Personal style + Identity
If you think this is a post about fashion… You’re wrong.
What I am about to share with you, I learned about 4 years ago. In my early twenties I was a chameleon when it came to my personal style. When going uptown I dressed preppy – head to toe in Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines. When downtown I’d wear dirty converse sneakers and beanies, always beanies.
When I went overseas during my one year long mission trip I was not privy to a large closet of clothing. I had to wear whatever was in my backpack – and it had to be easy to clean and durable. To be honest, I thought this was just a practicality of my trip. Little did I know this was a teaching lesson about my identity.
When I came back to NYC in 2011 I had to define what my personal style was. What clothing did I like to wear? Again, I thought this was just part of the process of acclimating back into normal society. Little did I know that much of my identity came from fitting in, the approval of others, and the “value and worth” attributed to wearing certain designer items.
Over the last few years, I have noticed a significant correlation between personal style and Identity. Most of the people that I mentor that walk through discovering their identity represent this change through their choice of clothing – how they want to represent themselves. I’ve also realized that someone that changes their “style” dependent on their surroundings and who they are hanging out with – has a deeper heart issue that needs to be discussed.
Obviously there are occasions and circumstances that you need to dress differently. If you’re style consists of jeans and t-shirt normally, you most likely will need to dress up a bit for a wedding.
So, what’s the point? Well, to be honest – discovering my own style and not being at the whim of others opinions was a completely liberating process. I told my friend Janelle last week that I love how much she loves silver, jewels and hot pink. I mean the girl LOVES hot pink and wears it often. I love that she is comfortable with herself to wear the things that SHE likes and not swayed by the opinions of others.
A few questions that may help you figure out your style + more about your identity:
1. If you could only have 20 items in your closet, what would they be?
2. What do you wear that makes you feel the most you?
3. Does your style get a 180 degree makeover every few months?
4. Are you dressing exactly like everyone you hang out with?
5. Where do you find your value and worth?
I think these questions will help you discover a little bit more about yourself. Please do not be mistaken – this is not about materialism. We all need to wear clothing – and 50% of the things I own are under $40. This is about helping you discover more about you. What things YOU like.
How would you describe your personal style?