I’ve never considered myself a style icon or guru. Fashion has never taken the lead; I liked Marilyn’s view of letting her body do the talking. Throughout my teenage years, it became ever apparent, that my clothes didn’t suit my peers – compliments were only given to a particular item or thing. Fashion examples today have bloomed. Everyone is desperate to walk as an influencer, and to what extent has that affected style expression?
We spend our lives expressing. Emotions, love, beauty and life. The majority of my time was in hiding.
Wanting to choose choices I was afraid of choosing. Wanting to laugh louder, hug tighter and love deeper.
I felt unable to be me, and be who I thought of being. Though if I couldn’t say the right words and make the best social performance, I could go to a store and pick up a daring item. Something that took the world by storm, or those who assumed they knew me.
Following the crowd or standing alone
The way we dress says everything about us. That’s what I believe most of us are told, but I unlocked a fascinating article on fashion psychology. It talks about body language, culture and stereotypes, all playing a role on outer exterior.
I wore bright pink Dr. Martens to school aged 5, and a boob-tube to my Year 6 disco. Before you gasp, the material was as thick as a cushion, and so high-up, that it couldn’t possibly be anything more than appropriate on my flat body at the time. Then in high-school, I put on a black, tight mini-skirt with heels for ‘business dress day’, and I didn’t wear a school-skirt in college for ‘school dress-up’.
Instead, my sister convinced me a man’s long, white shirt and black tights was enough. Boundaries occasionally pushed between dressing sexy and going risqué, though I fail at exploring outside my box. I won’t wear a rainbow of colours or frilly patterns. Trends are not me, and does that make me an online outsider?
Much is spoken about Instagram’s makeup. People around the world are celebrating the fake. No longer trying to pretend a glow is a healthy radiance, highlighter has eclipsed the industry, taking along contour, winged liner, sharp brows and huge lips with it. The conversations on style expression are rare – are we blind to how similar every ‘influencer’ dresses?
Usually, expensive garments are required. This includes a designer handbag to showcase, and Gucci must count its fortune, on how many belts it now sells. Similar jumpers, dresses, shoes and crops. It’s the same thing over and over. Is it ever just, jeans and a top?
This Huffington piece makes light of Instagram’s repetition, giving closure as to why it happens. As I walked through London on Wednesday, I couldn’t help but absorb all the photography happening. Wondering who was taking what for social-media. How many were bloggers like me?
People talk about style expression – style is a way of expression, and to how many? Style often portrays outside betrayals and insecure fear – it’s like artwork showcasing inner turmoil. The baggy clothes to hide a stomach, or the simple colours to ideally blend in. Opposite even, the bright colours to try to create attention.
The world is full of everyone telling us how to do fashion and how to look chic, is style now for the few?
Do we know our style expression potential?
After a decade of not being able to dress or shop alone – my sister approved everything, it dawned on me how little I know about my look. It dawned on me still, that my outfits are not complete. I haven’t had my Audrey moment of meeting a Givenchy, I don’t know what my wardrobe is capable of.
In attempts to find out, I step away from online guidance and magazine pleads. In a world that conforms, individuality is a rare thing. To harness your own, maybe work on deciphering what you like due to being told it’s nice, and what truly is your own style.
How would you describe style expression? Are you influenced by influencers, magazines, or celebrities? Do you think how much someone can be influenced? And is it okay that many people on Instagram look the same?