Are you struggling to sharpen your personal style? In spite of copious evergreen “top steps to personal style” guides found in lifestyle and fashion magazine, books, blogs and YouTube episodes?
While cherry picked media has been part of my intentional style revival, I’ve found that the answer to honing personal style is much about self acceptance and less about style guidance!
Courage is needed.
Much like with veganism, one needs the courage to unlearn what you’ve learnt, and step away from society’s expectations. For personal style development, courage is needed to recognise you are not what you wear!
I recently came across a YouTube series called, “The What’s Underneath Project,” a series of docu-style video portraits where people of all ages, races, body types, genders and abilities remove layers of clothing while sharing honest, empowering stories related to style, self-image and identity.
My personal version of this came late last year when I shaved my head. I did it to expose ME; rather than me with straight hair, me with my naturally curly hair, me on good or bad hair days.
I didn’t want to hide behind my hair. Immediately I felt more ME and less about what my hair was ‘saying’ about me.
I felt naked and liberated.
So I began to wonder, could minimising my wardrobe have similar positive results as minimising my hairstyle? Would simplifying what I wore expose my body-conscious vulnerabilities, as my shaved head exposed my laugh lines? Admittedly, an uncomfortable place to start, but potentially powerfully transformative.
There’s little doubt that minimalism helps detangle self from possessions. So I felt sure that by significantly minimising my wardrobe it could offer me the same honed, unencumbered sense of self.
I began to purge.
I’ve found paring down my wardrobe incredibly difficult though. My clothes have helped me project body confidence, when in fact I’ve found that I’ve been using clothing to masterfully hide my insecurities. I still do, but now there’s less energy, angst and focus spent on my clothing. Less morning decision fatigue, a little more body acceptance, far less searching for the elusive ‘body perfect look’.
I’m journeying to a minimised wardrobe where I know what I have and I’m getting to appreciate a simplified aesthetic. Yet, just as with veganism, it’s the daily choices that keep one on track to staying mindful and intentional.
What I know know is that there are no “7 must-have pieces to style perfection” or “5 steps to a stylish you”.
There is no easy fast track, and quite frankly I’m thankful for this journey. My personal style is moving me towards personal growth, more worldly compassion and, slowly but surely, more self acceptance.
I’d love to hear how veganism, wardrobe planning or even minimising has helped you towards intentional living!