The driving force behind trends in fashion is the desire to appear better or different, but in our attempts to do that, we have all ended up looking the same. Without intention, we adhere to a subconscious uniform: we religiously follow trends and seasons, even if they do not suit or even make sense – just look at the fashions from the 80s. As well as trends, we own and wear jeans, trainers, business wear. We all appear alike, even if we do not intend to do so. We are all guilty of this, myself included. We dress to blend in, not stand out; we are collectivists, not individualists when it comes to fashion. This is not helped by our local high streets.
When designers create their garments, they take inspiration from the world around them: music, culture, past events, natural phenomena – virtually anything. But then their garments are recreated by high street clothing companies who alter them to make them appealing to the mass market. During this trickle down process, the garments become standardised, but the public buy them in a desire to emulate their runway role models.
We are told that we should just be ourselves and that our true self is us at our best. So why do we forget that when it comes to fashion? In the words of American fashion designer and business-woman Rachel Zoe: “style is a way to say who you are without having to speak”, so how can we do that in a commercial world where clothes all look the same, no matter the shop or the price? It is now possible to find an identical dress in Primark for £20 less than what it costs in Topshop. As a consequence, we all dress the same, and this is more than everyone having that one basic white cami. But if shops all sell the same clothes, then is it even possible anymore to express one’s individualism through fashion? Are we all destined to strive to look like the models that we see in the graphics in our favourite high street stores? I am not going to say that it is easy, but I would argue that it is always possible to express yourself through style, it is just about being a little clever about it.
The easiest way to individualise your outfit is how you wear it. When you see someone else wearing the same piece of clothing and think that it looks so much better on them than on you? That can be easily changed: buy clothes that make you feel good and clothes that suit your body shape and style. Do not be drawn into the trap of buying clothes just because; even if everyone else has an Adidas hoodie, you do not need one too. If you do not know what looks good on you, go shopping with a friend who will be brutally honest with you.
Another way to find your style is to book a Personal Shopping appointment. These people know what they are talking about and will help you find clothes that not only fit your body but also your budget. Topshop offer a Personal Shopping service where they will make you feel like a princess, with no pressure to buy anything at the end of the appointment.
Another money saving option is the classic charity shop where it is possible to find amazing gems for low prices that no one else will own. If you love a label, you can find some big brands for a fraction of the price and charity shops are great places to find accessories that can really make your outfit your own.
Or if you really want to make your outfit your own, literally make your own outfit! Find prints and patterns that suit your shape and colouring and get on that sewing machine! Sewing shops will always have easy-to-follow patterns for absolute beginners or more complicated ones for the more advanced sewers out there.
Individualism in fashion in today’s commercial, consumer-driven world is tricky, but it can be achieved with just a little desire to stand out from the crowd; in the famous words of Dr Seuss: “Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?”
[Image: Alexas_Fotos @ Pixabay]