Have you ever woken up in the morning, walked over to your wardrobe, stared at all your clothes and felt like there is nothing to wear? It’s a frustrating feeling. You have a closet full of clothes but nothing ever feels right.
This was an accurate description of how I once felt. I didn’t like what I saw in my wardrobe and I didn’t know who I was. Above all, I didn’t feel worthy to wear the designer clothes I loved. Although there was a lot of factors such as learning to love myself, I found myself asking a very important question. This has completely changed the way I look at personal style and how I approach the art of dressing myself everyday.
Instead of asking myself the cliche; “what am I going to wear today”, I started asking myself this…
“who am i going to be today?”
The power of dressing is widely underestimated yet it is one of the most significant factors as to how you will feel. Whilst the key to feeling great in what you wear requires a lot of self care. There is one contributing component. This is answering the big question of who you are and how you want to show up in the world. When we ask ourselves what to wear, we are ignoring the true depths of style. We are no longer listening to our inner voice telling us who we are and who we want to become. This is why it is so important to change the question.
However, I do understand that such a big question may be difficult to answer. (At least at first.) Therefore, I’ve written down some important steps you must take in order to finally feel confident and happy with your personal style.
Uncovering who you are
Uncovering who you are can seem daunting. However, it doesn’t take nearly as half of the tools as you may think. You don’t need to climb mountains but simply keep an open mind and practice patience. Contrary to what you may think, you already know who you are. This is why I have said uncovering and not finding. You are not lost. You are already a beautiful soul that simply needs guidance.
I would advise to start by writing down your values. This could be things such as helping others, health and fitness, religion and beliefs, creativity or logical thought, etc.
Follow this by listing your interests. This should include your passions, hobbies, and anything that draws your attention over a sustained period of time. Ask yourself what spikes your curiosity and concerns. This helps give you clues as to what you are passionate about.
Once you understand yourself more, you can start to project your lists into your style choices. For instance, I personally value class, creativity and compassion. My passions include animal rights and art. Therefore, my personal style has morphed into one of classic and timeless but with artistic twists and abides to my vegan lifestyle.
If your values and interests aren’t giving you enough insight into who you are and how to convert this into a personal style. I suggest working through my free workbook on developing a style you love.
Break free from the labels
Sometimes, we already know exactly who we are and how we wish to dress. However, a fear of judgement or the desire to live up to someone else’s expectations takes over.
I’ve never been able to fit myself into society’s box. Even as a child, I always marched to the beat of my own drum. I certainly put my mother through some challenges and she found it hard to understand my fashion sense and how it contrasted greatly with my personality. I was a tomboy at heart, always splashing in the mud and climbing trees, but I’d also be wearing a pretty flower dress and sun hat that I’d chosen myself. She’d sing Contrary Mary and laugh when I’d refuse to wear my hairband the ‘right’ way. My attitude was that if wearing hairbands in front of your ears is wrong, then I didn’t want to be right.
As a kid there are things that we know, but as we grow up we forget. I loved twirling in my pretty dress and never worried about how this contradicted with playing football. As I aged, I found myself wearing graphic tees and converses because this was what I was ‘supposed to wear’ according to societies labels due to my hobbies and interests. However, I never felt like myself in them. I felt like I was a stranger in my own body. One day, I put on a pink floral dress and was reminded how much I loved feminine fashion.
A few years later, I attended my friends birthday party, where I didn’t know anyone but the birthday girl. After a few drinks, it was revealed to me that everyone at the party had assumed I was the typical ‘popular girl’ because of the way I dressed. Ironically, I was actually just like them; a total nerd that listened to rock ‘n’ roll, read comic books and loved to play video games. They had automatically boxed me into this ‘cool, pretty girl’ stereotype. Whilst I was flattered, it shocked me how I was perceived because of the way society labels us. I was aware that I didn’t fit in but it never occurred to me how strong this learnt judgement was until that moment.
Through observation I’ve realised how many of us actually don’t fit into these labels society has created through the way we dress. Why can’t I wear a pink tweed blazer and matching heels and get excited about the new marvel movie or play on World of Warcraft? We all need to let go of these silly boxes we are nailing ourselves shut into. The only place labels should be, are sewn on to your clothes.
Clothes and their inner connections
Style isn’t actually about the clothes; it’s about who you are on the inside and reflecting your beautiful soul to the rest of the world. When you are wearing an outfit that connects you to your most inner, deepest self, everything seems possible.
Finding clothes that feel as though they were made for you, can seem like a daunting process. Once again, this will take time and experimentation. However, you can get started by simply asking yourself how you feel when you wear clothes that make you feel great. This is going to be completely different for everyone.
For example, when I personally wear clothes that connect me to my inner self, I feel; empowered, polished, confident, put-together and über feminine. I highly recommend to look back on a time when you wear wearing an outfit that made you feel like you were on top of the world. Then think about how it made you feel and write down 5 key words. This will be your guide to finding other clothes that help you feel connected to who you are on the inside. Every time you try on a piece of clothing, see if you can tick off all five words. If you can’t, then you know that this particular item of clothing isn’t right.
When you are wearing the right outfit for you, something incredible happens. You feel like you are unstoppable! This is why it is so important to dress for yourself and not someone’s ideas of who they want you to be. Just think of that power which you possess underneath everybody’s expectations of who they think you should be. Above all, dress to empower yourself– impressing others is a secondary concern. When you know who you are, you don’t need to wait for anyone else’s approval.
When you wake up tomorrow don’t ask yourself “what am i going to wear?” Instead, pause, look in to the mirror and ask yourself “who am I and how do I want to show up in the world?”