out shopping. If you're anything like me, then you may even find yourself sticking a hand out and feeling the fabrics as you walk past - you know what you'll feel good in and what's going to make you uncomfortable, because you know your body. One challenge I set myself to really get to know my style again was to have a browse on some online clothing stores and save images of everything I liked the look of, I wasn't allowed to think about it, I simply had to click and save. This took away some of that competitive mentality within me and meant that I was subconsciously choosing items based on what I actually liked without the influence of others.
I went through the saved images and narrowed them down to specific pieces I liked more and as I was going through the process I started to feel motivated and inspired again to sort out my wardrobe and get back into being me. I remembered that I liked adding quirky pieces to my outfits as well as minimal accessories and that, whilst I'm not afraid of my body, I like being a bit more covered up too. I often judge my own attractiveness based on how others look and I've started to tell myself more and more that I can be attractive in my own way, just as they can in theirs.
I know that it's quite a hard habit to break and I love that our generation is bringing more and more creative and talented individuals to light by giving them a platform to express themselves, however I think it's important to compare yourself as little as possible. When you're looking for style inspiration, it needs to be exactly that - inspiration - otherwise you will end up feeling like you aren't good enough as you are. You can love a top that someone is wearing and you can buy it or even look for those details in pieces on the highstreet, but you don't' need to copy their whole outfit and you certainly shouldn't feel disheartened when you don't look like them. You look great, but in your own way. Taking inspiration is not about directly copying, it's about seeing trends and translating them into your own wardrobe, because you actually really love them and not because you feel you need to be someone else.
A good way to start your wardrobe is to buy basics - jeans, tshirts, knitwear, etc - and then build from there. You can easily create 10 different outfits with one pair of jeans or a really gorgeous knitted sweater, but you need to build them up with accessories that you love or a pair of shoes that you can't stop thinking about and of course always wear what you feel comfortable in. I try to tell myself to only buy things I'm 100% certain on, if I have any doubts then I walk away from an item, but if I then can't stop thinking about it I will go back and buy it. It's a good way to judge what you really want and probably save you money too!