How many times do we look at all of the outfits and hairstyles that we’ve enthusiastically placed on our Pinterest boards and think, “I love that look, but I could never pull it off,” or “Yasssss, so cute, but when would I wear that?” Granted, some of those style inspirations aren’t exactly practical, nor are they cute when they’re not photoshopped to hell and back. But stop and think, what’s holding us back from attempting the viable fashion trends?
Apart from the potential financial burden of living the Carrie Bradshaw life, I think that we often mute ourselves in the fashion world out of fear. Here at Literally, Darling we talk a lot about defying labels and letting your feminist freak-flag fly, but the reality is that we’re just as nervous as you are. For example, the crop top trend, while we adore it, is slightly terrifying, and we are not entirely sure how to wear dark lipstick without looking like a wannabe vampire. It’s far too easy to feel like the trends, splashed across fashion magazines and storefronts, are made for everyone but us. We see them, and think it’s only for people who look a certain way or have the bold personality to pull it off. We too often look at fashion, and are unable to imagine it in our lives.
Frequently, as women, we feel unworthy of wearing the trendy items because we don’t live the life or have the look that models and actresses do. We see a jaw-dropping outfit or stunning makeup, and shy away from the attention it would draw to ourselves. Sometimes it’s because we feel that somehow the rest of the world will see those same flaws we perceive and judge us mercilessly for daring to be fashionable. Nevermind that the clothing, accessories, and makeup are meant for us as everyday consumers, to purchase and use however we like. With limited budgets, we’re also not going to spend money on items that we feel deep down, we will never have the courage or the occasion to wear. Instead we purchase the practical items that we can wear to work, dress up or down depending on the occasion, and can throw in the washing machine instead of hand washing.
Unfortunately, I know that I occasionally turn away from a statement outfit because of the unwanted attention it would draw. Some days I just can’t handle the added stress that being catcalled or groped in a bar would add to my life. And while I’m all for being daring in the fashion world, in the harassment area it’s healthy to respect your internal boundaries. I still hate that those shitty men make me reconsider what I walk out the door in—I just want to be fabulous, dammit.
But when did fashion stop being fun, and instead become something we cautiously tip toe around for fear of failing? I understand that fashion, and the way we feel about ourselves, is frequently influenced by harsh external factors, but playing it safe gets boring after a while. What is the point in following all those fashion bloggers on Tumblr and scrolling through Pinterest for hours if you aren’t actually going to try something?
Yes, it takes time and effort to branch out of the standards that we all revert to on a daily basis. But I’ve also found that the excitement of wearing something a bit daring, trialing a new hair style, or doing something a bit wacky with my eyeliner brings an extra bounce to my step, even on the longest days. Fashion is an expression of your inner self, and I think that discovering and owning your personal style is another component of loving yourself. So yes, maybe you do fake that confidence for a little while, but eventually you’ll feel at ease in something that previously you wouldn’t have dared to even try on in the dressing room.
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