Breaking the Style Rules & Self-Exploration

Recently, I felt the need to rewatch Iris Apfel’s documentary on Netflix. If you don’t know who Iris is, you are missing out! She is a fashion icon powerhouse who has a passion for timeless design and individual style. She preaches that you need to own your style, dress to please yourself and get risky!

I say, dress to please yourself. Listen to your inner muse and take a chance. Wear something that says ‘HERE I AM’ today. – Iris Apfel

Altering your style, or trying something new, takes vulnerability and is part of the journey of self-exploration. It can be scary, challenging, fun, and exhilarating.

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I work in the retail industry. You can say fashion, or the act of putting together different pieces to tell a story, has been a long time passion of mine. However, it’s usually been from a distance. Throughout middle school all the way into college, I searched high & low for outfits that expressed my personality; but ended up settling for clothing that masked my shape and just ‘fit’ (they did not fit well or correctly most of the time, just simply fit).

Come to realize at 25 years old, my younger self was searching for more than just clothes on a rack. I was searching for a way to celebrate myself and rejoice my own self-expression.

Since I internalized this, I’ve been experimenting with my own style. Especially as summer 2017 approaches, I’ve been obsessed with high-rise denim paired with a bodysuit, form fitting midi dresses, crop tops, and nautical stripes.

As you may notice, there’s a similar thread through all of these trends – they’re a tighter fit,  potentially draw attention, and they have visibility to cellulite, fat rolls, and stretch marks. BUT, then I look at Iris and all of the fabulous women who are owning it and I feel inspired to push my style boundaries (**listed more amazing icons below)

What am I scared of? Criticism. Society spends so much time criticizing others for their looks and style. Hellooo – US Weekly Who Wore it Best or E! Fashion Police.

Imagine if we could rock whatever look we wanted, and internalized that we are not here just to please others. We should reflect what we love. Reflect what makes us feel confident, professional, sexy, or just beautiful.

I’ve found excitement in allowing myself to break the style rules. I embracing my body for what it is. I am selective with what I choose to wear and purchase. There is curiosity and declaration in dressing for myself and seeing myself strut confidently when I catch myself in a store window reflection.

My advice would be, you don’t need to wear eye-catching prints like Iris, or for that matter you don’t need to change your style at all! All of the CHANGE, POWER, & GROWTH is in the approach you take to stepping out into the world. For me, it was shifting from using clothing to conceal myself to using it as a authentic expression of who I am today.

**More fabulous, inspiring, leading ladies to follow: 

  • Eva Chen: Director of Fashion Partnerships at Instagram and a serious role model of mine. Instagram
  • Diane von Furstenberg: I think we all know who this is (hello wrap dress which every single woman on this planet could SLAY) “When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt” … just let that sink in. Instagram
  • Ashley Graham: Model, #BeautyBeyondSize, Author, Amazing human being. Instagram
  • Lauren Chan: Fashion Features Editor at Glamour. This woman knows how to dress and is continuously killing it. Instagram

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