Channelling Influences to Suit You: How Style and Identity Bring about Personal Change and Self-Discovery.

Fashion + Self-Love Party, Day 11.
Guest post by Imaan from The August Clause.

Not too long ago I did a research project, that looked at identity surrounding generation
differences. Being from the group Gen Z, it was interesting to see the break from Gen X,
Millennials and Gen Z.

Identity is something that I have struggled and still do struggle with, and I can confidently
say that I have an existential crisis almost every second day. I took my personal experience
of struggling to fit into a specific mold and tried to make sense of it, with the one thing I
love– fashion.

I’m not the most creative of dressers and I don’t really have a quirk either. Two factors that
already dull down the idea of self-expression through fashion. However, that’s okay,
because that’s where the beauty lies – whatever you wear, and however you decide to wear
it? is a reflection of who you are and that doesn’t need to be something super crazy or
creative, if that’s not your thing.

When I first started getting into fashion and looking at “fashion icons” I always felt that the
only way I could associate myself with loving fashion was if I dressed a certain way, wore
certain brands and had that special flare – and yes having these things, do influence me
today in what I choose to wear, but it’s not the influence that changes things – it’s how I’ve
let it influence me.

Being relevant and current is something I enjoy. Trends, are fun and can really help to
explore fashion and personal style in ways I didn’t even know possible. I love minimalism,
and have always tended to keep to a staple, capsule closet – I still do, but I slowly started to
bring in one or two trend items to mix it up a bit and make it a bit more fun so I didn’t feel
like I was wearing a uniform every single day.
The simple addition of asymmetric, raw hem, straight cut denim to my basic black polo knit
and longline blazer with a pair of boots made me feel like I understood fashion and trends –I didn’t at the time, and simply saw it pop up on my Instagram feed one too many times and decided to give it a shot.

The more I started to incorporate small, subtle trend pieces the more I saw the way I dress
evolve, and funny enough, the more I started to understand myself.
I’m not a flashy person,
I’m not a fan of overdoing things, and like to keep it simple – I thought, for the longest time
that that was all I had to me in terms of personality and as far as dress was concerned. Fast
forward a couple years down the line and I’m still all those things, but with a little bit of
edginess and bit of rawness, that has transformed how I act and associate myself with all
other facets that make up my life.

If you’re still following on with this tangent, because I am the queen of sidetracking and
never actually getting to the point, look no further because the point is on its way…

Comfort zones are great but they can also be slightly restricting. If you find yourself in a bit
of a slug about who you are, or what you like, re-evaluate what you define as “fitting for
you” and try and broaden it a little bit, it could be simplest of changes, like that pair of
asymmetric, raw hem straight cut jeans or, a DIY session on a pre-existing item that gives
you a little boost in the re-direction of who you are or who you want to be. It sounds trivial
and a tad ludicrous but it works.

Just remember that you don’t need to change who you are fundamentally, but allow
yourself to be a bit creative and try new combinations to understand yourself a little bit
more. Styling is an art that should be challenged sometimes so that it doesn’t become
another one of those things that are “just because.”


–Guest post by Imaan.
Imaan writes the blog The August Clause.
You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.


What have you discovered about yourself through your style?

Tell us in the comments!

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