Having a personal style that you love makes every day more joyful. Looking at a wardrobe of clothing and accessories that you love and can’t wait to put on makes getting ready every morning a treat. And in these times of such darkness and uncertainty, it’s ok to indulge yourself. Here are three tips to help you embrace finding a style that is just YOU!
1. Stop Trying to Blend In
Once when I was in middle school, a friend of mine asked in exasperation, “Why can’t you just dress like everyone else?” And in my youthful boldness, I responded, “Because everyone else dresses like crap.” And that’s pretty much it, folks. I still have the exact same philosophy 30 years later. Most people dress to blend in with everyone else. They are terrified of other people looking at them, because then they might be judged. And if they are judged, they might be found lacking. They might be called tacky. Or be accused of being a show-off. But the truth is, in your heart of hearts, you have clothes you really want to wear. Those clothes might be brightly colored or garishly patterned. Or maybe they are neutral and cut in a way that actually shows off your body. Or maybe your clothes are quite demure and conservative, but you feel like smearing the brightest pink you can find on your lips. And if you are true to that vision of yourself that’s shining out of your heart, yeah, other people might look at you. People look at flowers and butterflies too, because they are beautiful. Like you. Be brave! Go for it! Maybe you will inspire just one more person to step out of the box too, and then they will inspire someone else and so on and so forth. And before we know it, the world will be much cooler, more attractive place. At least it will be more fun!
2. Make Personal Style PERSONAL
What you wear should say something about you. Who you are. Your heritage and culture. Your past experiences. The tv shows you like. The music you listen to. The artists you admire. Wear your great-grand-aunt’s silver earrings. Put on a skirt that reminds you of Frida Kahlo. Dig out the band t-shirt from your favorite concert ten years ago. Wear green eyeshadow because you love the musical Wicked. Choose a perfume that reminds you of blowing out the candles on your birthday cake, or of the lingering scent of woodshavings in your dad’s workshed, or the gardenias you wore on your wedding day. Pinterest boards are great for gathering inspiration, sure, but don’t forget to get inspired by yourself! Really try to make that vision in the mirror a true reflection of who you are inside. You are your own muse.
3. Give Up Big Box Stores
I’m sorry but you’re not going to develop your own personal style at The Gap. That doesn’t mean the big chain stores aren’t useful. We all need basics. But if you’re only shopping at the same stores you can find in every mall across the country, you’re missing out on a whole world of unique and beautiful clothing options. Seek out smaller boutiques, preferably run by women, even more preferably by women who live in your own community. Not only will you find interesting, curated pieces nobody else will own, but your money goes to a real person, not faceless shareholders. Small boutiques also get to know you over time and give you personalized service—recommending pieces to you, showing you how to style them, putting things aside for you, and sometimes even stocking pieces specifically with you in mind. Try finding a few boutiques that really speak to you and watch how much more joyful your shopping experience becomes.
Delondra Mesa is a TV writer on The Craving, Grendel, Step Up, Z Nation, Black Summer….plus many movies on Lifetime, Hallmark and Syfy!
Follow this awesomely talented and brilliant mama @delondra.mesa
Thanks for verifying that when I am wearing emerald green and my friends are in black and grey, I am not showing off but expressing myself! This article makes me want to take a new look at my wardrobe and pull out those items that really please ME!