Fashion notes: Discard your roots and take style risks
There’s a little watering-can-shaped planter that sits on my kitchen counter, containing a small cactus. I bought it from Typo in Dubai, and it has this quote stamped onto it: “Grow where you are planted.” These words really resonate with me – the quote tops my list of inspirational life advice.
But I don’t think it should be applied to the way we dress and express ourselves through clothing. Fashion is an ever-changing, ever-evolving adventure, and often we feel we have to remain loyal to a particular style or mode of dressing. Whether it’s grunge, minimalist, playful or preppy, it’s common to get into a rut – if our personal style is self-defined as minimalist, we sometimes avoid wearing colours or loud prints, out of fear of betraying a certain image.
This type of thinking – and dressing – can get boring very quickly. Today’s fashion industry is such a diverse melting pot – a coming together of trends, textiles and accessories from all over the world, inspired by a multitude of different eras. We should feel free to explore them, weaving in and out of different fabrics, prints and textures as we see fit.
Critics may call us chameleons of sorts, dressing to reflect the trends of the moments as they become popular, thus forsaking our own signature styles. I disagree. Those who take fashion so seriously, imposing rules and regulations, and essentially asserting that people should be put into a box of appropriate clothing and accessories to suit their particular styles, dishonour everything the industry stands for. It’s supposed to be fun, effervescent and in constant change.
It’s perfectly OK to have a wardrobe that comprises both studded leathers and pink florals. Moreover, it’s all right to take inspiration from multiple runway trends each season – I actively encourage it. This doesn’t require repeated trips to the mall. A great number of trends can be portrayed with the clothes already hanging in your wardrobe.
My favourite would have to be the effortlessly layered trend that has recently emerged. Collared shirts and blouses, worn underneath strappy slip dresses, can look astonishingly beautiful. Simply slip on a summer dress with spaghetti straps over a crisp white shirt, or turtleneck if you’re taking the trend into winter.
Other runway trends of late splashed all over social media that aren’t necessarily reflected much in the wardrobes of everyday folk include ultra-wide-legged jeans, billowy bell-sleeved blouses, lace-up necklines, denim skirts, flared culottes, and tunics over-trousers. If you’ve seen these outfits on the feeds of your favourite fashion bloggers on Instagram, but aren’t so confident in pulling them off yourself, drop the apprehension and just give them a try. Once you get a taste of uninhibited styling, I’m pretty confident you will be hooked. If you’re shy about how you will be perceived by your peers, try embarking on this new fashion journey while on holiday to test the waters before diving in headfirst.
There’s something about this free-spirit notion of fashion that you may find to be hippy-esque, and in a way, it sure is. Orthodox perceptions of the fashion industry are thrown out the door, for more fun-loving, easy-going perceptions of style.
So put on some pompom earrings, break down some barriers and take some risks. Take yourself out of your comfort zone, and let your clothes reflect your personality in a manner that’s more carefree than usual.