Last Tuesday, while on our way to a very early start to the weekend, my friend Ivanna and I had a troubling question in our minds. She introduced the topic with a short anecdote of her getting ready: “I looked myself in the mirror and I realized I don’t have a style. Is that weird?” I said: “I mean, how did you come up with that? Do you really think you have no personal style?” To what she responded: “No. I wear too many trends, too many styles. One day I want to be hippie and then I want to look like Audrey!” At this point, I thought she was crazy: “How can you say that? I know what your personal style is. It’s…” I really didn’t know what her personal style mantra or description would be. This was a real identity crisis.
This got me thinking. In reality, fashion is supposed to be about turning into different characters. If this is true, then how can one decide her style? Is there a secret recipe for doing so? How does personality influences one’s personal style? Different questions emerge in the process of analyzing this real life trouble of sartorial identity.
Figuring out a personal style should be a process of trial and error. It must go hand in hand with getting to know oneself. The perfect timing for this stylish investigation should be between high school and college because, as we all know, this is the time to get to know thyself. In figuring out one’s personal style, it’s important fail, to look awful once in a while, to look at pictures and say: “What was I thinking?” This is the real evidence of style evolution.
As with everything in life, figuring out a personal style must be a process of evolution. Your personal style in high school should never be the same style you carry in your 30s. It must all evolve as you grow older. With each additional year, with every failure, you are one step closer to knowing your personal aesthetic.
At one point last Tuesday night, right after she evoked her sartorial fear to me, Ivanna came back from the bathroom with a conclusion: “I figured, if I don’t know myself, how can I know my personal style?” And so we all agreed, that at this moment of self-discovery and ever-changing endeavors, we must accept one truth: we will make mistakes (in life and style), and that is OK.
My style journey since 2008:
2009: At DVF shop in Madrid, Spain wearing Zara.
2010: At my old apartment during a Christmas party wearing Zara (once again!)
2011: At Teen Vogue’s Fashion University in New York City wearing Urban Outfitters dress, Zara jacket.
2012: High school graduation wearing Zara, accompanied by my mother
2013: shoot for That’s so French (Style Identity) wearing Gap shirt, Zara skirt and Converse.