By Sylvia Jiang
What is fashion? Are you instantly a “fashionista” when you wear “what’s in” or the popular trends? What about style? I believe that fashion fades, but style stays. Style is creative, and I love creativity. Style is knowing who you are. Style is making you, yourself, a personal brand.
Not everyone develops a style the same time they begin wearing clothes. Some discover their style when they’re 10 years old, and others, when they’re in college. Not everything is a competition, so take things at your own pace. Everything takes time. Time even takes time.
For me, I didn’t pay much attention to apparel until I was in high school. I then started using clothes as a form of expression—to nonverbally communicate to people who I am and what I like through what I wore. Shopping online became a regular interest; even online window shopping—browsing through the items available and seeing if anything matched my personality or caught my eye. In high school, I was showered with compliments for what I wore and my sense of style. “That is SO Sylvia!” some would comment at the sight of funny graphic tees or smiley, cheery, colorful tops.
First impressions are extremely important, and it is common for people to be judged based on their choice of clothing. For this reason, my personal style, I feel changes depending on my mood and where I have to be. On date night, I might be rocking the lacey, feminine look with five inch heels. Then the next, I might be in a hoodie, a pair of leggings, and some running shoes ready for a marathon. I might be in obnoxiously hot pink pants one minute, and wear black on black the next minute. The amount and types of articles of clothing are endless, and that is what makes it so expressive and fun. We’re the boss. Our body is our canvas.
My average day-to-day style is pretty casual with an edge. I adore floral print, tribal patterns, slogan tees, skinny jeans, color block tops, cardigans (sheer and knitted), boots (ankle, riding, heeled), and pointed toe flats/heels. Personally, I like to keep my style comfortable, classy, and chic. I enjoy outfits that are seemingly effortless yet possess a pinch of spice. An outfit that shows that I’m professional but laid-back, bold but easy-going, active yet relaxed, or modern with a hint of vintage, is what I aim for.
I’m currently working on reevaluating my closet and stocking up on the basics: from tanks to solid colored v-necks and sweaters to oversized shirts to a well-fitted blazer to dress pants to pencil skirts to business casual wear to soft pajama/loungewear pants. This means not having to borrow your sister’s white shirt because you forgot to bring your only one back for vacation, or because messy eating left unwanted stains. The neutral colors help build the core of my style.
Gone are the days when your parents would take you shopping at brand name stores because they were everywhere and popular. To me, expensive does not mean better nor does it mean more fashionable. In fact, I enjoy thrift shops immensely. Cost per wear is a big deal to me. Nevertheless, quality is imperative as well. Past me indulged in purchasing clothing at not-so-good prices, especially in proportion to their shrinking nature. However, other pieces are still alive and kicking after years of wear, and those are the clothes I am searching for today. I prefer to buy a few quality articles of clothing that will survive multiple washes at reasonable prices.
Generally, I am a lover of quirky, fun rings, socks, sunglasses, and scarves. This is the very essence of confidence. You can be the best dressed person standing in a room of 100, but a lack of confidence in yourself will steer you in the wrong direction. When you have a sense of style, you have a sense of yourself as an individual—your likes, interests, boundaries, and personality. I buy my clothes with confidence and excitement, and receive compliments because I weave my character into them. Having a sense of style is being who you are rather than changing who you are. Feeling good in what you wear effectively makes you look good. After all, the prettiest, sexiest, and best thing you could wear is a smile that stems from the bottom of your heart. Self discovery leads to style which then leads you to a personal self-brand. Who are you, and what is your style?
Find your fashion style
By Sylvia Jiang