How Changing My Style Gave Me Confidence

    Have you ever seen someone wearing something and thought “WOW I wish I could pull that off”. Have you ever walked into a store and thought “I am not even cool enough to be in here let alone wear any of this”. A few years ago these were my only thoughts regarding fashion. I knew I had an interest in it but didn’t think I would ever be able to pursue it because I didn’t have a style worth noticing. At that time I was only wearing things that fit in my box. The box I had put myself in. Growing up I was shy, quiet, in the shadows, and insecure. I thought I couldn’t wear anything bold because I wasn’t living boldy. Eventually, I had to change the story. But how? I discovered my passion for fashion when I let my clothes start talking for me. Instead of wearing what felt safe, I let myself wear what felt loud. The louder my clothes got the louder my voice got. I began to believe in myself the way my clothes seemed to. You may think fashion or style does not have an impact on your day to day life but every day when you wake up and choose what to wear that day you are saying something about who you are, not only to those around you but also to yourself.

What are your clothes saying about you?

When I ask this question I am not asking “Do your clothes show how much money you have?” Rather, “Is your outfit giving you enough credit?” It is important to dress in a way that gives what you have to offer a little credit. It is not by accident that business men wear suits to work everyday. They wear suits to be taken seriously in a professional setting. There once was a time in my life that I was dressing as a broke college student going to school in a town with one main road and not a mall in sight. And in fact, that IS who I was. But I wasn’t happy. That girl wasn’t necessarily who I wanted to be forever. So I had to start dressing as the girl I saw myself becoming. I started taking more chances with my wardrobe and all of the sudden I was willing to take more chances with my life. My clothes became my voice. Instead of saying “please don’t notice me” they said “I am Maddy. I have a passion. I have a dream. I am going to do big things.” And whether those around me heard that or not, I did. Dressing boldly gave me the confidence to live more boldly. It allowed me to take chances not only with my wardrobe but with my life. I decided to apply for an internship at New York Fashion Week with no experience whatsoever. The old me would’ve said “I’ll never get this. Why would they want me?”. The new me (aka my new clothes) said “They would be lucky to have me!” I got the internship and had an experience I will never forget. How can you expect anyone to take a chance on you before you are willing to take a chance on yourself? Starting small with something like how you present yourself will only create a domino effect. Respecting yourself and your purpose through what you wear allows others to do the same.

It is not about WHAT you are wearing but HOW you are wearing it that makes a statement.

While it was true that I wouldn’t be a broke college student forever that didn’t change the fact that I could not (and still cannot) afford to wear designer clothing every day. As much as I want to have the style of the Hadid sisters, my bank account hasn’t exactly caught on yet. So this is where I have to get creative. Never be afraid to think outside the box. I find inspiration from recent runway shows, street style blogs, etc., put together a mood board, and then search high and low to find what I am looking for at a price I can afford. I have found some of my most favorite pieces of clothing at this super exclusive boutique you may have heard of called Forever21. People are always SO SHOCKED when they compliment a shirt or pair of shoes I am wearing and find out I bought them at Forever21 for $12.99. The secret is wearing whatever it may be with confidence like it is the only one of it’s kind. Confidence is the accessory that makes any outfit look like a million bucks. Wear your clothes like you chose to put them on this morning, because guess what? You did.

What if I don’t know what my style is?

I would like to pause hear to point out that I have not titled any of these sections “Everyone’s Perfect Outfit” Why? Because it doesn’t exist. I would love to sit hear and tell you what to wear. How to find a the right t-shirt and what jeans are right for your body typle. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter how I like my t-shirts cropped or that I only wear boyfriend jeans. It only matters what feels right for you. And only you know that. There is no right and wrong in style. Sure there will be trends. There will be the popular things to wear. There will be things we wear and look back on 5 years later wondering how on Earth we ever let ourselves leave the house looking like that. But for now, just have FUN. Take a CHANCE. Wear something comfortable. Wear something UNCOMFORTABLE. Wear something that makes you hold your head high and HOPE you run into your ex with his new girlfriend. At the end of the day if you feel good in it and you wear it that way, you will be the best dressed anywhere you go.

Statement VS. Staple

Ok now that we have established that it doesn’t matter what you like to wear as long as you wear it with conviction, I would like to leave you with something that elevated my style upon learning: the difference between statement pieces and staple pieces. Both are crucial to any wardrobe. Statement pieces are really just that, the part of your outfit that refuses to go unnoticed. These pieces are what give you the opportunity to take those chances we were talking about. Wear something that feels daring. Something that feels like only the coolest version of yourself could pull off. You will be surprised what version of yourself shows up to dinner that night. A staple piece on the other hand is really the foundation of any good outfit. It is that perfect black crop top that goes with any jacket. It is your favorite pair of jeans that make your butt look just right. They are the simple classics. Staple pieces are the pieces that you will wear until they have holes in them because you can’t bare to part with them. Now, a statement shoe paired with those perfect jeans, that is wear the magic happens. Finding the perfect balance of statement and staple is the key to any successful outfit.  

Nothing extraordinary ever happens inside the lines. I found confidence when I dared to dress outside of my comfort zone. If I accomplish anything in this lifetime I hope that I help at least one person achieve greatness because they just believed in themselves a little more. And the right pair of shoes may just be the key.