Personal style is something that has always been somewhat important to me. My signature styles have changed throughout my life (my eighth grade wardrobe is the reason why I basically don’t wear purple anymore – I had an obsession), but I always feel like there is some underlying theme to the clothes I wear. I like the idea of feeling unique, like someone who knows me well could be out shopping and have clothes jump out at them as something I would wear. However, sometimes it can be hard to get out of your comfort zone.
At some point in high school, I decided that being able to mix and match literally every item of clothing I owned was important to me. I always felt bad when I would clean out my closet and find some more obscure items that I never wore because they didn’t go with other things in my wardrobe. So, I started buying a lot of plain clothes, because that was the only way I could think of that would really make ALL of my clothes go together. I would have plain jeans with little to no embellishments, and a lot of plain tops with no patterns or interesting cuts.
Not only did I feel like this was a more fiscally responsible way to construct a wardrobe (no more wasted money on items I could rarely wear), but I also felt really confident in these clothes for a while. I thought that by wearing plain clothes, it would allow people to focus more on me than what I was wearing. Plus, it seemed like a good way to pull attention away from the parts of my body that I wasn’t a huge fan of.
However, a little ways into my first year of college, I started to have different opinions about style. I had friends encouraging me to buy more interesting items, mostly because they were sick of seeing me in plain boring clothes all the time (and honestly, so was I). But I wasn’t sure where to start, or how to branch out and start considering different patterns and cuts. I would try to pick out new things whenever I went into a store, but the idea of trying them on terrified me. Leaving a comfort zone is hard, especially when it’s one that makes you feel hidden and safe.
I struggled with expanding my wardrobe throughout college. The summer after my third year, I landed an internship with Nordstrom, which came with an all-too-tempting employee discount. I started to explore the store and pay attention to what other interns and coworkers were wearing, and eventually I started to pick out some items that were outside of my box. Before I knew it, I was having a lot of fun shopping! It felt more like a creative experience and a way to express myself, rather than a mandatory activity that I had to do every now and then.
Figuring out who you are and how you want the world to look at you is a different experience for everyone. For me, it involved coming to terms with some of my insecurities, and having a bit of inspiration before making a huge leap. Even though my internship is over, I’m still riding this creative wave. I am starting to put together more creative outfits, and even delving further into the realm of makeup than just my usual eyeliner and mascara look.
So, if you want to change your look but don’t know where to start, try finding some inspiration! You don’t need to work at a fashion company to be inspired. Check out celebrities, beauty bloggers, or friends who have an aesthetic that you want to emulate. Even looking around at clothes online can introduce you to some new pieces that you would have never thought about looking for on your own. If you want to know my inspiration sources, or want to share some of your own, feel free to leave a comment!