Friday, 13 July 2012

Fashionista with a brain- Self Expression or Individuality

Hello my dear fashion and style enthusiast! I wanted to identify the differences between two terms used identify or describe ones style, due to a recent conversation with some fellow fashion-aholics. Bear in mind these are my opinions and not the ones of the dictionary.
We are all identified by some particular attribute, whether it is our names, signatures or even or speech but when it comes to our style we are definitely in complete control of the image we impress upon ourselves.  Our style is one way of identifying us from the masses.  We are what we do, think and strangely wear. Yes I said we are what we wear! Why would one make such a statement?  I base this declaration due to the fact that we pay so much attention and effort to the details of our outward appearance that is truly a reflection of who we are.

Self Expression
To express ones self means to represent or make known ones feelings or thoughts either in word, gestures or conduct, (according to the actual dictionary). But in this case of an individuals style, to express your self would be to create impressions in ones appearance that gives some indication of style preference, character and the message they would like to relay in terms of their individuality.  
So in actuality everything we wear makes a statement about us ….what you want that statement to translate is totally up to you. So if you’re wearing a t-shirt saying “I’m with stupid” chances are people probably think you’re with someone stupid and some may think you display a sense of humor. Think of instances where you may wear bright or neon colored pieces, the general perception will be that you’re confident or possess an outgoing personality. It’s quite strange to me that some people aren’t aware that they express themselves through their style. Many of us love to say we never think about or place emphasis on our appearance or what we choose to wear but it doesn’t matter if you spent all day or two seconds deciding what to wear, you made a decision! Once that decision is made, you inadvertently made a fashion statement. Yes my darlings you made a statement without saying a word and thus the term self expression comes into play.  We fashionistas thrive on making statements through our style, its no wonder we invest so much time and money into achieving our end goal of looking fierce!
In some cases we may express our moods through the things we wear, so if we feel lazy we wear something loose, if we feel sexy we wear something short or tight (some cases both), if we just feel like being plain, a t-shirt and a pair of jeans will suffice. I’m not saying your outfit determines your mood but more than likely your mood can determine your outfit.
Consider this: Why is it that celebs change their looks/image so often? Case in point: Rihanna, clearly her style is her self expression.  She has evolved from sweet, sunshine good girl to edgy, rock and roll star. We don’t know her personally to ask her how she feels or what has caused this change but we have made assumptions based on her style.
It’s important to be aware and take control of the message you convey through your appearance people, that is what self expression is about in this world of glam and garment!

Individuality means of individual character, separate existence. Our individuality in terms of style is our fashion sense, the things we chose to wear because we want to, the way we adorn ourselves despite any circumstances. This is our interpretation of style that suites us, not the masses, not the trends….just ourselves.  No one can share an opinion on your individuality; no one can tell you whether you’re doing it right or wrong. This is who you are!  
It is the occurrence of different style types that makes the fashion world revolve. The industry thrives on new innovative contributions; it is here that importance of individuality is highlighted. How is it that you can identify one brand from the other? What is that one distinct quality that separates one from the rest? That my friend is the essential role the word ‘individuality’ has in the fashion world. The trend of perfecting a particular style until it has become associated with your personality. Even some of the biggest brands in the industry have shown the importance of individualism, example, we all love shoes but when we see red bottomed shoes only person that comes to mind is Christian Louboutin , or on instance of seeing perfectly made bandage dress our minds immediately think Herve Leger.  My friends, that level of immediate association or identification is in itself all part of individuality in the cases of a brand or designer. 
What about individuality in ourselves? What is that fashion aspect of ourselves that stand out from the rest? What style type are we immediately associated with?  Think about it, you don’t look like anyone else unless you have to (work uniforms, yuck!) but you get the general idea.   You style yourself to suit you, that’s your individuality. So who are you? A glamazon? A rebel? A seductress?  The list can go on and on but only you have the key to the answer.

Now that I have clearly stated the difference between ones self expression and their individuality I hope we realize the importance both play in our fashionable lives.  We can identify the difference in a statement being made and having unique characteristics or features. You can however combine the two, and let your self expression be a distinct feature of your individuality or using fashion or style to express that said individuality. 

It is important to know who you are…. be distinct, be unique, be you and be proud of who you are, don’t be afraid to express it in your style! 

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