"Fashion is a playground up until a certain age, but then you have to find your own signature and your own style." Nicolas Ghesquiere
When I was much younger, I followed magazine trends, and played around with every kind of style. I was adventurous and even had an entire year in New York wearing only black and white. However, I always felt a bit blind when I shopped in stores. It was a time in my life that I was easily manipulated by what others would tell me I should wear or buy and somehow I felt a bit lost. My voice only knew whether I liked an outfit or If I didn't. That was pretty much the extent of my non-existent fashion voice. This doesn't mean I wasn't "fashionable". In fact, I was always on trend, and by society terms, quite the fashionista. The big secret is, being fashionable is not so difficult. You can fake it quite easily by copying trends from magazines, runways, or other fashionable people. Simply "wearing" great fashion, is not the same as "being" great fashion. When you and fashion become one, this is when you have unveiled your true fashion voice.
5 Ways to Achieving Your Fashion Voice
1.) Get rid of Stereo-typing yourself.
People have this misconception that finding your "signature style" is somehow restricting. They often place limiting categories on themselves or label themselves as a mom, businesswoman, prep, goth, girly girl, jock, or whatever else and then force themselves in a "look" that society has deemed appropriate. The truth is, finding your signature style should be liberating not suffocating. Just as life has a trillion variations in color pigments, your style, can have a multitude of variation as well.
2.) Dress in whatever excites you.
The key is to watch out for what excites you from within. Do not follow trends or popularity. How you dress should have nothing to do with how others accept you. Dress by what excites you. It doesn't have to be strictly fashion, anything in life that gets your blood flowing take a mental note of it. This is the first step. You will slowly start to notice patterns and recognize certain categorizes or features that speak to you. For me, I love art, and the attention to details. I love vintage clothing simply because the craftsmanship is exquisite and there is always some kind of tiny embellishment, embroidery, or beaded design.
I also love nature, and the colors represented by the seasons. When I walk through autumn leaves, the colors and textures speak to me, and dressing within that color palette is something that makes me feel alive and connected to Nature itself.
3.) Distinguish what you dislike.
Observe fashion styles, and trends, you detest. For me, I dislike the "Stepford Wives" look."Stepford Wives" is basically a robotic barbie look with creepy emotionless, botox injected smiles. The entire look is extremely fake, and very popular in the region I live. I constantly edit my look to prevent myself from going in that direction.
Perfection is overrated, and in my opinion the ugliest one of all.
4.) Shop Alone
Believe it or not, shopping with friends is probably the most challenging way to find your fashion voice. When you shop with a buddy, their opinions and taste affect your opinions whether you know it or not. You are constantly talking with them and processing your own thoughts take a back seat.
When I shop alone, it is a date with my thoughts, and discovering myself. You can't imagine countless times I have gone shopping with friends who have forbid me to buy certain items. Sometimes fighting for what you wear, is just as important as fighting to be yourself.
5.) Observe People You Admire and Figure out Why
Observe people that you admire or fascinate you.
This does not mean to "copy" their style, but simply use it as a tool to uncover your taste and be inspired. Ask yourself what you like about their fashion choices, figure out what is drawing you in. Take what you like from various people and start customizing your individual style.
Throughout the years, unveiling my fashion voice, was also a long process of discovering myself. With all the technological noise we surround ourselves in, our voice can easily get lost.
Fashion is a way of life, make it as you see it.