One Young Fashion Blogger on the Importance of Finding Your Personal Style
If someone were to ask me to describe my style in one word, I’d be stuck. One day, I’m an edgy goth girl sporting black fishnet tights and a studded leather moto jacket; the next, I’m ultra feminine à la Carrie Bradshaw, in a fluffy cornflower blue cropped jumper and a peach ballerina tulle skirt. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m all over the place when it comes to fashion—I guess you can say I’m incorrigibly uncommitted.
Some of us can neatly define our look in a clever little tagline. Some of us have no clue or don’t care; some of us are all of the above, depending on our moods. But being able to pinpoint pieces you like or muses you want to emulate is the first step in developing your fashion identity. Let’s face it: Even if you don’t care an iota about fashion and get up approximately one minute before classes and throw on a pair of sweatpants and a tattered tee, you might still be giving off a “laissez-faire” or “athletic” vibe. So if you don’t define your appearance, chances are one will be assigned to you by way of your default fashion setting. That’s the secret—and the magic—of personal style. It’s a way of expressing yourself without ever uttering a single word.
Personal style can take years to develop. It doesn’t come after a summer of flipping through magazines, or even after a year of taking advice from your trendiest best friend. Like love (allegedly), you’ll know when you find it. And when you do, everything will fall into place. You’ll be able to find dozens of combinations with just 10 pieces. You’ll be able to spot things you like and don’t like in an instant. Personal style is knowing what you like and having the confidence to act on it.
Embrace what you love! Not everyone will appreciate your outfit concoction because people have different preferences and tastes. What you think is strange, another person will love. Don’t be offended if someone makes a snide comment about your outfit. Your style is all yours—not anyone else’s. Don’t be shy! Take risks and make sure to experiment. This is key in developing your signature look; step out of your comfort zone and try to infuse an element of unexpected, never-before-seen, and out of the ordinary.
Sometimes when we experiment, we head straight towards the sale sections of Topshop, Zara, or Brandy Melville to buy as many pieces as we can. I admit, I used to be an impulse shopper and bought that sparkly Topshop jacket for $30 in a heartbeat. But after I became interested in the second-hand clothing market, I knew that had to come to an end. Fast fashion is awful for the environment.
The fashion industry is the second most wasteful industry, right behind oil. We buy cheap clothing that barely lasts us a season and then we end up tossing it when we are done. Don’t buy a piece just because you “kind of like it” or because it’s cheap. I always wait a few days, and if I am still thinking about it, then I consider buying it. Save your money and invest in good clothing—preferably pieces that are good for the environment and will last you a long time.
I know you're probably a student and won’t all be splurging on Moschino dresses and Saint Laurent heels, but even saving your money for good quality clothing that will last you just a bit longer is so worth it. And this is not to tell you not to buy anything from stores like Zara or Forever21. Like all things in life, it’s all about moderation.
And don’t forget to recycle when you get tired of those clothes. With so many ways to sell your stuff online and IRL, you will be off to a great start. Even better, you’ll have the cash—and the style insight—to invest back into your closet.
By Chloe Lee, 18