“Fashion is about something that comes from within you.” – Ralph Lauren
Even if you’ve never encountered the above quote, chances are you’ve heard something along those lines. The idea that personal style is a form of self-expression, a way of communicating without having to speak, is by no means a new revelation. And it sounds simple enough, right? Just put the clothes that make you feel like you, whoever that might be. In short, ignore that rules, and dress however the heck you want to.
Believe it or not, this concept is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. Despite my love for fashion, I rarely dressed entirely for myself. Oftentimes, I was thinking more about whether others – my mother, my peers, even my teachers – would approve of what I was wearing. And while I like to think this self-consciousness didn’t totally cripple my sense of style, I would be lying if I said it didn’t discourage me from staying true to myself.
Lately, I’ve been trying to step away from this mindset. When getting dressed, I avoid thinking things like “what would mom think of this?” or “is it too late in the season to wear this?”. Instead, I focus on how I feel, and which pieces I want to wear. Although this approach does not come naturally to me, I find myself feeling ten times more confident knowing my outfit is exactly what I want to be wearing.
An example of my new, #norules attitude? Well, the first few days of June were pretty darn chilly up here in the tri-state. Yesterday was a little warmer, but my wimpy self just could not shake the cold. So, for a walk around the neighborhood, I scavenged in the attic for one of my favorite wool (yes, you heard right) sweaters. To avoid eliminating all thoughts of summer, I layered this piece over a Breton-striped top before pairing it with my favorite jeans and sneakers. Et viola, pneumonia avoided. *insert fist pump emoji*
A wool pullover in June…totally daring right? I know, I know, its not the most (read: least) experimental sartorial choice. But for me this was a big step. A few months ago, I would’ve frozen in one of my thinner cotton sweaters because wool was reserved for winter and fall. Ridiculous, right?
I’m really excited that I’ve started dressing with myself (and, um, the weather) in mind. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to please others, but I realize now that putting outside opinions before my own was seriously taxing on my self-confidence. Plus, well, I’m pretty sure my teachers could care less about me wearing – gasp – white jeans before Memorial Day. And if they do, well, I guess it’s too bad then. 😉
Have any of you struggled with dressing for yourself? If you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear you’re experiences below!
To wrap up this post, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes, first uttered by the Patron Saint of Style herself, Diana Vreeland:
“Style: all who have it share on thing – originality.”
Deep thoughts, right?