The Way We Dress: An analysis of “Style”

 

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By: Ally Cichon


Have you grown tired of that snarky four letter word being thrown around carelessly? No, not love you hopeless romantic (P.S. stop using my Netflix to binge watch Love Actually for the sixth time, thanks) I’m talking about style. And, you shouldn’t be. What I’m talking about is the crispness of a fuchsia lipstick plastered on a pair of lips, I’m talking about the gutless feeling of wearing a leotard and having it sling to your body, about the feeling and buttery smoothness of a cocoa colored tote bag pressed against your skin. Its right to say style is arbitrary; it’s an exceptionally large part of a world that is continuously blossoming and changing and full of the most severely different people, choices and tastes.

Perhaps the beauty of style comes not in its necessity but in its subjectiveness. All of us (excluding those happy nudist colonies) partake in the act of clothing our backs, but meanwhile only a few of us choose to simmer into style. I know what you may be thinking. However, style, as what we’ve come to perceive, is not a world full of clueless dim witted tiny human bodies clacking around. It’s not about owning the most expensive dress or wearing the latest trend. It’s not about whether you’re wealthy enough or
skinny enough. Style isn’t limited to the thin Parisian girl you see on a street style blog. Style is about want, about perception, about knowing your body and your taste and absolutely rocking the fuck out of that. It is about using your clothes and makeup to fully express who you are.

Most of all, style is confidence. Growing up the closest thing to fashionable I owned was a pair of gaucho pants my mom bought me on clearance at a Sears, and boy did I love those horrendous things. My own wardrobe was littered with dull and oversized hand-me-downs from my sister; I wasn’t exactly wearing the latest thing from baby gap or baby Nordstrom. I flaunted my boring skirts and gray t shirts as girls from my grade cackled in their Hollister t shirts and cut up jeans. I envied them; I tried so hard to smile through my teeth wearing my clothes. I was 11 and there was already an established style I couldn’t wholly grasp, nor afford. But then I watched my mom on day she picked me up from school. She was wearing a plain t-shirt and jeans, nothing special, no Givenchy gown or crystals Kate Middleton would don. I watched her smile, her hair up in a ponytail, her brown eyes wincing with laugh lines, her heart melting. She had so much assurance of herself, so much happiness, a confidence that glared through her soul. Style. My mom had it in her jeans and t shirt. And so did I.

From that day on I started to acknowledge what style meant to me-about being bold and daring, but being comfortable and exactly who you are. It was about never settling, never letting your doubts get in the way. Style is about using your clothes and your body to make yourself feel the absolute best, and vice versa, using your confidence to create style. In high school I wore I wanted, from maxi dresses and makeup to sweat pants. All because that made me feel great. Now, as a nearing twenty-year-old who’s style should most likely figure itself out, I am confident enough to wear that bright pink lip. Confident enough to wear a leotard, leather tote, overalls, that ugly thing you saw in the Goodwill window you swore your grandma donated. Even sweat pants. Because style is arbitrary. Style is voice and style is confidence.

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For more Ally, follow her on Twitter: @allycic

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