My Transition from the Acceptable to the Personal
Recognizing the difference between fashion and style would forever change my relationship with clothing. From that moment on, it clicked. Style is not a matter of black and white, of being in trend or not, it’s ultimately about the personal conversation with what you wear.
While struggling with clothing options, I developed this hateful and almost destructive relationship with clothes and the process of shopping. It was an endless cycle of asking for a larger size from the back, squeezing into it, silently sobbing in the bathroom and shamefully walking over to the adult’s section. Pushing the deplorable fat shaming industry aside, it was an unquestionable point that tasteful garments were expensive, socially acceptable and size appropriate. But how does that translate from the twig legged blonde on every billboard to the not so conventional curvy brown girl? From the model paid to mindlessly wear in-style trends to a mind trying to converse with all the layers of unconsciousness around her?
Including a plus sized section or an ‘artist designed’ collection to the overly mainstream and mass produced brand stores has and will never put that conversation between the mind and clothing to light. Overpricing a pair of underpaid employee sweatshop-made pair of shoes is not the tête-à-tête I was looking for either. And that was how my personal style was born, out of constant irritation with the same $150 outfit on every other person and expectations of following the electric sheep.
So the odd pairings of military boots and gypsy skirts had their phase followed by the still well and alive high waited pants and men’s button up chemises. Feeling different textures like mixing faux-fur hats and velvet shirts put a visual to my need for comfort that specific day. Playing with lengths of pants was going against the rules of very specific socially acceptable dimensions. Wearing bell-bottoms decades after they’ve been shunned out of the picture puts spectators in question of why trends evolve the way they do. Coupling a jalabiya (Unisex Arabic long dress) and combat boots ask why the western has become the norm. I was doing what it takes to break the socially unquestionable and on trend and starting a discussion.
Throwing clothing rules for specific body shapes out of the window was key to starting this slow (and hopefully life long) journey of conversing with the garment. These amusingly light-hearted yet complex conversations between the wearer, the clothes and spectators create a conscious population, one that many writers and artists have strived to call attention to.
Yes, there will always be family or friends or even strangers that feel revolted or unaccepting of your style, but there will always be the fascinated and the inspired. Either way, reactions cause a conversation of awareness that we need to have as a fashion crazed society.
My personal transition from the acceptable to the personal was a long and emotional one. So go ahead and start yours today, throw the idea that your ‘inverted triangle’ body needs specific guidelines to look good and experiment with texture, color, vintage, hemline and the vast world of fabrics and material.