Whether I’m simply running errands, attending a lecture, having lunch with friends or going on a night out, you will most likely see me donning what I have come to think of as my ‘signature accessories’: some variety of heeled boot and a bold lipstick. For some people, this seems to be a bit much; it’s not unusual for me to be questioned about why I am almost always ‘dressed up’. Sometimes, this feels like a disparaging comment, heavy with implications that the way I choose to dress is a matter of superficiality. Occasionally, comments like this make me feel like I should stick to (what seems to be) the status quo: trainers and leggings.
But the truth is, that’s just not me. I love style and I love taking the time to ‘dress up’ in the mornings. And no, it’s not frivolous. Style is so much more than that to me.Before I explain, I want to make an important distinction between fashion and style. Browsing Urban Dictionary (that always reliable source of information) I came across a ‘definition’ of fashion that I found funny:
People trying to look cooler than each other by wearing the same clothes.
Last casual clothes day at my school, 50% of the people in my year wore polo shirts.
This is a rather amusing way of highlighting that fashion is more about trends and conformity than anything else. But style… style is not just about what you wear, it’s about how you wear it and what that says about you.
Style is about personal expression and identity. It’s a form of self-awareness. It’s about knowing who you are, what you like, what suits you and embracing that. It is about being self-assured enough to show off your personality, instead of trying to be someone else, someone you’re not.I want my style and my stylistic choices to tell a story about me. I am not one thing, nor do I want to be put in a box. I am dynamic and versatile; I am sometimes contradictory. I can be sporty and I can be modish. I can be edgy or I can be classy.
I am not a traditionally artistic person. I can’t draw, paint or sculpt to save my life. My style is my mode of self-expression and creative release. I love experimenting with my clothes, my accessories and my hair.
My style is my confidence. Now, let me get this straight: I am not saying that I am confident because of what I wear. My confidence comes from within and it is not always consistent. By my style helps me manifest that confidence, even when I am feeling low. ‘Dressing up’ in the morning helps me to feel prepared, composed, and ready to take on my day.
In my opinion, style is not superficiality; style is substance. Style (not just in terms of attire) is the essence of a person because it expresses their passions, their moods, their creativity and their individuality.
‘One’s style is one’s signature.’ – Oscar Wilde
Images courtesy of Pixabay.