Here we are! The 100th post on this blog 🥳 I can’t tell you how excited and happy I am to have reached this milestone! And how grateful to those of you I know visit this blog regularly.
Now since it’s the 100th post, I wanted to do something a bit more special with it. Today I’m breaking from the usual pattern of 5 ideas and tips, and will instead take a more personal route.
What I want to delve deeper into is how I learned to let go of my hang ups in the past years. How I found my style by taking fashion risks, and how I started owning it. Because hopefully, it will also resonate with some of you out there!
I started MyStyle5 when my husband and my bestie encouraged me to get back into blogging. Because if you (probably 😄) didn’t know, I also used to write about Amsterdam 4 years ago- a first blogging endeavour I will always have a soft spot for.
And while I didn’t really know how things would work out this second time around, I did know what I would write about. What I wanted to write about for years to come, without getting tired or running out of ideas. You guessed it: personal style!
It’s a passion that is as fierce in my heart, as it runs deep in my memories since I was a little girl. I still remember leafing through fashion magazines with my mom, or trying on her lipstick or her heels, at a time when I could barely fill half a shoe.
Indeed, a love and appreciation for quality clothing, fine jewelry, elegant makeup and an assumed style is something I learned from my mother. And not only her, as other women in our family were also coquettish and put together.
In my teenage years, I would devour fashion magazines. And then style blogs and albums. I saw how a great outfit compliments a great woman. How smarts and wit go hand in hand with a sharp look. And how strength and verticality can be dressed better in a layer of charm- the proverbial iron hand in a velvet glove.
Which gave me a strong appreciation for what style can mean for us, as women- as people. But it also forced me to raise a mirror to my own image. It forced me to ask myself: “Is this my style?” “Is it a faithful representation of myself?”
For a long while, the answer was “no”. Well, “not completely”, to be more exact. Because as much as I loved my wardrobe, the individual pieces I owned, I didn’t feel like they represented a cohesive style. My style. Or maybe I had just outgrown the expression of style that had suited me so well during high-school and early years of college.
So when I started writing about it, I felt a whole other type of pressure. Because I was constantly exposing myself to the outside world. I was flaunting my thoughts, my ideas, my principles.
And let me tell you- imposter syndrome is real. Especially when you feel like you’re still finding your footing in a crowded field you wish to conquer.
But here’s the thing:
This blog actually proved to be a ramp to soar off of, not a ledge to fall down from. As I thought more and more about my own experiences & my own examples I could draw lessons from and write about, as I shuffled through the fashion knowledge I had accumulated throughout the years, as I tried more looks, more tips, more hacks, as I read and learned and opened up more… I found myself owning my personal style.
I couldn’t quite pin the moment I started feeling like my style is 100% an accurate representation of me. But I do know how I got there: by taking more risks. By becoming braver than I was, by learning to silence the mean voices that whispered: “Who do you think you are?” “What right do you have to be doling out advice?” “Do you really need to be so dressed up ALL the time?” (and the answer to that last one is YEEAAS! btw)
Because I realised that owning your style, like anything else in life, is a matter of choice.
And what that choice boils down to is:
You can silence your own voice, in order to not stand out of the crowd. Or you can shrug your shoulders and say “What’s the worst that can happen?” Why not take the plunge, and show the world what you really like, and who you really are? So what if everyone else doesn’t clap for you?
So I started wearing the outfits that felt too dramatic, too colourful, too girly, too… much. And you know what? I loved them! Because that’s just my style personality. And maybe you’re sitting in your bed reading this, and you’re at the other end of the spectrum. You like neutral, muted, simple outfits. But the whole world is screaming that you need to be so extra to be fashionable. That if you’re not on fleek, you’re not visible.
Well, let me tell you- taking fashion risks is the best thing you can do! Whether a risk to you is reaching for a floral dress after your goth high-school years. Or wearing a plain black dress when everyone else is dressed up to the nines. Or throwing a leopard coat over a leather jacket, painting your lips red, and strutting like Mick Jagger for a day!
We all want to be stylish, but we all need to define what that means for ourselves, personally. And the truth is, it’s hard to do that if you don’t take fashion risks. If you don’t allow yourself to look ridiculous or feel uncomfortable in a certain outfit, so you can learn what to steer clear from.
Because at the end of that uncomfortable period, lies one of supreme confidence. In yourself, in your looks, in your style. And in how your style represents your inner world to the outside one.
Photos by Natalia Bylok
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Want to do your own take on my rock’n’roll double coat outfit? You can always shop the look here and give it your personal spin! If you do purchase an item off the look, know that you will be supporting this blog, as I will be getting a small commision- at no cost to you, of course. So thanks!