Personal Style: Catalyst for Confidence

As I was driving the other day I started contemplating how I came about being who I am right this moment- why I feel so confident in who I am and why I, according to many of my blog readers, am brave and such. I realized that a lot of it started with clothes, as silly as that sounds! I mean there were a lot of other factors, and I've always been pretty unfazed by doing things like my Winnebago trip, but there are other areas in my life that I was definitely not as confident in and that has certainly changed over the past few years. I figured out that most of my confidence stemmed from ceasing to care about what other people thought about me, which started when I began to explore my personal style.

Back in high school I pretty much wore the same kind of thing everyday: boot cut/flare jeans, a little boys t-shirt, and skater shoes. I always had a desire to wear other things, and I loved dressing up for halloween and stuff like that, but I never wanted any stares or attention in regards to what I wore. Plus, it was high school, so I'm sure there was some sort of desire to fit in for the most part (though my high school class was awesome and there weren't really the popular/unpopular groups like a lot of kids have to deal with). And back in high school I wasn't super comfortable with my body. I didn't hate it, but had the typical desires to be less awkward, or look more like the girls who had boyfriends, etc. But anyway, I digress...

So when I went to college, I dressed sort of the same for my freshman year, and then just started becoming friends with these amazing, beautiful, creative people and started really getting into my art department. Plus, I was living "on my own," if you count living in dorms, which I did at the time. I think maybe that gave me that jolt of confidence that I needed to branch out and try new things. Sophomore year I started wearing some different things. I remember thrifting two pairs of old men's pants that were awesome. I wore them a lot- I wish I had a picture of me in them. I don't know if they looked ridiculous or not, but I stopped caring. It didn't matter! Then I dyed a streak of my hair rainbow colors at the end of Sophomore year, and by the beginning of my Junior year I was wearing huge winged eyeliner and beehiving my hair like Amy Winehouse. At some point I also went through a phase where I dressed like David Lee Roth and teased my hair all huge like 80s hair bands. Hahah. It was awesome and crazy. That's around when I started my blog and I just began documenting my style and its evolution. I still have all those parts of my style- the rainbow hair, the Amy Winehouse/pinup girl, the 80's hair metal. They come out from time to time.

But all of that was to say that I think a lot of my confidence is rooted in not being afraid to wear whatever I want to and not caring about what other people will think of me. I mean, that's a daily thing and daily things are often the hardest to conquer. And once you stop caring, it just gets easier and easier to do and be who you want to be, rather than what other people want or expect you to be.

Someone emailed me a while ago asking about what kind of clothes boys respond to and how to dress flirty-- but not overly so, and my initial reaction to that question was almost confusion. Like, why would you even want to dress a certain way to make boys respond to you? Thinking back, though, while I was never one of those girls who had boyfriends, I did use to wish I had more attention from boys, especially since my friends got a lot more attention than I ever did. Looking back from where I am now, I realize that I'm just not one of those girls who will ever be a boy magnet, nor do I want to be. I've come to discover that my quiet self confidence actually kind of intimidates men, and I rather prefer it that way. But the question still makes me think about how much differently people can think about clothes and the role they play in life

For myself, clothing and personal style are more of a description of my inward self, rather than something I use as a way to get a certain reaction out of other people. I realize that clothing certainly can function as a reaction-inducer (if it didn't, there wouldn't be a club-wear industry, I suspect), but I just have no interest in wearing clothes for other people, and I feel like that is what gives me a lot of confidence. The clothes I wear and how I present myself visually to the world are a reflection of who I am and how I feel that day. It makes me excited to get dressed in the morning and choosing my clothes becomes a creative aspect of my day!

For more on this subject, read this article: