How old were you when you first made the conscious decision to craft your personal style? I was in middle school, sitting on my living room floor reading Seventeen magazine and looking at celebrity style. I remember seeing edgy looks, bohemian looks, and some more feminine styles. I remember liking all the styles and not knowing which one to choose. At the time it was pretty stressful. I felt like I had to commit to a style because committing to a style sort of felt like it meant committing to a personality. Isn’t it interesting that we imagine someone’s personality based on how they look?
So, once again, where were you? Take a moment and think about it. We have all been crafting our own personal style since we were born. There were clothes, toys, and places we liked more than others. We knew what sparked joy for us and we wanted to be consumed with it so badly that we would cry if we had to share it with someone. As we got older, usually around the middle school years, we become more aware of how we present ourselves to the world and we wanted to create a particular image. This image is referred to as personal style. To me, personal style is so important. It mades me sad when I see kids wearing uniforms because sit hows that they are not expressing themselves in one of the most basic way-with their clothing.
What Is Personal Style?
In the world of fashion, personal style is the way that one expresses themselves through clothing, accessories, hairstyles, etc. Unlike trends, style is timeless. Your style presents who you are and how you view the world. Many times it serves as a reflection of your mindset and mood. Trends on the other hand, are socio-culturally grounded fads. Fashion trends are accepted for a short while and then dismissed soon after. Trends have been around since the beginning of time, however, in this digital era it seems as if fashion trends are more rampant than before. The influence of social media has made it easier follow trends and the creation of inexpensive fast fashion has made following trends even easier. Now people no longer have to search within to see what they like, instead they can log onto social media and order whatever the influencers are wearing.
The Social Media Era
I have found that in recent years everyone seems to look more like one another than ever before. Makeup, fashion, and even hobbies are copied in a way that they never were in the past. Social media has become a career and there are many pros and cons to this. On one hand, I feel extremely grateful to live in a time when people have the ability to make a living simply through showing their life and style. This has made it possible for people who normally would not have income, to have one. On the other hand, social media has made people lazy. It has shortened attention spans and also dimmed creativity in general. One of my main issues with social media is this: it is extremely difficult to stay authentic and original if you are constantly being influenced. When people constantly go on social media they are exposing themselves to judgements, opinions, and customs of others. While it is great to learn more about how other people live, you need to be careful to not fall into the trap of copying other people and forgoing your own personal ways of living.
In recent years stylists and influencer culture has been rampant. Seeing celebrity style is so easy and tempting to follow. I am by no means against stylists, I would actually love being one myself, however the idea of being styled each day of the week is sad to me. Personal style goes far beyond aesthetics. It is a representation of who you are and how you are feeling. Why should someone else have that power over you on a daily basis?
Time For A Comeback
It goes without saying that social media can be incredibly toxic and make people feel insecure. There are so many people who feel insecure about how they look and do not want to look “different” out of fear of being judged. So many people feel as if they can be absolutely ruthless online and bash people for the way that they live. This also goes beyond social media. I remember when I was in elementary school and high school and my friends would sometimes make fun of me for how I chose to do my makeup or what I decided to wear. I believe that it is time for a comeback. It is time that we trust ourselves and forget the comments of other people. Since working at Anthropologie I have met many woman who feel insecure about their appearances. They stand in the fitting room, staring at their bodies with a critical eye. Many of them say they trust my opinion more than their own. While those statements are flattering, they are also kind of sad. It is sad that someone would gravitate to a particular piece of clothing and then not buy it simply because of what someone else thinks. It is truly boring to look alike. We should all embrace our individuality and wear what we feel good in. When you feel good, you look good. Personal style never goes out of style.
Let’s grow and slow down together.
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