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Fashion Freedom: Developing Your Personal Style with Confidence

By: Nancy Jin

Girl on the street of New York

In a world saturated with fashion trends and style influencers, it's easy to get lost in the crowd. However, true style isn't about following the latest fads; it's about expressing yourself authentically. Developing your personal style is a journey of self-discovery and confidence-building. Here's how you can cultivate your unique fashion identity, own your look, and dress with confidence.

Maybe it’s the male gaze, maybe it’s to fit in, maybe it’s to appear “trendy” or “cool” to your classmates and peers. Whatever you do, however you dress, do it for you! When you dress for others, you are inherently seeking external validation. If you seek validation outside of yourself, your confidence will fall short and you will continuously compare yourself to others. As we know, comparison is the thief of joy. While it's natural to consider others' opinions, especially in certain social or professional settings, it's important to prioritize your own comfort, confidence, and self-expression in your fashion choices. Next time you put on your outfit for the day, ask yourself, “am I wearing this for others or myself?”

As fast fashion is becoming more stabilized, it’s important to shop with intention. Buying into

trends typically results in:

●  A dip in your bank account as you continuously try to keep up with the “latest”

●  Lower quality pieces since they are mass produced and manufactured

●  Being thrown away after a couple uses because the pieces are no longer “in”

As trends fade, so do the clothes/shoes/accessories that were considered hip. Invest in timeless pieces that reflect your personal style and can be mixed and matched to create different looks. Consider the quality, fit, and versatility of each item before making a purchase.

You know that gorgeous vintage sweater or coat in your grandmother or mothers closet? The ones that last for years or even generations because of how high the quality is? Those are examples of one type of timeless piece. Another type of timeless pieces are the everyday blazers, jeans, white tee, and sneakers we choose. The beauty of these types of pieces are they are so versatile and you can dress them up or down, mix and match with different patterns, silhouettes, and accessories. For example: choosing a high quality blazer which you can wear to date nights, the office, or running errands. Investing in a more quality piece knowing the shape and design will uphold without the seams coming undone, or a button falling off allows you to walk with confidence.

My biggest tip for anyone wanting to feel confident in themselves or outfit is make sure you feel comfortable! I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve worn my leather boots or those to-die-for-heels I could barely walk in because they looked good but I was crying on the inside with each step. If you are physically uncomfortable, it will show in the way you walk, your posture, and the way you move.

Confident girls walk with their heads held high, their shoulders upright, and a charismatic “I don't care what you think about me” essence. You know those girls, the ones that are so beautiful and radiant and confident. The ones that are so present in the moment laughing with their friends or speaking with a stranger. When you're not preoccupied with discomfort, you can fully focus on the present moment. This can be particularly important in social or professional settings where confidence is key. If you’re hunched over, feet are blistering and bleeding and your eyebrows are permanently scrunched for the night because you’re wincing in pain, your confidence won’t necessarily be radiating throughout the room. When you feel good in what you're wearing, it can boost your self-esteem and confidence.

Remember, nobody owns the qualities or traits that you own. Your uniqueness, your skin, your hair, your freckles, your height, your body. Own yourself, and be yourself. You deserve to be that girl radiating confidence when she steps into each room. You ARE that girl. Remember, style is subjective, so what matters most is how you feel in your clothes. Your personal style is what sets you apart from others. Embrace your individuality and don't be afraid to stand out.

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