I know it’s the outright cheesiest thing to say, but I really have always had a deep love for fashion since a very young age. Despite my humble reputation at school as “the quiet girl”, I finally figured out how to grow into my own identity and I did that via my clothing. I started wearing handmade flower crowns (I was in my wannabe Coachella phase), platform-heeled boots, and layers of chunky necklaces to my suburban high school with abandon. I found myself going through a real transformation, kind of like in The Princess Diaries when Mia gets her famous makeover, except I wasn’t becoming the princess of Genovia, I was just starting to wear loud clothes that my mom thought were weird. That period of experimentation that I went through is honestly what changed me to be the outspoken and confident person I am today. To some people, clothes are just clothes, but to me, they were the vessel that enabled me to discover, well, me.
Fast-forward many years to my now fashion-editor life (look, mom, I made it!), I am grateful I experienced those sartorial growing pains at a younger age, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had a few personal style struggles over the years since. While this year has no doubt brought a lot of hardship, it’s most of all, given us more time to ourselves and despite the hard instances that may bring at times, I have pushed myself to find the good in it when I can. With the pressures of getting quickly dressed to see others off my shoulders, I was able to truly take the time to figure what I actually liked, and reconnect with what hung in my closet. I knew I wasn’t alone in this, because after a simple scroll through TikTok—the app that will prove you can relate to anyone—I found girls who were far younger and older enjoying clothes for no other reason but for the joy that styling and elements of design brought to them. And in an industry that works at such an incredibly fast pace, we often forget that isn’t that what the real purpose of dressing was about? To make us feel good? I know it’s common to believe that “adults” are the ones that know it all, but we all could learn from the care-free attitude we had at a younger age. When my 5-year-old niece pairs her sparkly leggings and unicorn top with even sparklier shoes, she reminds me of that childlike confidence I should have never let go of.
On the journey to discovering myself via my ever-changing aesthetic (more on that later), I’ve learned that personal style isn’t just about the clothes you prefer, but it’s a huge part of the process of finding the core of your identity. This year, since I’ve had more time on my hands to focus on myself, I was able to find that teenage girl who genuinely felt good in her clothes once again. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t share what I’ve learned along the way, so keep on scrolling to read the lessons I’ve been prioritizing to make sure I’m always dressing like me because there’s simply no other way you should be dressing.
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