Fashion is an art form. Through it, one has the ability to portray a message without ever using a word. It’s visual art through means of fabrics, dyes, and various metals. Seeing the unfiltered individuality and unique styles of street style in New York, Milan, and Paris, inspired me to develop my own style. I saw my style as my sense of self. Here are just a few lessons I’ve learned from observing and appreciating the street style over the years.
1. Dressing for yourself can be self-care
If you’ve ever had a bad day but had a killer outfit that made you feel 100% better, then you know what I’m talking about.
We are granted a physical way to control how we present ourselves to the world around us through our clothes. It allows us to force our own confidence on days when it’s just plain tough. In putting on a favorite jacket, the effect is equal to putting on a cape: you’re getting ready to kick ass today. Regardless of what the #outfitoftheday actually entails, dressing for yourself can positively change your outlook of the day.
[bctt tweet=”Once our 20’s have eluded us, we’re expected to abandon our youth.” username=”wearethetempest”]
2. It’s okay to be bold
We are always put in boxes of who society believes we should be as women. We are told—as young women—that we are allowed, and encouraged, to be alluring. Once our 20’s have eluded us, we’re expected to abandon our youth. At some point, we are encouraged to dress in clothes that cover up our figure because society says you shouldn’t be seen.
But for me, fashion provides an escape. A weapon used to fight the patriarchy. Other weapons include bright red lipstick, neon yellow jackets, and loud floral patterns. In our fight to be seen-to not let ourselves be pushed under the rugs in society-bold fashion is essential. Looking at street style, I am inspired by women who don’t fit eurocentric standards of beauty demanding to be seen through their outfits.
3. It’s also okay to not fit a mold
It’s a beautiful time to be observing fashion right now. Just like street style inspires bold decisions, it also encourages one to find their one of a kind style. There’s a fluidity to fashion. You can be tough and feminine at the same time. It’s as simple as paring a black leather jacket with a floral print graphic T-shirt. You can be bold and modern yet classic at the same time. It’s as simple as a timeless monochrome outfit with just a bold lipstick or earring to help you stand out.
[bctt tweet=”I learned you didn’t have to fit inside a mold of one specific style” username=”wearethetempest”]
4. Fashion, like our own personalities, can be complex
Through fashion, we can let our very mood of the day shine in the fabrics we flaunt. We can be bubbly one day and then bold the next. Watching the diversity of styles through social media and the real world, I learned you didn’t have to fit inside a mold of one specific style. A figurative bulldozer razed over my childish notions of a spectrum of “girly girl” style and “tomboy” styles. I didn’t have to be one side or the other. My style could be feminine, masculine or androgynous, and fashion taught me that I didn’t have to choose.
5. You choose how the world perceives you
In a world in which we feel that so many things are outside of our control, this doesn’t have to be. Our socioeconomic status, the political gridlock, and the appalling nature to which the legitimacy of a woman’s word is questioned everywhere can make us feel powerless. Yet, we have power in small things that we sometimes overlook, and one of them is our clothing. With cheap ways to express one’s self and a fashion world with political messages everywhere you look, we can overcome certain challenges. Through fashion, we can let the world know our political views, our mood, our thoughts, our dreams, our challenges. All without a single word spoken. I learned that holds a certain bit of power in itself.