I spent far too many years as a preteen and a teenager being self-conscious of my personal style. Middle school and high school are practically breeding grounds for self-consciousness, and it didn’t help that I’ve never exactly had a “normal” sense of style. In addition, I put a lot of pressure on myself to dress to impress everyone in my life. Of course, this simply isn’t possible. My outfits, especially as a preteen, were never going to appeal to both my mother and the boy I liked. I was never going to win over my teacher and the popular crowd of girls with the same outfit.
I say this now with ease after many painful years of trying (and failing) to accomplish this impossible task, but at the time, it was really an ever-present struggle in my life. I was constantly trying to shimmy into a borrowed pair of short shorts that I wore with a shirt that I hoped would be long enough to distract my parents from my trendy shorts (it never was). I went through a phase when I wore red every day because I’d read that it would make me appear more physically attractive. There were a lot of years of being sent upstairs to change before school and standing with my arms crossed over whatever I felt most self-conscious about that day.
I regret those years I lost to dressing for everyone else but myself. Now, at the age of 20, I am proud of the fact that my wardrobe serves to please no one but myself. I have long since thrown out the articles I’d collected telling me what not to wear or what to wear for my body type. After years of wearing what I thought I should, I’m wearing what I want to. Camouflage may no longer be in trend, but I’ve recently discovered it and am rejoicing in the joy wearing it brings. I wear socks with sandals even though many people in my life have pointed out that it is a classic fashion faux pas. I wear what makes me happy, and I hope I can help you find the confidence to do the same in the upcoming season with CollegeFashionista.