Having worked in and out of the fashion industry in different ways over the past few years, I’ve come to learn a bit about personal style along the way.
To say that I’ve gone through a number of “style evolutions” over the years seems like an understatement; and in fact, I’m constantly having moments where I look at old photos only to realise I’d never wear the things I did way-back-when today… even if it was only a few months ago.
While I’m aware that I’m prone to a hyperactive sense of style — cutting my hair and revamping my wardrobe every few months — I’ve also learned to appreciate the things that guide and transform my style over time.
Understanding how our style evolves can feel a little bit meta and hard to conceptualise. The first step in finding inspiration, though, is being able to recognise what exactly it is that inspires you.
While I’m aware that everyone is different and will be inspired by different things, I’ve decided to dissect the things that inspire me, at least to show others how they can use what’s around them to inspire and evolve their fashion sense over time as well.
It’s a common saying that you are the product of the five people who are closest to you, and so it must follow that your outfits are also a product of those five peoples’ outfits — right?
Maybe not… but the reasoning follows nonetheless. If you have a friend or two constantly wow-ing you with their outfits, maybe it’s time to start taking note of what they wear, or better yet, how they wear it.
I have one friend in particular who has undoubtedly shaped my sense of fashion and everything it is just be being unabashedly himself. After witnessing my friend wear everything I never thought of, and doing it with confidence, I began to realise that that’s what it’s all about.
Fashion is meant to be fun, so by not taking it too seriously and really, truly wearing whatever you want, your confidence will speak volumes and you’ll never look unfashionable. While I know that this friend was a special visionary in this world, it’s likely that your friends are also influencing the way you dress in ways you might not notice.
Even if it’s just seeing how good a pair of jeans look on a friend that convinces you to buy the same ones, start taking note of how your friends shape your style — and more importantly, let it happen!
Over the past five years, I’ve lived in four different countries and travelled to a number of others along the way. While trends come and go worldwide, certain looks stick around differently in different parts of the world.
For example, living in Scotland has given me an appreciation for thick, cosy sweaters, while the Australian lifestyle has made me linen convert — usually with a bikini underneath. I’ll have Madrid to thank forever for waking me up to the beauty (and comfort) of platform sandals and LA to nod to when it comes to my penchant for vintage denim.
While I’m undeniably lucky to be able and brave enough to fulfil my appetite for adventure, that’s not to say that everyone should be like me and pack up and move across the world just to shake-up their fashion sense.
Rather, I’m trying to get across the importance of fully embracing the places you go to and the people you see there — especially when it’s different from what you take for granted as the norm. While it’s easy to stick in your comfort zone, it’s a lot more fun to embrace new styles you come across as you live your life and have more experiences.
The Things I Consume
You are what you eat, but here I mean consumption of a less literal kind. This is to say that my fashion sense is widely shaped by the things I take in. Be it a novel I’m reading or art exhibit at the museum, I try and take aesthetic cues from the things I like in order to dress in a way that feels true to me.
Odds are, you likely already do this on a subconscious level, but by being more aware of it you can begin to shape your fashion sense with intention.
Seeing an art installation that involves a lot of gold leafing might inspire you to pull out the stops and wear all your gold jewellery at once. Or maybe watching Sex and The City will have you Googling “newspaper dress”. Whatever it is that you like and choose to fill your life with, be it music, art, or books can have an impact on the way you dress — and recognising it will only make it even better.
With that being said, the most important part of the process is to trust yourself no matter what it is that gets your creative juices flowing, or inspires you buy something you wouldn’t usually — go for it. You’ll never regret trying something new, and in the grand scheme of things, your fashion sense is only important insofar as it makes you feel. Like anything else, do what feels good and don’t let anyone or anything tell you that your sense of style should be other than it is.