Style and being stylish are very different states of mind. Anyone can identify the latest trendy piece on the market, purchase it and style it exactly how all the other influencers on Instagram are, but to make that piece your own takes style. I have always been a girl who, may always be drawn to some of the latest trends, has always loved to try to add her flair to any look. For my college career, while many girls were thinking about the latest bodycon dress she was wearing to the next frat party I was perfecting my 1950s barrel roll hairdo. I’ve never been a girl to shy away from wearing sequins on a random Wednesday or wearing a suit to work “just because”.
As a child, I was very particular and I think this is when I really started to fall in love with fashion and express myself. Maybe to my mother’s dismay, I forced her to create a different hairstyle for me every day until I was able to do it for myself. I also didn’t own a pair of jeans until the second grade when it wasn’t exactly easy to participate in the gymnastics lesson for P.E. in a dress. I have always been very feminine in my style but being in public school sort of made me step out of that comfort zone and try new looks.
Then like many high schoolers, I fell into a more rebellious phase by high school and that really showed in my style. I look back at some of the outfits I put together and really question what I was trying to prove. While other students in my class wore a pretty similar uniform I was experimenting with many different styles unapologetically. I like many millennials I sadly went through my emo phase in high school as well. I experimented with wearing jeans and band t-shirts as well as mixing in mixed patterns, graphic t-shirts, and pushing the boundaries of school dress codes but one thing I never lost was my passion for dressing up and would take any opportunity I had to wear a pair of heels through the halls of my high school.
College was fun because I was on my own, living with new people from many different walks of life. This is where I think I found most of my personal style and began to find my confidence. I think confidence is the biggest factor in having style. In college I continued to experiment, trying to find a more sensual side of my style I hadn’t explored when going out with friends to parties and bars. This is also where I started to explore vintage fashion and realized I loved the feminity of the 60s and 70s most.
Finally, when I moved into the workforce I’ve been given the opportunity in each company I’ve worked for to express myself freely with my clothes. I choose a more creative career path by nature and even though my position is very analytical in nature most of the businesses in the industry are more focused on allowing their employees to be themselves which is something I look for. I don’t think I would ever really make it in a uniform setting. The opportunity to wake up each day and choose my outfit is something unlike many that brings me so much joy. I love trying on a new “costume” each day and choosing who I want to be.
I’m still very drawn to vintage style silhouettes for my clothes, I find them very flattering on petite frames like my own, I am also very drawn to more masculine suiting for a juxtaposition to my feminine features. I also love to play with sexier pieces when I can. As I’ve gotten older and honed in on my style I’ve found I’m more focused on timelessness rather than the latest trends. I’m drawn to keeping neutrals in my closet and tailoring EVERYTHING. I pull inspirations from luxury designers, movies and social media, and life around me. My favorite is to recreate looks with things in my own closet. I love to play around with different sides of my personality and am constantly dressing for an occasion, even if it’s just a trip to the grocery store.
My trip to France this past summer I think was the biggest event in my style journey in the last 10 years. Taking a step into France and experiencing French fashion was the most refreshing and inspiring moment. I loved seeing how these women layer, and dress so effortlessly. What makes a classicly stylish outfit and how something as mundane as going to the corner store is worth getting dressed for. A French woman wouldn’t be caught dead out on the streets in her loungewear and I’ve been trying my best to also live by that philosophy.
I have closets filled with clothes but I’m constantly going through them, switching things out, and getting rid of the pieces that don’t fit or don’t fit my style at the moment. I love evolving changing and growing. As we get older our tastes continue to evolve and that’s what’s so exciting about fashion. So wear that sequin dress to the farmer’s market, the tutu to drinks with your girls, and that suit on your next date if that’s what makes you feel your very best. Don’t let anyone tell you your style isn’t “cool.” My fashion evolution will only continue and I’m so excited to see what it becomes next.