Fashion, Storytelling, Symbolism.

How Can i Tell a Story Through My Clothes?

 

What we wear can have a lot to say about who we are. It’s a powerful experience when we wear clothes that tell a story or make a statement.

Most of the time, unfortunately, the meaning isn’t clear to all who see your outfit–Often times leading to misconceptions based off of stereotypes. Which sucks. This can’t be permanently changed unless people are willing to learn to understand each other and not rely on preconceived ideas. Though my mission is to inspire people to look deeper and seek to understand people beyond their first impression, it’s important to acknowledge that this doesn’t come easy in our society.

Adding symbolic or iconic pieces to your outfit can make it a little easier, though, to make a clear statement. Humans are visual creatures and love to add meaning to the things we see. We will always have a natural inclination to rely on symbols to make sense of the world around us…and even the people we meet. It’s why people gravitate towards trying to understand each other through stereotypes. Stereotypes are one huge collection of symbols. BUT this can be used to our advantage to tell the story we want people to hear, and even to turn incorrect stereotypes upside-down!

If you use symbolism, whether in image, colors, or written words (yes, language features symbolic meaning), your outfit can become more readable.

Typically, a culture or similar group of people can recognize and understand a particular symbol, despite the representing object usually being arbitrary in and of itself. I like the way Richard Nordquist puts it in his article A Symbol in Language and Literature:

“A symbol is a person, place, action, word, or thing that (by association, resemblance, or convention) represents something other than itself.”

Some examples could be: a red rose representing “romance”, the American flag representing “freedom”, and a black sheep representing being an “outcast” or (more positively) “unique”.

Symbolic clothes and accessories make for excellent conversation pieces…and it’s within those conversations that you can best help people understand.

Think about what you care most about, what your personality is like, and the things that have happened in your life that contributed to who you are: Can you think of any symbols that could represent these things?

Unless you’re using lots of words, fashion will always be mostly abstract in its meaning–even with symbolism–but if used well, it can be very meaningfulat the very least, to you.

If what you wear means something to you, that’s the first and most important step.

 

 More Blog Posts to Help You Tell a Story Through Your Clothes:

 

Browse through Symbolic, Story Pieces to learn more about how to introduce symbolism into your outfits: One piece at a time.

Read a Style Story Interview to see fashion storytelling in action, through the lives and personal styles of real people around the world who know how to make a statement with their clothes.

Or find personalized advice in a Style Guide, and learn to build a wardrobe full of clothes that tell a story from the ground up, based around core values and a specific but customizable aesthetic.

As always, feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions about defining your style, or suggestions for what you’d love to see next on the blog! 

 

A Simple Guide to Creating Your Idyllic Style | Country-Chic Fashion Tips and Inspiration

Clothing imbued with the simple charm and idealism of the countryside and small-town life; for those who embrace the little day-to-day pleasures and find romance in bouquets of wildflowers and picnics in a meadow.

If that sounds like you, read on to learn how to create a wardrobe that is as Idyllic as your soul, and let life take you on a beautiful adventure as these nostalgic looks inspire a peacefully-exciting life full of simple pleasures and memories frozen in time.

With this charming, light and breezy, cheerful wardrobe even the cloudiest days are full of sunshine.

The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Glamorous Style | Old-Hollywood Fashion Tips and Inspiration

Elegant, show-stopping fashion for bold, optimistic, nostalgic, dramatic, and idealistic ladies and gents who wouldn’t mind it if they got blinded by the ever-charming beauty, glitz and glamour of classic Old Hollywood.

If that sounds like you, read on to learn how to create a wardrobe that is as glamorous as your soul, and dare to believe in your dreams as these fancy looks inspire a rich and limitless life.
With this dreamy, flirty wardrobe full of inspiration from famous, sexy, and luxurious looks from 1920s-50s, no day is basic!

How to Analyze and Recreate a Character-Based Outfit

Whether it’s for Halloween, Disney-bounding on vacation, or just for the fun of putting together an outfit that’s inspired by a favorite movie, TV, video game, or book character–I think we all enjoy getting into somebody else’s shoes every once in a while.

This post will be looking not only at how to get the aesthetics right, but also at how to use character traits and storyline for inspiration, so we can get to the heart of the character we are portraying.

So, here are 8 aspects of costume and character design to consider before creating your character-based outfit:

Vibrant Urban Poet: A Style Story Interview with Tajinder Kaur | + Punjabi Culture and Sparking Conversation Through Clothes

“No matter what style I choose to wear, whether it’s streetwear or a whimsical style, colour and confidence will always be present.” – Tajinder Kaur

Tajinder is determined, talented, genuine, beautiful, and has a unique and vivid sense of style. What first brought her blog to my attention is the mix of her quirky style along with her beautifully raw poetry–It’s an example of a fashion blog that is truly a “must-read” and not just a “must-view”.

Read her Style Story to learn more about her:

Happiness Is Freedom

I do not believe that false “joy” and stagnant “hope” are the answer…But i do believe that happiness can be discovered in little things when you feel like it’s nowhere to be found. When we’re able to find true happiness, we gain power to free ourselves, both on an emotional level and in a way that allows us to more easily work towards our goals, which will set us free on a more tangible level.

How to Dress Like Ariel

Want to dress like Ariel? Here’s how to analyze Ariel from The Little Mermaid so you can create a costume or outfit inspired by her.

#ClothingSpeaksMe – Communicating Who You Are Through What You Wear

Some specific articles of clothing just have a way of communicating who we personally are. They have a defining quality to them. Another person may not relate in the same way to the pieces you consider to be defining; but to you, it speaks you.

Where is Far, Far Away and How Do i Get There? | Peaceful and Adventurous OotD

“Where is far, far away and how do I get there?” Adventure fuels my soul, but i’ve felt incredibly stuck. I MUST maintain inner peace as the first step in any new adventure. This peaceful and adventurous outfit embodies these things.

Sketches of Anxiousness – My Anxiety-Inspired Fashion Collection

I felt inspired to bring how i was feeling onto paper in the form of conceptual fashion sketches.

I thought i’d share them with you for two reasons:
1. To give hope that you’re not alone and that others understand what you’re going through.

2. To shed light on what mental health issues feel like–anxiety in particular–and hopefully bring in some more understanding and sympathy.

Pages

Life is a story… That we get to take part in both reading and writing!
We get to create who we want to be.
We get to watch life unfold.
Let’s enjoy every page!
What do you hope to “write” in this next chapter of your life?

Joy to the World – Holiday Outfit

This holiday outfit represents pure Christmas cheer.
I pulled together thoughts of Santa and his Elves for inspiration. A charm bracelet adds the finishing touch with words from a classic favorite Christmas song: “Joy to the World”.

Dork-Chic: A Style-Story Interview with, Photographer, Heather James | + Compassion and Mental Health

“I have a funky, fresh, out-there personality and I feel like my clothes reflect that … I think that my clothes let people know that I’m open and that I’m ready to talk with people …” – Heather.

Idaho lifestyle photographer, Heather James, calls her style “Dork-Chic”. It’s quirky, but easy-going; Full of bold and happy patterns, but with toned down, depthy Fall colors that she considers to be super peaceful.

How to Make Your Clothes Tell a Story – Fashion, Storytelling, and Symbolism

How can you tell a story through your clothes? What we wear hints at who we are. It’s a powerful experience when we wear clothes that tell a story. Unfortunately, the meaning isn’t always clear to all who see your outfit–Often times leading to misconceptions based off of stereotypes. But using symbolism is a good start to bring more clarity.

Sweetness of Love – An Outfit Symbolizing Our Relationship

This outfit represents mine and Cody’s relationship in this time of our lives.

Reckless: A Style-Story Interview with Gwen Bielicki of “Reckless Resale” |+ Confidence and Mental Health

Gwendolyn Bielicki is a fashion reseller on Poshmark, designer, mom of three young women, and a wonderful friend who is incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking when you get the chance to get a glimpse into her mind.

She’s an overcomer of depression, anxiety and OCD. A quiet but wise, quirky, imaginative soul with so much beauty to offer the world. Soulful, unconventional and by the beat of her own drum, the word that most reflects her style is “Reckless”.

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