My sense of style was not immediately apparent. In 5th grade, I grabbed the first pair of socks out of the drawer with no thought as to whether it matched my outfit. I didn't even realize I should think about such a thing. My eyes slowly opened up to fashion and trends. From my classmates, I learned socks should match each other and coordinate with clothing.
By 6th grade, I was tight rolling my jeans with the best of them. Not only did my socks match, my friends and I would often wear two pairs of different colored socks at a time. The original colorblocking. I rocked a perm and my bangs reached awesome heights.
Freshman year of high school, I fully embraced the grunge look, borrowing my dad's flannel shirts and buying bigger sized jeans from thrift stores to complete the look. This segued into a hippie phase. By junior year of high school, my look was a mix of preppie and hippie.
In college, my mom referred to my style as retro eclectic. And now I'd say my style veers toward bohemian chic with a good dose of classic.
I know what I like. I know what looks good on me. (For the most part.)
On the other hand, sometimes I'll see a trend and think, "so cute! I couldn't pull that off."
And then I'll see it again and have the same thought. Rise and repeat a few more times. Then I start thinking, "hmmm. What if?"
I'd become locked into "my" style, it was hard to work around it or even see the need to but variety is the spice of life. Last year I challenged myself to try a few trends. Some worked, some didn't. Either way, I'm better for it.
I rocked a top knot. (The first time feeling ever so self-conscious. It's now my go-to look for special occasions. It's also the perfect image for the Insecurity Project button.)
I branched out with nail polish colors, swapping out the usual dark tones for some summer fun. Klout Perks sent me a hot pink shade from Essie. I rarely wear pink. It doesn't feel like me, to my mom's great sadness. But I resolved to try even the things I regularly disdain. The color shocked me every time I glanced down at my feet. This, I gave away to a friend who adores all forms of pink.
My friends' toes boasted blues, greens, yellows, and more over the summer. I decided to try Sinful Colors Mint Apple and it became my shade for the rest of those hot months. It was fun. It was me. I just hadn't realized it before.
I've developed my uniform. Oh, it's a nice uniform. There's a mix of colors and patterns, jeans and dresses. I'll put unlikely combinations together to see if they work- and they often do. But I see a subtle pattern. I unintentionally limit myself, sometimes by the way I want people to view me and sometimes by the way I want to view myself.
This isn't to say I don't love what I wear or I'm masquerading as someone I'm not. And I'm certainly not suggesting we should try all trends. Yikes.
By designating certain styles and looks as "not me," I've missed out on the fun of experimentation. Because will people think I'm a fraud or dismiss me? I listen to the little fears whispering about what people will think if I wear that or do my hair like this. There's enough leeway in the boho chic aesthetic, I hadn't realized how risk-averse I'd become.
I'd already conceived the idea for this post when I launched The Insecurity Project last spring. I needed to live it out a bit before I could write about it. I needed to branch out in my fashion choices and step beyond the insecurities that hold me back, even in this small way.
When you only see yourself a certain way, you lose sight of the many facets of who you are. Most people are not just one style, one character trait, one layer. We are rich, multi-dimensional, full of strengths and weaknesses, packed full of possibilities.
I'm letting myself shine one day at a time. And in some cases, one outfit at a time.
This post is a part of The Insecurity Project.
It turns out I've had a few fashion revelations lately. Stay tuned this week.
Do you take fashion risks? What was your favorite past trend?