Fashion is very individual and each person sees it in a slightly different way. That’s one of the things I love most about fashion; it means something different to everyone and every single person has their own unique style. Fashion is used as a way of expressing yourself whether that’s through keeping up with trends or striking out on your own and starting them yourself. I have always been interested in fashion but I admit for a while I didn’t truly appreciate its true meaning. I didn’t dress to represent myself, I dressed how I thought I should dress to impress other people and honestly, it kind of made me feel down. Feeling confident and loving what you wear is an important part of life and I don’t think that message is brought home enough, so I’m going to talk about it today.
When I reached my teenage years everyone around me began to dress much more grown up; gone were the days of summer dresses and little doodles shoes (goodness me I adored them, I remember my favourite pair were ones with glittery strawberries on). At first I felt completely out of my depth, I didn’t feel ready to wear crop tops and revealing clothes but I was made to feel like a fool if I didn’t. When you’re thirteen being made to feel like you’re way behind all your peers is never going to make you feel good so I rushed to find clothes to match the other girls in my year. As a result I ended up wearing outfits that were much too old for me and gave off a message I was far too young to understand.
Let’s face it, if you go out in revealing clothes you will get a reaction. I remember I once went out to a concert in a bralette and short, tight skirt and on the way there a van full of fully grown men stopped to wolf whistle and make comments. Apart from the obvious fear I had a strange sense of achievement, I’m hesitant to admit that it made me feel a little proud. It felt good to know that people were reacting to me and my body, that was hardly covered, in that way. At a time when every teenage girl needs reassurance about what she looks like I could get attention by wearing clothes that showed me off, so I began to do it more and more.
Looking back now, it was wrong. I was dressing this way purely to show off my body and get that kind of reaction, I wanted to flaunt it and be sexy but I was too naive to understand how to do that in a safe, mature way. Nowadays I can go out practically covered from head to toe in blouses, skirts, tights and cardigans and I still feel sexy and empowered. Now when people look at me I know they are appreciating the clothes I’m wearing for all the right reasons, because I look pretty yet still classy. The looks I get now are much more satisfying than those randy eyed men of before, now I’m met with smiles and people simply admiring me with respect.
I’m not saying don’t dress in revealing clothes or dress like your friends, in fact if that is what makes you feel sexy and empowered then go for it, wear your style. For me, dressing to make me feel confident now means dressing very classy in an almost prim and proper fashion which is so far removed from what I used to find myself in. You shouldn’t have to dress to impress other people just so you can feel good. If what you’re wearing is sending off a vibe that makes you feel uncomfortable then it’s okay to admit you don’t want to wear it. What you feel confident in may not be what every expects you to wear, and that’s okay, because being unique is the best way to be beautiful.