I live for getting dressed every day.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved all things fashion and beauty. It’s the way I express myself best. Just as an artist may use paint on a canvas; I use clothing, accessories, makeup, and different hairstyles as my chosen medium – and I am the canvas.
Way before the internet was a thing, I drew inspiration from the images I would see in magazines and from runway shows. I’d pull the concepts I liked about an outfit and put them together in a way that reflected my individual style.
Decades later, enter Instagram.
I love Instagram! I have found so many awesome accounts to follow that inspire me with their beautiful images and styles, the same way I would get inspiration from those magazines and runway shows back in the day.
But, I’ve recently come to realize that I have also been following accounts that I allowed to influence me, rather than inspire me. Where I thought I was gaining inspiration from them, I was actually letting their style slowly take over my own. I was losing the pieces of myself that are unique to me and starting to feel almost as if I were invisible.
At first I thought I was just in a style rut, but then it hit me – I was in an individuality rut, like a mini identity crisis. I wasn’t choosing how I wanted to look based off of what I felt like wearing, I was basing it off of what those accounts looked like and how I should look according to them.
This all hit me about a month ago while I was perusing the latest edition of Harper’s Bazaar. There was so much good stuff in there it was like the issue was created just for me. What I saw was clothing and accessories that I was drawn to because they were my style, they were all pieces I would have always been drawn to, and yet the things I saw definitely did not reflect the style I was currently portraying in real life.
That issue brought me back to life, so to speak. It sounds silly, but for someone who’s main form of expression is through their style, it was a very important moment. Losing my style was like losing my voice.
I felt alive with excitement. I couldn’t wait to go through my closet and start putting outfits together – my outfits, not someone else’s. I now have a growing list of different looks tucked away in my brain, patiently waiting for some cooler weather.
From now on it’s inspiration over influence for me.