Alala blanket jacket (all sizes still available via Six:02)
Heroine Sport studio tank
Werkshop x Ghost and Stars catstronaut crops
Shoes: Nike Metcon 2 (customized)
Sunnies: Kate Spade “Dusty” (different color)
Photos: Kylie Pond Photography
I like to look cute as much as the next girl. I like to feel like my clothes are stylish and cool.
On the other hand, I also like to throw in something completely off the wall. Sometimes the things I love aren’t things you might consider “fashionable” in the typical sense.
So then I end up wearing a cat in space and a moody mesh jacket.
Although of course I love good design and impeccable style, part of me is also drawn to the offbeat, the quirky, and the eccentric. Over the years I’ve been experimenting with my personal style, I’ve been learning to accept and eventually fully embrace these oddities rather than eschew them.
For me, fashion and personal style is about expression. I don’t dress for others, I dress for me. I choose my outfits because I want what I wear to reflect my mood, my personality, or simply the things I like. What I wear reflects pieces of who I am.
But there’s no denying that there’s a certain pressure put on us by society, others, and even ourselves that “stylish” is supposed to look a certain way. For some of us, our style and what we truly love fits neatly into that box, but for others of us…maybe not so much. As a result, when I’m drawn to buy or wear certain things, sometimes there’s this naysayer in my head that tells me it’s too weird, I’ll feel embarrassed, other people will look at me funny and judge me, and so on and so forth.
When I feel a knee-jerk reaction that says “no, you shouldn’t wear that”, I’ve been making a conscious effort to pause and ask myself why I feel that way. More often than not, the answer is somehow rooted in fear. Fear that others will think I have bad taste, or that I’m weird, or that I’m unattractive… You get the idea.
But why should I be afraid, really? Why should I let fear of what others think put a damper on my self-expression?
I’ve been working on leaning into those fears, little by little. When I feel that little bit of discomfort, that little bit of “maybe I’ll feel silly if I wear this”, I take a deep breath and do it anyway. I try to remind myself that maybe I’ll love the result after all–and sometimes I do.
I realize this might sound a little bit dramatic. It’s just clothes, right? Well, yes, and no.
It’s great that it’s “just clothes”, because that means if you do mess up (if you can even call it that), it really doesn’t matter. What’s the worst that can happen? Maybe people think you’re a little strange? Odds are, they’ll forget about it in five seconds anyway. Or, maybe you end up not loving the outfit yourself. You put yourself out there and you take a tiny, tiny risk, but at the end of the day, life goes on and there are no real consequences if that risk doesn’t pan out. Either way, you’ll learn more about your personal style and what you love.
But more broadly, fashion is the perfect place to practice for the more important things in life. By pushing ourselves to push through discomfort, we’re getting practice on making other difficult and uncomfortable decisions. When we strive to worry a tiny bit less about what others think of us, we’re better equipped to feel more sure of ourselves. When we practice exuding confidence in what we wear, that confidence starts to spill over into all areas of our lives.
Maybe it’s really not just about the clothes after all.