Personal style more important than following trends

by Allison Roberts

Staff writer

Fashion trends mean nothing to me. They come and go too quickly, are often more expensive than they’re worth and are almost always embarrassing when remembered.

However, fashion and style are totally different things. People don’t have to have loads of money or closets full of designer pieces to have style. People doesn’t even have to know what’s trendy to have styles of their own.

Maybe you don’t know what your style is yet, but it’s not that difficult to get an idea of what you might want it to be.

Personally, my goal is to look classy yet edgy. I want to look put-together enough to carry myself with confidence, but I also want people to wonder if I might have a felony or two under my belt (not really—but kind of). Basically, I want a “don’t mess with me” look with lipstick and long eyelashes.

Most days, my style probably doesn’t get that message across, but I think at least half of style is about attitude. As long as I am comfortable in my own skin and can hold my head high, I’m on the right track.

The same goes for everybody.

Now that I have embarrassed myself by analyzing my personal style and essentially describing it as an angsty Avril Lavigne fan’s dream closet, it’s your turn.

I know I’m not alone in wishing there was more style variety at Southeastern.

Sorry, but the daily combination of athletic shorts and a T-shirt doesn’t count as “style.” Try again.

Obviously, not everybody can pull off brightly patterned pants, but there’s no shame in trying something outside of your comfort zone.

Even a boldly colored pair of shoes, studded accessory or unique hairstyle can contribute to defining a person’s personal style.

Everybody’s got a favorite color they wish they wore more often. So wear it.

We’ve all got a new look we want to try. So try it.

As for those of you who have developed a style, bravo. Keep it up, but don’t be scared to change it up every now and then either.

Even if you have a “look,” it’s still acceptable to wear something out of your ordinary.

Whether your goal is to look like you just bounced out of a flower garden or like you frequent Renaissance Fairs, don’t be hesitant to wear that studded jacket or that pair of pastel tights you’re oddly drawn to. To borrow from Nike, just do it.

Many people don’t have personal styles yet because they’re not really sure where to start. I was stuck in a style rut for years for that reason.

Thankfully, the Internet is a handy tool when searching for a look to emulate. Two websites that could be of use to people who either know what they’re looking for or have no clue are tumblr.com and pinterest.com.

Tumblr.com/spotlight has three categories of blogs that could be of use to someone interested in looking at different styles:

“Beauty” consists mostly of makeup and hairstyle inspiration blogs; “Fashion” is filled with high fashion, runway and modeling blogs; and “Street Style” is probably what most Southeastern students would find most useful, with blogs displaying average people’s interesting styles.

Pinterest, on the other hand, is a more easily navigated website that I think people unfamiliar with blogging might be more comfortable with.

One of its failures is in its “Men’s Fashion” section, which mostly showcases high fashion ideas on models and very few viable options for an everyday college student’s wardrobe.

The “Women’s Fashion” section, at least, usually has more practical potential outfits posted without models. Instead, many images feature outfits positioned on plain backgrounds to show how different pieces can work together.

Both Tumblr and Pinterest will often link to store websites where visitors can purchase the clothing and accessories featured in posts.

These are not the only two websites available as resources for inspiration, but they can be a starting point for anyone interested in finding what pieces of clothing might best represent who they are, how they feel and what they want.

It’s not superficial to prioritize appearance and style, as long as that’s not the only basis on which people judge themselves and others.

A person’s style, when at its fine-tuned best, offers an intriguing glimpse into the lively spirit of a person.

Don’t let your personality be constantly hidden by sweatpants and hoodies. Display a bit of who you are through what you wear.

November 15, 2012

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