This is a post that has been on my heart for along time but while in New York, I experienced an epiphany moment that drove me to finally write it. I’m sharing the personal style struggles I’ve endured over the years as well as why it’s okay to be yourself.
Harper Rose Dress c/o | Chi Chi London Coat (old – similar here) | Shoes (old – love these!) | Mary Frances Handbag c/o | Brothers and Sisters Beret c/o (this color is sold out but it’s available in 8 other colors – similar here) | Rocksbox Necklace | Rocksbox Bracelet (get a free month here!)
My style has always been different…and to some, it’s even considered juvenile. I’ve been asked questions like “Why do you like pink so much?” “Do you ever wear anything aside from dresses?” and “Why do you dress so girly all the time?” From a young age, it was put into my head that something was wrong with me because I dressed differently than everyone else. I grew up in a conservative town that wasn’t always open to things that were different and as a result, I stood out most of the time. I’ve never really been one to follow the pack and do what everyone else was doing but I’d be lying if I said there were times in my life where I tried to change my appearance just to fit in.
Growing up, I struggled with coming to terms with my identity. I went through various stages of style thinking that something would click…but it never did. In school, I went through a short-lived “emo” phase (if you can believe that) because I thought that since I played guitar and was in a garage band, then I needed to look the part. Years before that, I begged my parents to buy me the “cool clothes” that everyone else was wearing so I could fit in. Reality check: neither made a difference. Trying to be edgy or the “cool girl” or even dressing like everyone else to satisfy my need to fit in only left me feeling like I was wearing a costume, or worse…feeling an imposter.
Over the years, I finally came to the conclusion that this is who I am and this is my own unique, personal style. And while other people’s words make me question myself sometimes, I know that this is 100% me and always has been. However, as much as I love NYFW, it does bring about some insecurity and can be quite intimidating. As I looked at all the brightly colored outfits around me, the feelings of confusion settled in again. At NYFW, everyone goes all out to get photographed and with the mecca of stylish people, I always wonder how I can stand out too. In the past, I’ve gone all out as well but this season, I tried something different. I didn’t buy, rent or borrow any clothes but instead went to my closet and picked out a few of my favorite items. Instead of bright, bold and over-the-top, I went for soft, feminine and understated. It was a risk and to be honest, I did feel a bit out of place… like I hadn’t tried hard enough.
The problem with dressing feminine is that… everyone else seems to have a problem with it. You are seen as weak, unintelligent, naive or a doormat. It’s not the cool thing to do. Sadly, I feel like sometimes people don’t take me seriously as a professional because of the way I dress. It’s a constant struggle between what I like to wear and what I feel like I should wear. When I go to events in LA, I feel completely out of place because my style is so different than everyone else’s – in fact, at the last event I attended, someone asked if I was another blogger’s manager! I was so hurt by this remark because personal style is just that…personal. It’s an expression of who I am as a person.
This might sound cheesy but seeing the Lela Rose show at NYFW was a major turning point for me, personally. When I walked into the room, everything started to come together in the most beautiful way. I saw an explosion of pink and sparkle and joy and a place where femininity was celebrated. I found others that had a similar style to mine (because it really is hard to find) and I realized in that moment that it’s okay to be myself and it has been all along.
After all, there is a reason that I’m drawn to certain things and no matter how hard I’ve tried to change it, I always come back to it…. because it’s a part of me. It IS me. It’s okay that I have more pink in my closet than the average person…and that I wear tulle skirts as an adult…and that frilly, ruffly dresses make my heart skip a beat… and that wearing sequins during the day puts a smile on my face… and that putting a bow in my hair will always be considered the perfect finishing touch. I’ve realized that as long as I’m okay with being myself, I don’t need the approval of anyone else. I don’t need to wear certain things to fit in with a certain crowd or to follow certain fashion rules because it’s considered a faux pas to wear girly items together. The beauty of personal style is that it’s unique to each person and while being different can make you feel isolated or less than at times, you should absolutely never feel that way because there are people out there that are just like you. <3
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