Allow Me to Re-dress Myself: the struggle to find personal style
By Jessie Brunett
I tried swimming against the current once in Laguna Beach, and I almost drowned. No, it wasn’t that serious, I was toe deep, and the current was so strong I couldn’t make it past the sandbar. I wish there was more to that story, but sadly it has become the metaphor for finding my style. Since then I have failed my road test three times, have worked odd retail jobs and still don’t know how to fill out a W-2 form correctly. The blank canvas is you, and that Jackson Pollock painting over in the corner? That’s me. I’m a little bit all over the place. That cliché saying, “try and try again” keeps racking my brain, while I try to find the next outfit I want to wear for work.
Sometimes I find myself thinking too much about my outfit decisions, I spend too much time thinking about the person I want to look like, and not listening to whom I am. Remember back in the golden days when we picked out our outfits freely? Our parents would let us dress ourselves as part of the “learning curve” and would let us walk in public with whatever mismatched combination we came up with no shame, no game?
I look back on my photos of my style evolution throughout the years and wonder, “what was I thinking” and “why didn’t I just listen to my inner Anna Wintour”, just make a decision, and wear the funky dress.
I know why I don’t listen. There is too much information out there. That is like asking a fish you caught to keep swimming in knots of ocean turbulence, a recipe for disaster, Instagram kills style confidence. A lot of us are too worried about what other people think, comment or even wear, how can we possibly set aside time for our own personal style?
It is crazy to think the way some people have style and some people don’t, I really think it comes down to the amount of effort we put into learning about ourselves fully. A lot of people do not take the time to do that. There is always a risk for not making it past the sandbar, but does that mean you won’t try?
What the mainstream fashion scene doesn’t tell you is that the moment you feel something, you should wear it, own it, and never let it go. As long as I can remember I’ve been writing poetry and have been interested in fashion, but both things have become an ode for someone else, every time, so razzles with that. It has taken years for me to realize that speaking my mind, and dressing how I want is allowed. To completely immerse yourself in your emotions and inspirations is just setting you up to earn your honorary badass stripes. With Fast Fashion becoming an overly used buzz word these days, and the convenience of picking out your favorite cheap, jeans from six different stores might be nice, they never last. I used to feel insecure to wear my thrifted clothes in public, and leave my heart in one single blog post on a blank page; it took me a while to learn how to truly express myself, because deep down, we all have a fear of being judged, and a lot of us do not respond well to change.
Recently I have started to become less aware of the trends, it’s like spring-cleaning, without the vinegar smell, and toxic cleaning products. It has allowed me to free myself from the pressures of put together outfits, on put together girls across social media platforms and to focus on me, myself and I. My own personal style? I call it Femma Lou, because it can be very feminine at times, and boyish in others.
I once decided to take a leap and trust my instincts, after being uncomfortable in my own skin because I couldn’t keep up with the trends, or pull them off quite as well as those famous Instagram celebrities. That voice, her name is Juliet. It’s like I have found my fashion soul sister, and she already knows my excitement for ruffles and the color pink. She tells me to put back those terrible crop tops, and is honest when I try on something I do not feel comfortable in. What does it mean to be a Juliet girl? It is your subconscious, your ideas, your feelings where you get to experiment all the time, and not bat an eyelash towards those around you braving Ugg boots and oversized hoodies, not that there is anything wrong with that.
I am me, I am Juliet. I can proudly say that I no longer buy things based on what everybody else is wearing, but what catches my eye. I still don’t feel complete in my look and I don’t think I ever will. I still wake up everyday, wondering what emotion I’m going to channel today and what it is going to look like. Don’t take yourself too seriously, have a little fun, be you, and own it. I am proud to call that mine, and no one, not even Anna Wintour can take that away from me. As Coco Chanel once said, “ Don’t be Like the Rest of them Darling”, and I don’t intend to.