Designer Oscar de la Renta once said, ‘Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.’ Finding your own personal style acts as an outward expression of yourself, it allows you to explore the person you really are and express it to the world. Trends are often temporary, they come in and out of fashion, and we all have experiences of looking at photos of ourselves wondering what on earth we were thinking when we wore THAT shirt with THOSE shoes. If we develop our own personal style, independent of trends it creates a timeless look that celebrates the beauty of individuality.
Growing up I was incredibly shy so creating my own personal style allowed me to express myself non-verbally. Personal style is communicative; the clothes you choose from day to day act as a sort of body language. It communicates your personality, expressing your true self for the world to see. When deciding what I want to wear each day, I ask myself two questions. The first question is, what am I trying to say about myself? The second is, what do I want other people to see when they look at me? Style gives each of us the opportunity to choose how we want to be seen by the world and that is an incredibly powerful tool each of us has the opportunity to cultivate.
Something that has always frustrated me about today’s society is that we have forgotten the power of personal style. Fabulous costume designer Edith Head once said “You can have anything you want in life, if you dress for it.” Too many times in my life I have been to places and have been confronted by a sea of ill-fitting track pants and stained t-shirts. How can you get anything you want in life by communicating that you are a lazy slob? Do some people feel they aren’t deserving of anything they want in life, or do they just not care? Dressing well is also a sign of how much you respect yourself, it shows that you have made time for yourself and it also allows you to be confident when you’re around others. Life is short; we only have around 80 years of life’s journey to experience. Why do we want to spend that expressing an image that presents the impression that we don’t care about ourselves or how we appear to others?
Growing up my parents always taught me that dressing well and showing a bit of care and effort with your personal style shows respect. What they meant by this was if you dress like you don’t care about personal style, your employer might not think you care about your job and your friends and family may not think you care about them when you see them. Caring about yourself and demonstrating this through your style choices allows you to show you care about those in your life who matter the most.
Overall, finding our true personal style is an uplifting experience. Ignore the claims made about superficiality or self-absorption that link in with loving style and expressing that. Style is about finding yourself and becoming you, that is what life is all about. If we believe that the fashion industry bullies people into conformity while ignoring those who don’t fit their standards. We would ignore how true style is inclusive, it allows people to be themselves, to ignore trends and find their personal style.