Confidence is Key. One of the lessons I learned in undergrad is that sweatpants just don’t cut it, for me anyway. Style is something that is personal. It’s something that should fit your personality and fit the occasion. I learned this the hard way – from showing up overdressed for some occasions and woefully underdressed for other situations. It’s all a learning process – I’m not a fashion expert at all, but I am an expert in combating insecurities, accepting that sometimes I look foolish, and getting out of my comfort zone.
So if you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m diving into the world of personal style and how it fits me. As I write this, I can’t help but laugh at myself for some of the previous fashion statements I’ve made that I thought were cool… But really, they were pretty bad. I was trying to figure out what worked for me by mirroring the style of people who I believed mastered style. Sometimes it worked and other times I had to figure something else out. No matter how different the blues are, you can’t wear all blue… same goes for every color except black and white, but even those have to be the SAME black or the SAME white.
So what did I do after a couple years of trying to figure it out? I looked to a hero of mine – Andre Benjamin better known as Andre 3000. Not only do I have a great appreciation for his music, but I also respect his opinion on style. In an interview with Complex Magazine, Andre 3000 said, “Style is a feeling. And I mean, you can get caught up into chasing and pleasing other people, but you’ll feel like shit inside. You’ll do it for a while, and then you just say ‘you know what? I don’t feel that way’ and then you’ll just grab what you feel like and you’ll feel great.” So that’s what I did – I made some mistakes, I learned a few lessons, and I’ve figured out and still figuring out what makes me feel and look good.
Will I make more mistakes? Quite simply, yes. Does it matter all that much? Maybe on first dates, interviews, and in the workplace. Am I dressing for anyone but myself now? Not really. Earlier I was listening to Take Off Your Cool by Andre 3000 and Nora Jones, which prompted me to write this post. Be authentic. Make yourself happy sometimes. Try something new. Honestly, what do you have to lose? Enjoy some photos of my style over the years.