How I found my personal style!
I recently got invited to a party. I make it a point to avoid parties, like the plague, but this one, I couldn’t wriggle out of. I went straight from work. I had my change of outfit in the car (a black lace blouse with black high waist pants), but I had this sudden strong urge not to change. One, I was tired, it was a weekday and two, how was a green kurta and a chooridar and jhumkis not a party outfit? I had just gotten it from new favorite store, TARZZ, and suddenly realized, I was most comfortable wearing it into a room full of women clad in western wear. Or any wear, because this was me.
I realized then, that my style might just have evolved with me, as a person right there. A few months back, I would be damned before I walked into a room of highwaist pants and cold shoulders (pun not intended) in my chooridar, but today- it not only didn’t matter, I was perfectly happy doing it. One might argue I was happy because it would afford me even more attention. But in the context of that party, I wouldn’t be sure if it would all be the right kind. So I don’t think I was happy from an “all eyes on me” perspective, but from a “hey this is me” perspective.
The reason that realization makes me happy is that I have long envied people with a strong sense of style. It’s such a complicated thing- personal style- yet comes so easily to some, so hard to describe, even harder to mimic! So how did I get here. A place where I spend the least I have ever spent on clothes but yet, feel comfortable and more importantly, feel like myself in whatever I am wearing.
I suppose if I was to trace it back, one way I got here was to wear the same outfit/s over and over again over a few months.
I was going through a difficult time personally and felt like wearing only 2 outfits from my closet and that’s what I did. This is why I agree with the notion that fashion is more than clothes- it is intertwined deeply with who you are and what you are feeling.
For three months, I wore my most comfortable jeans, my Adidas sneaker and two sweatshirts, turn wise (these days’ I would wear the green shirt and chooridar!)
Back then I had too much to worry about, too much to do. I wanted my clothes to take a backseat and serve me only in terms of being comfortable, safe and yet, not completely devoid of personality. Amelia Diamond has described this state as “neutral in anticipation of some sort of larger change” and that’s exactly what it turned out to be.
I gave myself a break, from letting my clothes define me, and as I was better able to define myself, I was better able to define my sense of style.
I am now at a stage which I would call “I- wear my clothes”. Which is a very simplistic way of describing a sense of style but maybe a little elaboration should help.
Right now, who am I? From a style point of view.
I like my hair in its natural form and color. I also like my face in its natural form and color (most days). I have less body issues than I did ever before. I do not like to over accessorize- I have my two rings, my watch and bag that go with me everywhere. They are my trusted companions. Anything too loud or big, distracts me (and you maybe). My focus has become better in the sense of being stronger but worse in the sense of being easily disturbed, hence I do not like clothes that take away attention from my/my work/my day.
I don’t like clothes that are fussy. That impose. I like clothes that become a little bit like you, as you wear them.
I don’t mind repeating clothes. Infact, I love doing that. It is a reminder of two important things: one that each piece has been picked carefully and lovingly and is not disposable or here for the short haul. It’s just not who I want to be right now. Two, that whereas my clothes are my first introduction to the world, I can wear the same outfit many ways, depending on how I am feeling. And that, how I am feeling does not mean I am a different person today. It means I am allowed to feel differently over the days of my life.
I also like clothes that stand for something- someone’s handiwork, depicting some of my own culture- anything that tells me thought went into them. It’s that sort of love and care that gives me joy, every time I wear that piece of garment.
So I suppose I am in a happy personal style phase. But style phases conincide with the phases of your life- so I know it shall not last forever. It shall fall again, and stumble and grow, as I do.