Fashion has always been something I love, whether that was shopping for new clothes, organizing my closet for my outfits of the week, or getting dressed in the morning. The pandemic has made it difficult to have the motivation to change out of my pajamas every day—and even though many may say that it's a good habit to change in the morning, I feel as though there is nothing wrong with lounging in clothes that make you feel comfortable. It's relaxing to spend a day in flannel pajamas, or a t-shirt that you've worn to death for the past week. Fashion isn't about dressing to impress—although everyone has their own standards—it's about wearing things that make you feel you. I'm sure you've heard that somewhere before because it is indeed an important concept of fashion itself. So, for this week's post, I decided to gather my tips and share some personal thoughts about what fashion is for me, and how I found my style after years of shopping, receiving hand-me-downs, and thrifting. Clothes aren't just for a certain group of people—we all have the ability to take a second to peek into our closet and feel excitement over clothes. That's the true beauty of it all!
Your Bare Style
I lean towards relaxed, loose clothes as to avoid feeling uncomfortable in public about what I'm wearing, all the while feeling confident. Over the years, I've come to love loose-fitting jeans, white graphic tees, ankle-length leggings, turtlenecks, mock-neck sweaters, jean skirts and jackets, puff-sleeved tops, and Adidas sweatpants as my favorite styles to mix-and-match throughout the week. Although I try to take on a minimalist lifestyle to avoid clutter, I can't help myself when it comes to clothes—along with my mom. A lot of the stores we shop in don't have the pieces that we'd wear and love, but when we do see them, it's an automatic buy. Piles of clothes that we never wore ended up getting donated, and although that isn't necessarily a bad thing, continuously buying new clothes ends up becoming waste, and you end up wearing the same things over and over again. This brings us to my very first tip in improving and finding your style:
Don't ever buy things that you know you won't like.
Although this is a very simple concept, it's relevant in many ways. You can enter a store and see a pair of exotic bottoms that are matched effortlessly with a top on a mannequin. Although it's always a good idea to experiment with the piece and alter it to fit your style, it has always benefited me to keep my fashion sense as a narrow opening, only allowing the clothes that speak to me to enter my wardrobe. Considering this tip, there is no need to overthink it. You will know in your gut when you see something that you will like, and those that you will regret buying.
What I've Learned About Fashion
To put it simply, there are no limits to how you can express yourself. I've regretted buying many things over the years, but it led me to understand myself better when it comes to my personal taste. When I was in elementary school, every time "back to school" time came around, my mom and I would go out to shop for my new clothes for the year. Instead of accepting the golden find that my mom held before me, I settled for another color of skinny jeans to add to my collection. No, I had no clue what I was doing—I just felt as though it was necessary to collect a rainbow assortment of jeggings to wear to school every day.
Point is, if you want to express your style enough to show who you really are, it's time and progress. Of course, you are going to come around to wear an outfit that you love, and possibly look back on it later with disgust, but I tell you, I still make the same mistakes today. Here is a list of the things I wish I knew sooner when I was in the shopping stage.
If you know you're going to be cold throughout the day, there's only one solution—layer. I always feared that layering many clothes above t-shirts and sweaters made me look bulkier than I actually was, but it can be easily balanced out if you choose the right coat lengths and pants. The thing you don't want to do is wear a thin shirt and throw on a heavy down jacket, no matter how cold it is. It's always the better choice to layer on thin sweaters and hoodies and finish by putting on a slightly larger coat to keep warm. Scarves are always clever elements to incorporate in an outfit that may appear bland, and if you need some extra warmth throughout the day.
There is no need to go to a high extent in order to make your body appear skinnier and fitter. Although it serves as a confidence booster to those who want to show off their bodies, my point is to not spend the day in jeans that are too tight, shirts that are unbreathable, or coats that are squeezing your armpits and waist too much to a point where it's impossible to walk. Trust me, I've been through those days where I was worried about tying up my shirt because my outfit wasn't fitting what I aimed for. Wear things that make you feel comfortable.
Don't throw away clothes that have potential. Have you ever found one of your old t-shirts that you used to wear, and now you feel as though it is outdated and unappealing? I have. It's tempting to clear your closet of clothes that you just don't like, but unless there is a reason that it can't be worn, a piece of clothing that you find ugly can easily be changed to something that you'd wear. Find that free t-shirt that you got at a fundraiser or a giveaway that's just too big? Wear it oversized for a relaxed look, cut the bottoms to have it measure correctly to your body, or tuck it into some loose-fitting pants. Find a pair of pants that are too long? Make them shorts or roll them up into ski boots in the winter for maximum protection.
How to Love Fashion Even More
In conclusion, I love fashion because fashion is so many things. It's the recycled coat that you stumbled upon in a thrift store, the flashy pop-star outfits, and the pajamas you wake up in in the morning. It's the beautiful dress you see on a mannequin in a store window, the hoodie with your favorite video game, and the one pair of jeans that fit like no other. Although there are many ways in which you can continue to find what you enjoy wearing, I like to think back to the first outfit I felt as though I needed to wear again. Why did it make me feel so good, and how can I replicate that again so that I can find more things that suit me? That's what fashion is—and it's up to you how you're going to embrace it.
- Shoes make all the difference if you pair them right with an outfit that is too bland. I've worn a pair of white Nike Air-forces every day because of the elevated effect that they give my outfits and the balance that it gives on those days where I can't be bothered to wear anything more than a tee-shirt and leggings.
- My favorite styles by season:
Winter: down jackets, trench-coats, faux-fur boots, scarves, and long puffy jackets, turtlenecks
Spring: bright rain-coats, Hunter rain boots, floral graphic tees, wide-leg jeans, pastel sweaters, collared button-\ups, spring dresses, anything with gingham
Summer: tank tops, bicycle shorts, short-sleeved polo shirts, summer dresses, platform sandals, one-piece jumpsuits
Fall: long fleece sweaters, turtlenecks (again), anything with plaid, balloon-sleeved sweaters, oversized hoodies, sweater dresses, overalls, Converse high-tops.