I CANNOT tell you how many times I’ve been around someone and they look at an outfit and say “ugh I wish I could pull this off”. Or they pull a classic, “I wish I had a style”.
Dig back into your archive of Tumblr posts you most certainly reblogged back in 2014. I faintly remember one that went something along the lines of “You are the movies you watch the books you read blah blah blah”.
The reason I bring this TERRIBLY tacky post up is that I would like to add something to it, YOU ARE THE CLOTHES YOU WEAR. Whether you think so or not, clothes are one of the first things others see when they look at you. I see clothing as a visual personality. So before you say I DON’T HAVE A STYLE, instead say “hey I have this cool personality, but I’m not sure how to show it off, please help me writer of thrifts and prints dot com”. Ok, if you insist:
Tip #1 Don’t hold yourself hostage to one “look”
In the age of Instagram and bloggers, Pinterest and fast fashion, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking if you want style or “a style” you have to stick to one aesthetic your whole life.
Of course, there are people who go hard or go home, like those who only wear clothes from the 60s-70s, or only wear the color TAN. You might look at these people and say “ugh they have their life together!” Maybe so, but this does not mean to have a style you have to stick to one thing.
Somedays I’ll wake up and say YA it’s the 80s. Somedays I want to dress like I live on a fucking prairie, somedays I want to look CASUAL, somedays I’ll wear a prom dress from 1995. This is what vintage collectors like to call era-mixing. And I think this concept is the beauty of living in a time where we have experienced SO many trends in fashion, it only makes sense to mix them.
Tip #2 Don’t get caught up in complexity
Some people pull off wearing ten necklaces and two different colored shoes, this does not mean you have to do so to be considered stylish. Sometimes there is nothing better than a classic jean on jean outfit with a black T-shirt. Your personal style can quite literally be looking clean and “put together”.
Focus on neutral colors and clean lines. If you’re not a wild person then don’t force yourself into crazy clothes. It’s so important to be comfortable in what you wear.
Tip #3 It’s going to be scary at first
When I was as young as eight, I became conscious that I was dressing differently than those around me and I began to get nervous to go to school. I wanted to wear the clothes though, so somehow I forced myself in and got through the day. Now I go pretty much wherever and don’t give a shit. Like starting anything new, it’s going to be scary, but don’t let this start you.
My ‘sub-tip’ is to take baby steps. Start with a simpler outfit, add a jacket or accessory you wouldn’t normally wear. Get yourself a cool pair of shoes. Slowly build up and take away when necessary. You’ll come to find, for the most part, most people appreciate a good outfit, it also may help you be taken more seriously. Outfits really help present yourself to the world the way you see yourself.
Tip #4 Look around you for inspiration!
My final tip is to find inspiration in places other than Instagram. Instagram is very feed-based and color oriented. It gives the illusion that everyone owns matching outfits to match the colors of their feed and their wardrobes are a color-coordinated dream. I get a lot of fashion inspiration from movies, magazines, and music videos. If you’re looking to dress like a particular era I recommend looking at movies and old advertisements.
And try not to look at someone else on Instagram etc and be like “oh man I want THEIR style”. That’s just…being someone else. It’s honestly creepy how much we idolize each other, buy the same products, and try and replicate each other’s lives. If you’re going to turn to other people for style inspiration, dissect how they dress, not what specifically they’re wearing. By this I mean if someone posts a picture wearing a colorful dress, instead of going to buy the exact same dress, think, oh I like the way they use color, I’m going to try and do that. This will help you create a style that feels personal, in the end making you feel more confident.
All in all, embrace the style you’ve ALWAYS wanted. At some point in your life, there is no point in caring what anyone else thinks!