I’m into fashion and trends and I check out a lot of fashion blogs, I literally live on Chictopia, but the problem is I am not very daring in trying out new trends or putting new pieces together to give a more unique look. I like trends but it’s more important for me to have a strong personal style. To be able to actually wear the unique pieces I buy when I go out thrifting.
I live in Tanzania, in East Africa, and in my country the best clothes and the cheapest are from thrift stores and vendors who just sell clothes on the street. It’s so easy to buy new pieces on the street and I have bought a lot of them — floral maxis, flowy skirts, belts, you name it — but I just don’t know how to go about putting them together.
Perhaps I’m scared that people will not approve or think I that I’m weird, but that’s not the case since I think I’ve made myself unique/weird enough for people to expect any more peculiarities from the way I present myself. Maybe I need a new self-esteem? I just wanted your opinion and advice on whatever it is you think I should do to be able to embrace my own sense of style. I admire your style a lot and wish that I could get the nerve to be bolder in my own style.
Following trends are fun but you’re right, it’s important to have strong personal style first and foremost. You need to realize what works for you, what you’re comfortable wearing and which trends to skip. There’s nothing worse than fainting from heat exhaustion in a rabbit gilet vest all because it’s being hailed as an “it” item.
With that being said, it comes as no surprise that personal style and self-esteem go hand-in-hand. The more confident and comfortable you become in your body the easier it is to experiment with ease. However, as young women, we can all agree that building self-esteem is like walking in 5-inch heels – easier said than done.
Nevertheless, it can be accomplished.
The first step is to say f*** it to what other people think (go ahead and say it out loud, you know you want to). Don’t let strangers take up room in your head and never look outside of yourself for approval. If you’re weird, you should embrace it. Listen to any song by an all-girl group from the 90s and you’ll understand this concept.
The second step is to experiment. You would not believe how many outfits I go through in a day until I’m satisfied. So go ahead, play dress-up like you’re 4-years-old. Sure, it’s odd, narcissistic and time-consuming but whatever, we’ve already said f*** it.
If you’re reluctant on wearing a unique ensemble outdoors, try wearing it inside first. Spend the entire day/night modeling your alligator-printed leather shorts indoors.
Answer to no one about these ensembles.
Next, think of how the outfit makes you feel. If you’re positive and confident before leaving the house then you’re allowing your self-esteem and personal style to grow. Try a mantra while you’re out – my personal favorite is, “my runway never looked so clear, ‘bout the hottest bitch in heels right here.” (Yes, it’s a song lyric – I never did say I was original).
Lastly, think of style as being an expression of self. It’s who you are, so don’t let a magazine or a website tell you how to define that. Take your time with fashion; it’s not leaving anytime soon. Just have fun and feel good about yourself. It’s the only thing that matters in the end.
Need advice? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Zoe Badley
Image via We Heart It