In my opinion, when it comes to fashion & personal style, everyone has their own natural inclinations. For me, I feel completely at home shopping in, say, Free People. I walk in feeling excited because I’m loving what I’m seeing and at ease because I feel so naturally inclined to the items. However, if I simply pop over to J. Crew, I feel completely out of my element. Oxfords? Stripes? Tailored clothes? What the heck am I supposed to do with this stuff? I feel disappointed because I’m loving nothing and uncomfortable because I’m not naturally inclined to anything.
Now, I know there are people out there who can seamlessly pull off the nautical, tailored prepster on Tuesday and the boho-chic flower child on Wednesday. I am not one of those people. Here’s a little story to prove my point: Just recently, I decided to switch things up style-wise and go out in tight jeans with boots, a low-cut top, and a leather jacket. My husband loved it (obviously haha), but I felt so uncomfortable that I burst into tears on the car-ride there. I felt like I was in someone else’s skin; it felt unnatural and my nervous system responded as such.
All that being said, I don’t think that people have to be pegged in to their one personal style. My style has gone through slight alterations over the years and seasons and trends. But most importantly, these shifts felt organic and natural to that time in my life. (Catching a theme yet?)
Then, like never before, age becomes a factor. Now, I bet there are people out there laughing their heads off, saying “You’re 22! There are no limits to what you can wear!” But, I say, “Au contraire! I am feeling a natural inclination towards maturing my style, so I am going to follow these natural instincts!”
Now, bear with me…it’s hard to articulate this change because it is so so slight. Maybe a few examples with help…
Back in high school, I really liked wearing short anime-style skirts with thigh high stockings, loose sweaters, bows in my hair, the works. Well, that might be cute sexy on a 16 year old but that’s just porny sexy on my now 22 year old self. So instead, I chose something like this:
The skirt is longer, the top is sweet and well put together, and the hair is simple; the overall look is still fun and cute but it’s less costumey and, well, less young. Subtle but making sense?
Next, I used to love wearing short, ultra-feminine, bright floral sundresses. Now, there’s nothing wrong with continuing to wear these, but I’m feeling naturally inclined to lengthen hemlines slightly, to choose more subtle florals, and, most importantly, to transition from uber sweet and innocent to what Catherine from the Bachelor calls, “grown sexy.” LOL So, I followed those instincts and chose this instead:
Finally, as I’m fully coming into my twenties, I’m very slowly becoming more comfortable showing my curves. In the past, I would never have worn a dress that hugged my body and never ever one that hugged my chest!! But, going with the “grown sexy” transition, I’m a little more organically inclined to something that showcases my curves. Here goes:
I still chose a dress that is a little boho, a little 70’s, and a little hippie-dippy because that’s what I naturally enjoy wearing but it’s not entirely shapeless.
All in all, my advice is listen to the natural inclinations of your body and mind. They really will tell you if it’s time for a style change, if you’re feeling out of your element in that outfit, or if it’s time to every so slightly mature your personal style. But always remember to retain your delightful quirks that make you YOU!
xoxo chloe ella