A couple weeks ago I was in Romania, visiting family and friends. Among which my lovely cousin, who took me to the Bucharest Museum of Senses- where he also staged this shoot! It’s a mesmerizing spot that takes you on a journey from one mind boggling optical illusion to another. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s true and what’s not in there, which got me thinking…
We all have a core system of beliefs that we view as true. Beliefs referring to people in our lives, our environment, life principles, ourselves and our means of self expression. And while it’s healthy to have strong beliefs, it’s also useful to periodically challenge them. I mean, how else do we keep evolving and growing?
And since the New Year always brings about a sense of self-renewal and contemplation, I thought about a few of my own beliefs I could challenge. Drawing my inspiration from the Museum of Senses, I made a list of 5 personal style beliefs I’m challenging this year. Taking off the blinders, and challenging the views I’ve dearly held as unequivocally true!
Minimalism is Not For Me.
The belief: A minimalist style doesn’t suit me. It’s too tern, too plain, too… minimal. I love clashing prints, colours and textures- so how could I possibly enjoy minimalism?
How I’m challenging it: Minimalism is a much broader concept than simply wearing monochrome, androginous pieces, barely there makeup or dainty jewelry. At the core, it revolves around decluttering, choosing quality instead of quantity, keeping only what brings us joy.
So it turns out that while my style clearly embodies maximalism, I was actually already applying principles of minimalism. It took me time to understand the difference between a minimal aesthetic versus the actual concept. But I am now more open- and, dare I say, even excited? – to incorporate a more intentional approach towards minimalism.
I Should Have a Very Specific Style.
The belief: Being stylish means having your own, well-defined, well curated style. All of the pieces in my wardrobe should go together, and have a similar look and feel. Having multiple, wildly different styles probably means I just haven’t found mine.
Challenging it: Uff… where do I even start? Probably by saying that this was a toughie for me. Being confident in how my style represents me as a person has been a pretty arduous battle. (Ironic much for a personal style blogger?!) Because for the longest time, I felt like I had two very incongruous sides to my sense of expression.
On the one hand, I love impossibly elegant tea-length dresses, graceful 50’s hourglass silhouettes and feminine midi skirts. On the other, I love messy hair, smudged eyeliner, leather jackets and combat boots, ripped denim and vinyl red lips. Rock’n’roll all night!
The craziest mashes sometimes yield the best results!
So what gives? Well, what gives (and this is still work in progress for me) is understanding you can’t always fit your style into one tidy, tiny box. Some days you may feel more Kate Moss- others, more Kate Middleton. But as long as you’re equally happy in these different expressions of yourself, you will find the common thread. And you will learn to play with their seemingly incompatible elements, to build something uniquely yours.
I Need to Rotate My Seasonal Clothes.
The belief: Rotating seasonal clothing optimises space and keeps pieces I can wear at hand. Pretty much every fashion magazine, style blog or personal stylist out there proclaims it!
Challenging it: This is something I’ve adhered to for the longest time. But in the past year, I found myself reaching haphazardly for a light sweater on chilly summer nights. Or layering maxi dresses under furry vests and leather jackets for fall. Granted, the Amsterdam seasons which just meld into each other seamlessly also played a role.
Now this year, I’m determined to organize my wardrobe differently. Instead of stashing the “off-season” items, I’ll be folding T-shirts with blouses and sweaters, hanging gauzy summer dresses next to velvet winter ones, and putting my jackets in a row- satin trench coat to faux leopard fur. This way, I can mix & match, and make the most of my items.
Closet Organization is Optional.
The belief: I basically only need to thoroughly organize my closet once a year: when I switch seasons, and take things out. Folding and/or ironing are optional…
Challenging it: Hmm… Well, let’s just start by saying that after being home for a while, and getting used to always having freshly ironed and folded clothes, I’ve started seeing their appeal. And especially since I have a small & easy to use steamer handy, there’s really no excuse for just-run-over-by-a-train clothing.
Sometimes, you need to have your mind bent a bit!
Secondly, considering I’m planning to organize my closet by items, the amount of them round the year will be higher. Which means that keeping them organized becomes mandatory. And in the end, I know a wardrobe that’s under control will diminish my stress and enhance my joy for dressing up!
I Can Get All My Fashion Inspo For Free.
The belief: There are many sources of fashion inspiration online. Pinterest is brimming with creativity, and there are a couple of stylists whose blogs I love. So… that means I can keep getting everything I need for just the price of my Internet connection, right?
Challenging it: If I want to continue to grow and learn, it’s impossible for everything that I need to be available for free. It’s as true for any chapter of your life, as it is for personal style development. There’s plenty of free valuable information intended to help others, don’t get me wrong- this blog included, I hope! But to get that really deep, valuable, personalized information, you usually need to invest in it.
From personal style classes to a photography rich street style coffee book to an art album that develops your eye for the beautiful, they’re all investments. Investments in yourself, in your inner world, in the person you are, and want to become. And I’ve stated before that we are our own greatest resources.
Which is why this year I’ll be looking into some local classes, such as the Amsterdam Fashion Academy’s Fashion Styling summer course. I will scour fleemarkets for vintage photography that I can use for an inspirational moodboard. And I will invest in courses that will help me make this blog even better than it is!
Because in the end, the best way I can think of putting my style knowledge to use is by sharing it with all of you!
Now that you’ve read my article, I’m curious to hear: do you have plans for challenging any beliefs in the upcoming year? Are there any personal style battles you plan on winning once and for all? Let me know in the comments below!
And until next week, have a fabulous time!
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