I recently wished I could dress like someone else. Whether it was someone I saw IRL or from afar on Instagram, I can't remember. But this got me thinking about why I don't and, more importantly, why I think I can't.
Why do I combine my clothing and accessories every day the way I do? Why do I have what I have? Is it just an accumulation of stuff from sales over the years? Are my outfits conceptualised based on an idea of who I want to be/show to the world? Or is it all just random?
Or, do I wear what I wear because I feel comfortable in it? Not necessarily literally, but figuratively - because it's not out of my comfort zone, it's not intimidating or scary. Like wearing bright colours. That's scary.
It’s definitely a amalgamation of them all – but predominately the latter. And even in a day and age where fashion is really and truly much like The Jerry Springer Show – an arena where literally anything goes – I still have my doubts.
I think if I could a) afford it and b) were brave enough I would wear this …
Or, alternatively, this..
Only, I'd probably have to stop drinking coffee.
The point being, what's stopping me? Are all our fashion choices directly informed by our personalities then? I don’t wear bright colours because I prefer fading into the background instead of having the attention on me.
So, instead, I stick to my aesthetic of jeans, a white tee and jewellery because it’s my uniform and it makes me feel at ease.
But what does this say for trends then? With the upswing of the normcore trend for example, are there millions of extroverts silently suffering in Vans Old Skool sneakers and white H&M basic tees? Perhaps.
I'd say we are often very untrue to ourselves. We blindly follow trends because they are trends, not truly thinking about what we prefer. We prefer the trendy aesthetic because it's everywhere, worn by everyone. So we like it.
It's like matcha, take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and then look me in the eye and tell me it's good. I dare you!
We teach ourselves to buy into the idea of who we are. Our personalities are not necessarily to blame. We are constantly evolving, so I'd say we are actively teaching ourselves to be scared of certain things.
We are taught – especially as women – that we should opt for form-fitting outfits that show off our figure and that accentuate our assets, diminishing our flaws. This is ingrained so much in my thinking at times that I won’t wear a big old sack of silk dress (even though I’d love to!) or a massive oversized jacket or tee – because of these ridiculous constructs - or on the flip side, not wearing sheer tops as some might think you're a bit of a 'ho.
But being active in your own oppression is just the worst. Women have been doing it forever. It’s really and truly incredible how we discipline and punish ourselves and our own bodies to be or do things we see as 'expected'. Of course we see these expected things as such because we’ve been taught to find value in obeying these rules, and catering to the patriarchy's ranking system.
To me, fashion can be so much, and it can bring about change. It can give a big middle finger to the patriarchy – and you don’t even have to burn your undergarments to do so - or it can make you explore parts of yourself you've never been brave enough to explore.
Wear big poofy garments, swim in an ocean of tulle and silk and wear red - maybe with a pair of Vans sneakers at first to ease you in...
Which trend or colours are you too scared to try? And why? Let us know.