This is a response to "Ways to Follow Clothing Trends in 2021.”
I would like to preface this article by saying that I don’t think I’ve ever been known for my style, so take that as you will. Throughout middle school and high school, I played cross country and soccer, leading me to stick with athleisure most days. In high school, I worked in a casual restaurant that served soup so I wasn’t dressing to impress there either. At times I tried to keep up with the trends but most of the time I found that I was always late to them.
Throughout my time in college, especially studying abroad, I found that I loved jeans, baggy sweaters, my Air Force 1’s that I have worn down to the point it’s crazy, small rings, and dresses. Sure, these items could be considered trendy or timeless and not fit a specific style. But I’ve found that these are the clothes that I feel most confident and like myself in.
Standards have been set for centuries regarding expectations surrounding dress, especially for women. From a young age, girls are introduced to a culture where they are expected to dress to impress… specifically the men around them. But do we really need to dress to impress? Shouldn’t those around us love us for us rather than the clothes we are wearing? I remember feeling relieved when I had a conversation with my boyfriend and he explained that he would love me regardless of what I wear (the only exception being the ill-fitting cat eye glasses I wore in high school but that’s beside the point). Let’s create a culture that celebrates expression rather than forces unrealistic expectations.
Dressing for you and not for others is easier said than done. Everyone feels the desire for belonging and to fit in with the people around them. For example, at Miami University, I see a lot of girls in sororities wearing similar outfits throughout the day. At first, I felt pressured to wear the same, their matching sets, bike shorts, crop tops, and more. No shade to them, everyone has their own style that they like and feel confident in. But after ordering and returning items multiple times due to feeling uncomfortable in them, I realized that this wasn’t my style.
During my time abroad, we were encouraged not to wear athletic clothing to fit in with the European culture. I don’t know how well we ended up fitting in, especially when we were speaking English most of the time, but nonetheless. While updating my wardrobe for my four months abroad, I found that more modest, loose clothing was what I felt most comfortable and confident in. Exploring different styles is important, but finding clothes that you feel most comfortable and confident in is even more significant.
I have a lot more to learn about fashion and I look forward to exploring different styles in the future, but for now, I’m content in knowing what I’m comfortable in. I would encourage you to dress for yourself and not for anyone else. Wear what you feel most confident in because you will truly shine in those items. Express yourself in your style choices and own them wholeheartedly and unapologetically! You deserve to feel good about yourself and your style, so dress for yourself and no one else.