Hipster. Preppy. Classic. Vintage. Modest. Trendy. European. Urban. Modern. Grunge.
The fashion industry's accessibility has experienced exponential growth thanks to new media. A woman's style was once limited to what she could afford to make, or have made for her. Then the wonders of "off the rack" clothing taught women exactly what the numbers 2, 4, 6, and 16 could really mean to them. Nowadays, the Internet presents consumers with nearly anything they could wish to buy regardless of location.
Sites like Tumblr, Pinterest, and even Facebook can be used to connect shoppers with a style they personally relate to. Gone are the days where only the Northern elite can experiment with preppy fashion, and only the California surfers can enjoy laid back cut-offs.
Because our generation is so acclimated to seeing a mixture of styles, what I just said probably sounds like the lame stereotyping it is. Our job, as the up and coming adults that we are, is to sift through the available excess and find ourselves somewhere between advanced search results, and checkout.
Personal style, if nothing else, should make you feel amazing; it's not just about looking good. Style is a textile representation of who we are. When trying something on for the first time, you should almost feel as if you've found another little side of yourself.
Let's take heels for examples. My friend Jordan will get a new pair in the mail, and won't hesitate for a second to send a Snapchat blast to everyone on her list. I, on the other hand, feel like a newborn calf in high-heels and will usually end up barefoot (or in backup flats) on any given Saturday night. While I like how they aesthetically look with certain outfits, heels just don't make me feel how they make Jordan feel. That's one of the reasons I like incorporating leather riding boots and flats into my personal style.
I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of fit. Clothes should fit exactly how you want them to, but also as how the designer intended for them to fit. At five feet and two inches, I'm petite. However, I'm also a Puerto Rican athlete that has some assets to deal with in regards to pants.
I have this pair of jeans that: fit my quads perfectly, gape at the waist, look like circus tent on my calves, and are three inches too long. I'm sure that the sight of me in them would horrify the person that drew up this denim creation; not to mention I hate how they fit.
I love big business in fashion and what it's done for accessibility, but sometimes you have to -- literally -- take matters into your own hands. Buy a sewing kit! Watch some videos (or read those ancient artifacts called books) on hemming jeans or taking in a dress. If it's for an important occasion, find a tailor in your area and invest in local business. Also, ladies, please get fitted for a bra. It's life changing. Even if you choose to occasionally hang free, it's good to know that your perfect bra will always be there to pick up the slack when duty calls.
Curating your personal style also shouldn't feel stagnant. If you continue to extract fashion that makes you feel good, your clothes will reflect any changes within yourself. In this pursuit of what speaks to us right at this very moment, it's important to realize what will always speak to us. This becomes your signature collection.
These are the clothes that you wear to catch up over coffee with an old friend, and after a quick hug she says, "Oh my goodness you look great! You haven't changed a bit." These are the leather jackets you stole from your mom's '80s box, and the shoes you keep buying in the same color when the soles wear out.
For me, it's my double-hearted Tiffany and Co. necklace with their signature blue enamel that I wear daily. It goes with everything, and gives me something to play with when I'm anxious. When I get complimented on my necklace it feels better than getting complimented on a cocktail dress at a party, or even a new scarf. For once people aren't noticing change or a different side of me. They're acknowledging what was always there and always will be.