My sister met me at the weekend wearing two large, shimmery hairclips. The kind I loved purchasing in the early 2000’s when frosted lip gloss and glittery nail polish made you chic. Fashion back then felt fun; somewhat Juicy Couture tacky but experimental and daring. Personal style has become out of style with Instagram and a desire to cohere.
Fashion no longer fun
Last year Paris Hilton tweeted about the early 2000’s and said “People didn’t have stylists & actually had personal style. Now everyone kinda look the same”. How many T.V shows feature Carrie Bradshaw individualism? Look Magazine posted a piece on her personal style noting how inspired we still are to recreate her outfits. Kim Kardashian recently wore a skirt similar to Carrie’s Dior newspaper-print dress.
Binging through the series once more – who am I kidding, I’ll binge again – I’m noticing the bold risks SJP managed to pull off. A bandana with tie dye leggings; tulle skirts and the infamous tutu. I cannot think of the last fun fashion item I bought. My mindset has transgressed to thinking about staples and creating an overall image – an online look. Is Paris Hilton right to suggest personal style has gone?
Although I cringe at my old Matrix leather jacket and couldn’t imagine placing a dress over my jeans in 2019, I miss the eccentric feel clothing once had. The MTV Awards truly meant something. I use to love watching on the T. V because I knew Britney, J.Lo and Christina would wear quirky ensembles. Everyone turned up different; check out the 1999 red carpet as an example. Lil Kim arrived in Prince’s favourite colour, TLC styled leather while Aaliyah wore shades and jeans.
Influencers ruining fashion?
Influencers get blamed for fast fashion – Missguided received backlash for selling a £1 bikini which sold out – most-likely to girls getting ready to pose in extra swimwear for their Insta. Fast fashion doesn’t just affect the environment. The cheap dilemma to wearing a new outfit everyday has confused personal style. I’m not sure anymore who’s closet I admire. And I’m not 100% sure how to define myself.
Since blogging, I have attempted to share advice and update on what I’m wearing. Some clothing has reached iconic status – my Perfect Jumper Top survives monthly washes. My ex-boyfriend’s suit jacket quickly lost appeal and severed ties to charity. We’re the generation obsessed with defining ourselves. We want to tick certain boxes and we want to emulate the models and faces who have reached micro fame from photos alone.
That pressure can keep people playing safe. I get worried about looking daft. The first time I wore my beret, I spent 5 minutes (okay 10) moving the hat trying to copy Pinterest recommendations. Because I wasn’t use to the style, I felt uncomfortable. For years I’ve told myself I appreciate simplicity – classic cuts and neutral colours. Yet I once adored pattern and glitter. Did my personal style really adjust or have I adjusted myself to trends? Naturally that happens, but to what degree should it?
Finding personal style
Maybe our love for 90’s nostalgia stems from adoring eclectic variety – a bygone era honing independence. A moment when you could wear pink heart-shaped sunglasses with a flowery boob tube and feel normal walking through crowds. Plenty of young people scour the same websites to purchase the same clothing. To stand beside the same locations and fulfil the same poses.
Finding personal style amongst this similarity is like finding crinkled hair at your local restaurant. Personal style transitions with age and seasons – what happens when it starts disappearing altogether? Will the generation after us go back to patterned denim jeans and Clueless suits?
Do you think personal style has become less relevant due to social media? How do you define your style?