Hello readers! Happy Monday! I hope you had an amazing weekend and that your week is off to a great start! Before I launch into this week's post, I want to thank you all.
Last week as I was sitting at my computer typing about being single and how the experience has positively transformed me, I knew I needed to get the thoughts off of my chest, but I didn't know if I would actually be able to hit the "Publish Post" button. In the end I decided that there wasn't any point in hiding something that is a large part of who I am so I hit it. I didn't know if anyone would read it, and I certainly didn't know what the reaction would be like. The whole next day I received tons of texts, comments on my social media posts, messages, and had amazing conversations in person. All of these were filled with support, appreciation, and some people were even willing to share with me that they have been/are in a similar situation. It is amazing to know that my words can positively impact someone else's life and that I have no reason to fear being completely honest and utterly vulnerable when I'm writing. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!
The topic of this week's blog post was recommended to me by a friend in my sorority. When I read her idea, I immediately knew that I wanted to write about it. This week's Mondays with Madison is all about being confident in your personal style.
I wholeheartedly believe that style is an expression of yourself and your personality. I love the way that my friend phrased the topic as "feeling confident in your style" because I wasn't able to feel confident in my style until I was confident in myself. As I have previously mentioned, my true turning point in self-confidence occurred once I decided to remain on my high school's dance team. I went from feeling like I had to be someone other than myself in order to be accepted to realizing that I could have the largest impact by being completely myself. It was after this that I first truly remember being pleased with the person I saw in the mirror.
Committing to being confident in my true self allowed me to start to examine the parts of my life that this would bleed into. One being my style. I started the process of trying to define what exactly my style is. I was always the person that enjoyed dressing up for no occasion at all. I even wore heels to school some days because they went perfectly with my outfit and were fun (my friends never liked that I was EVEN taller than them). I realized that my style could best be described as preppy/classy.
Once I found MY style I felt as though simply picking out an outfit and rocking it all day was expressing myself. My outfits exemplify characteristics of my personality. I use fashion to exemplify my devotion, my creativity, my poise, my put-together nature, and more.
Just as your personality is absolutely unique, your style is completely individual, and thus you deserve to be known and seen.
Although finding your style may take some time and experimentation, this discovery is worthwhile. In the end, your fashion will only add to you being comfortable in your own skin. That is one distinction that is necessary, your style should never make you feel uncomfortable or "out-there". Your style will make you feel comfortable and utterly yourself.
When it comes to feeling confident in your style on campus, sometimes it can be hard to express your style and yourself in the same way you were previously able to. I have found that with the homework load, the late nights, and the generally busy days, sometimes it is difficult to muster up the motivation to dress as nicely as I used to love to do. Sometimes it is just to much to pull together a good looking ensemble. I have fallen more in love with a good leggings, shirt/sweatshirt, and baseball cap outfit. In choosing this outfit, there are times when I feel like I let myself and my interest in fashion down. I love fashion and I have found my style and still there are days when I'm just not up to it.
No matter how confident you are in your style, there are days when you deserve to have a break! College requires a practical outfit and time in the morning can be limited (when you accidentally fall back asleep after your alarm goes off) so your usual outfits may not apply. Upon learning this, I have found ways to integrate my preppy style into more casual outfits. It is not impossible to look cute and remain comfortable! By being creative and layering elements I am able to create an outfit with a totally different feel.
Despite this struggle, I still push myself to put in the effort and dress up or at least dress nicely on random days when I have the time and I'm not absolutely dead. Find little reasons to dress up. For example, today I volunteered at an elementary school (which I do weekly) and so I decided to dress a little nicer. Although it sounds silly, sometimes I dress more nicely when I know I am going to be seeing someone I like during the day. These little things give me the incentive that I sometimes need. Basically, I still love fashion and the opportunity it gives me to be creative and express myself and my personality so I try to make it a priority every once and a while.
There are few places like a college campus where you have the opportunity to see so many different styles and connect with people of all different fashion preferences. The diverse population leads to so many unique styles! In college there is an increased feeling of freedom to be yourself and express yourself as such. So take full advantage of this opportunity. Explore who you are and what that means about your style. Discover what your signature elements are (for me these are my Kate Spade watch and my small monogram necklace), examine and appreciate other people who are expressing themselves through fashion, and don't be afraid to let your style adjust over time. Once you have found your style, don't be afraid to express it to the fullest extent.