For an industry dedicated to material possessions, it is no surprise that the general population often overlooks fashion’s driving force: creative expression. In fact, it may seem ironic that an industry dedicated to commodity holds any emotional value, but it is this irony that creates the core of fashion, and ultimately, the core of finding one’s self as exemplified through style.
Chances are, your style has shaped and shifted since middle school. For instance, I don’t wear camouflage gauchos and jelly shoes anymore (I mean, unless the opportunity presents itself). But luckily, what I wear now is exactly what my middle-school-self would want to see. I’ve grown up and so has my style. It’s been a pretty dramatic change, I’ll say. But I suppose that is mostly because I’ve had such a transformative time since high school ended.
The past two years have been filled with ups, downs, and everything in between—it’s no secret that young adulthood is a battleground of self-expression and discovery—a battleground I’m not sure where I stand most of the time. What do I like? What do I not like? Who am I?
In high school, I more or less dressed to fit in. As someone coming from a small private middle school into the depths of a larger (read: scarier) high school, I conformed to what others thought was “cool.” I wore shoes I didn’t want to wear and shirts that didn’t fit me right, all for the superficial and unfulfilling glory of fitting in. Luckily, by the end of those four years, I had a new group of incredible friends, a new set of interests, and a sense of style that was curated by me and only me. I disregarded what people thought and disregarded often.
And I’ve only continued to disregard, evolve, disregard, and evolve. It’s become my motto—and it works.
I’ve found myself in more uncomfortable positions than one may want to admit, thus I have quite literally found myself more than ever before. I moved to Paris at 18 and later moved to New York before traveling around Italy. Then, I moved back to my native London all while meeting, learning, exploring, and yes, shopping to my heart’s content. It was through these moments of physical and mental self-indulgence that I was able to satisfy (or at least, begin to satisfy) the thousands of questions that run through any college student’s head. Questions regarding who they are as a person and where they belong in the world.
And hey, I’m still answering these questions. I certainly don’t have it all figured out yet. For instance, I still can’t decide how I feel about fur-lined mules or if the choker trend has ended yet. But, despite my 100 and counting questions regarding myself, I have 100 and counting insights into who I am and who I want to be—all of which, if I’m doing things right, are evident through my style.
Although my style might be completely different as to what it was this time last year, I’m ultimately still the same person—just in different clothes. But it’s these clothes that I am able to share my evolution with the rest of the world, and I can only hope that I—and my wardrobe—keep evolving.
How does style represent your own self-discovery? Let us know in the comments below or show us on social media. Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.
Featured photo by Natalie Miller.