Finding Your Style

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Finding Your Style

Chamidae Ford, Staff Writer

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What is your style? Do you often find yourself struggling with what to pair together or what to buy? There are a few key factors in developing your own style and pulling it off. Overtime, I have gained a few tips on how to do this. Some people draw, others make music, but for me, a way of expression is through my clothes. Over time I have learned what I like and what I don’t, but it took a lot of work.

Often it begins with changing your mindset. A lot of people believe you can’t be fashionable and comfortable. That’s an easy obstacle to get around. Leggings with the right shoes and sweater can go a long way. Another common misconception is that how you dress does not affect how people perceive you. When it comes to first impressions, appearance, unfortunately, is a huge factor. Instead of looking at getting dressed as a chore look at it as a way to visually express who you are everytime you step out of your house. It is important to remember that how you dress yourself can be a huge display of who you are.

Once you are open to the idea of having your own style you have to start your research. A major resource is social media, especially apps like Instagram and Pinterest. There are tons of boys and girls who post pictures of their outfits. My favorites are @maddibragg and @nycbambi. Both of these girls have very different styles but provide me with a lot of  inspiration. Start by figuring out one or two items of clothing you love and use keywords in the search bar to find people that wear clothes similar to that style. Let it be known that pulling ideas from other people does not make you less fashionable or have less of your own style, as long as you take that inspiration and make it your own. Once you’ve found pieces bring them together and see how they look by creating a mood board. You could make your own cutting out pictures from a magazine or printing them offline. Pinterest is also great for making quick and easy mood boards. Now that you know what you like you can start putting it in action.

Money can be a large roadblock for most when beginning your journey to your own style. But don’t give up just yet! Thrift stores are a gift to the average broke teen. Check out small thrift stores such as the Humane Society Thrift Store next to the Mount Vernon Value Village or Bargains Galore, a thrift store downtown. Another idea is to shop at non-chain-stores. When you shop at different stores that not everyone goes to, you get the chance to experiment with different patterns and styles. This can give you sense of  power and individuality because it’s your own. Think of it like this: are you more proud of a something when you copy it or when you do it yourself? Most of us have been in situations where half of the people in the room own the same thing as you.  

The most important advice I can give anyone is to have confidence. Confidence is a strange thing because when it comes down to it, it is all in how you carry yourself. I believe that there are two types of confidence, internal and external. Internal confidence is a person who internally loves who they are and knows what they stand for. People who have this believe in who they are. Whereas if you have external confidence you appear as if you believe in who you are and  you love who you are. All you need to pull off an outfit is external confidence. And if you don’t have either, fake it till you make it! It can be daunting wearing clothes that are not exactly on trend at your school but it can also be exhilarating. A lot of people struggle with the fear that they may be made fun of for what they wear but the key to overcoming that is confidence. And the most important thing is to not say “Oh I could never pull that off!”. Because that’s so not true. If you wear something with confidence you can pull it off. It’s when you act shy and embarrassed about how you look when people start to wonder what’s out of place.

When you first start experimenting people may question you but as you travel along the road to your own style, slowly people will become more and more used to it. I vividly remember the first time I decided to branch out with my style. A couple of years ago I decided to finally wear this denim button up dress I had had for months. That day so many people asked me “What are you wearing?” I summoned my fake confidence, looked them dead in the eye, and said “What I like.” Those people were taken back by my response and backed off right away. They realized that they can’t make me feel bad about my outfit if I strongly believed in what I was wearing. The truth is, people are not going to question you if you appear confident. And if people do, they aren’t people you should associate with.

So all in all, embrace who you are, experiment with clothes, and feel confident in whatever you wear even if it is sweats and a t-shirt.

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