|Sweater: Unknown | Button-up: Kent | Leggings: Gap | Boots: Michael Kors | Handbag: Balenciaga|
I am a child of hand-me-downs, even though I have no siblings. I wore mostly used clothing when I was little, and when I didn't, my mom would often buy clothing a size larger so I could continue wearing them as I grew. To say the least, I was never a fashionable kid. However, ever since I started getting into fashion, I felt the pressure to look the part. This led to several years of trying to be fashionable and unique, while still trying to find my own style. The result: painful to look back on.
|Blouse: Joe Fresh | Pants: Joe Fresh | Fur vest: Ralph Lauren | Heels: Calvin Klein | Handbag: Unknown|
During that transition period, I looked quite a mess. Wanting to look fashionable, but not quite willing to spend money investing in fashion when I didn't know what my personal style was meant cheap Old Navy clothing (the ultimate in suburban style), Garage leftovers from grade 7 (the ultimate in tween style), and higher quality, brand name clothing from an affluent friend, all mixed together into eclectic (but not very cool) outfits. I would have designer tees worn under colourful Garage zip-up hoodies, paired with ill-fitting flared jeans, and dirty sneakers.
|Top: Alexander Wang | Skirt: Express | Flats: Town Shoes | Handbag: Danier | Necklace: Unknown | Ring: Unknown|
Again, feeling the pressure to walk the talk, I pretended as if I knew what my style was. I pretended as if I could walk into a store and instantly identify that which was worthy of my money. I really couldn't. I pretended as if my strange style was sooo me. It really wasn't. I pretended in desperate hopes I could fit in with that seemingly elusive fashion crowd.
|Dress: Topshop | Heels: Prada | Tights: Unknown | Necklace: Unknown | Ring: Unknown|
Even up until last year, I didn't feel entirely comfortable in my fashion masquerade. I was still trying to be someone I wasn't. In some ways I was making progress towards my personal style, but I couldn't yet bring myself to spend too much on a style I didn't entirely call my own. I still lived in the shadows of a better, more stylish girl, aspiring and trying so hard to one day grow beyond her shadow and become her.
|Tank top: Garage | Lace top: Unknown | Shorts: S.M.D. | Flats: Town Shoes|
Finally, this year. I don't know what clicked. Maybe it was going back to studying with the same group of classmates everyday that revived my interest in putting together outfits. Maybe it was just an unconscious shift of perspective that gave me a "who the heck cares" attitude. Maybe it was simply the combination of my affluent friend sufficiently stocking my wardrobe with quality pieces (I'm still that child of hand-me-downs) and my recent shopping spree. Whatever it was, it opened up my eyes to a whole new world of dressing. I've become more daring with how I dress; I've gone from thinking "I can't wear that" to "how can I wear this". I don't care what other people think. I dress for the pure enjoyment of it. I wear what I dare to wear.
|Top: Le Ciel | Skirt: Grazie | Shoes: Converse|
So what is my personal style? Actually, it's not a style at all. It's a state of mind. I've given up trying to look fashionable in order to prove my ability. My skill comes from my brain, not what pieces of fabric I have draped across my skin. Am I fashionable? No, I'm not, and I may never be. All I know, and care about, is that I'm happy in what I'm wearing.