Style Is Substance
On a recent episode of Conscious Chatter, I heard the brilliant Nadine Farag of One Who Dresses, discuss her relationship with style. It was an eye-opening conversation on the importance of personal style, and how the fashion industry is working to dismantle it. One Who Dresses focuses on the exploration of style and why we wear what we do. In an extremely chaotic world we can get lost in the constant noise, yet Nadine’s philosophy helps to do the opposite.
Oftentimes personal style is thought to be for people who are extremely fashion conscious, while in reality, clothing affects everyone. Every day you wake and put on clothing to wear throughout your day, so why not make sure it’s serving you well! Finding your personal style can block out the noise of the fast-paced industry and help you to feel at home in your clothes.
Here are four steps to help you define your style, love your wardrobe, and move forward with your fashion choices more confidently!
1. Get Inspiration
The first step to finding your personal style is to “gather all the data”, as my therapist would say. Learning more about yourself sometimes requires looking out into the world and seeing what sticks, and what doesn’t. Through magazines, fashion week shows, street style, friends, movies, history, and more, you can start to parse out what works for you. Trends can still be sources of inspiration, as long as you aren’t blindly following them! There are amazing looks that have been, and are being created by others, but not every single element of an outfit will work for you. By taking inspiration from the world around us, we are able to hone in on what specifically makes sense for our wardrobe. Go make a Pinterest board, watch your favorite old movie, and have a clothing swap with friends—soon enough you’ll find yourself in the mess.
2. Get Real
The next step is to put the dreaming aside and take a real look at your life. You have to be honest with yourself about what your lifestyle is and what is most practical for that. I can’t tell you how many beautiful frilly dresses I’ve longingly passed in stores or online, but that simply isn’t my reality. A “truth” the fashion industry tries to convince us of is that if we like something we have to have it. Slow fashion is encouraging us as consumers to make peace with the fact that we can’t own or wear it all, and we shouldn’t. You can have great admiration for a designer, a trend, or a clothing item, but not wear it yourself. Some things are better appreciated from afar.
3. Get Confident
Now that you’ve dreamt up your perfect wardrobe, and brought it back down to earth, it’s time to find confidence in the style that is all yours. Once you find items that feel right, and a style that feels comfortable, there’s nothing that can stop you! Lean into the items you gravitate toward and that you have determined to be practical for your life. Let confidence build each time you realize that the way you dress is your way, and not a carbon copy of someone else. We’ve so often been lost in a sea of sameness, and it’s been proven that actually more options give us greater anxiety than fewer options do. Free yourself up to be uniquely you!
4. Get Creative
The last step in cultivating your personal style is to get creative. After finding what is right for you, and makes you feel special, there’s room for experimentation. Discovering your personal style doesn’t mean that your wardrobe is now frozen in time and can never change! We, as humans, are always changing and so too will our style, but with a better understanding of who we are as a whole. Aside from huge life events, we grow in small, nuanced ways. Our wardrobes can grow with us, but our style remains the same at its core. Your style is an extension of you. Let it be.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Audrey Stanton was born and raised in the Bay Area and is currently based in Los Angeles. She works as a freelance writer and has an exciting venture of her own in the works! Audrey is deeply passionate about conscious fashion and hopes to continue to spread awareness of ethical consumption.