Braidwood Times

One of a kind: How to make your personal style a little more unique

One of a kind: How to make your personal style a little more unique

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There comes a time when we all get tired of looking like everyone else and those pains begin when we yearn for that feeling of understanding ourselves and having that uniqueness be reflected in our style.

We are all the protagonists of our own story and so feeling like we stand out is a completely warranted emotion. But, how do we carry that yearning into reality and create a style that reflects our true character?

There are in fact a variety of ways, with op-shop culture flourishing as a push for more conscious consumption has hit the mainstream. This extends to sites like eBay Australia, in which you're able to get rare, or even one-of-a-kind items, often at a fraction of traditional prices, with just a click of a few buttons.

But, even with these unique and interesting pieces, how do you put them together in a way that truly screams 'you'? We explore this idea as we continue down the path of individualism and style, and how to create a harmonious pairing between the two.

Get to know yourself

One of the loveliest parts of true personal style is it is the sartorial reflection of you. Fashion should tell a story. So what is yours? Often when we're younger we tend to just follow trends irrespective of whether they suit us or not, the aim is simply to look the same as everybody else, standing out is not on the cards because style is dictated by what the masses are wearing, or what those we deem 'cool' have on.

However, as we grow older we start to lean into silhouettes that make us feel confident, work with our body type, or just generally spark joy. So, the question is what makes you feel confident? Experimenting with different styles, colours and inspirations may help you to understand not only what makes you feel good, but also what doesn't.

However, learning what makes you feel good isn't limited to clothing, understanding your passions and interests can then be reflected in your style later on. If you feel passionately about art, and look for the beauty in the world, then dopamine dressing may be right up your alley.

Alternatively, you may want to be taken seriously regardless of what you look like, and therefore seek comfort and feel your best in the blank canvas of a head-to-toe black outfit. There are influences, through music, cultures and subcultures, street style, and even your peers, but learning what it is that makes you feel your best will help you to style yourself in a more unique way.

Tiny touches

Sometimes, it is all in the accessories. Whilst you may still buy into trends, adding your own tiny touches could be what sets you apart from the masses. Take the ever classic, always popular staple piece, the little black dress, or LBD as it is commonly known.

A simple black slip dress can exude sex appeal when paired with slinky, sparkly, strappy heels, minimal jewellery and a classic black clutch bag. But, if that isn't up your alley, it can easily be transformed into something far more day time appropriate with the help of bright pops of colour in your shoes, handbag, and layering pieces.

Try and look at clothes as vessels for layering. A pair of blue jeans have been a must-have for decades, but if you gave the same straight-leg jeans to ten different people, each one could transform it into a completely different outfit.

When it comes to finding these accessories, rather than purchasing a mass-produced item that is likely to show up on a hundred different people, twenty of which are friends of yours, shop markets, op shops, and vintage consignment stores.

Finding ethically made, or ethically sourced items that are a little more unique or less readily available means that the way your outfit is put together will look a little more individual and interesting. The items you purchase will soon become a symbol that is uniquely yours.

Who and what inspires you?

Even when we shop for the most unique and rare items, our style can still feel a little fragmented when we don't have a clear vision of what or who inspires us. Inspiration should be just that, inspiration, not a projected image to carbon copy.

So, if you're feeling a little lost and beginning to find yourself morphing back into wearing what everyone else is, find someone or something that not only evokes joy but also gives you a sense of creativity and imagination.

This could simply be a celebrity with a very clear-cut style, or it could be the people you surround yourself with. It is also worth looking into media, cult films like Legally Blonde, Heathers, Clueless, Paris Texas and The Talented Mr Ripley have all inspired major sartorial moments in the years after they were made.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

When we think about individualism in the context of fashion, avenues people tend to take are through specific pieces of clothing as well as accessories, and for good reason.

However, something that shouldn't be ignored as a way to take your style from conventional to uniquely yours is the addition of hair and makeup. An ultra-feminine floaty peasant dress can be edged up by pairing it with a pair of shoes that juxtapose the style, but a non-traditional hairstyle will do the same thing.

Similarly, wearing that same feminine dress, paired with some smudgy eye makeup will instantly transform it from the perfect garden party attire to a concert-ready look. The beauty looks you pair with your clothing make just as much of a statement as the accessories you pair with it. So, if you're looking to try something new but it's a little out of your comfort zone, pair it with your signature beauty style, or maybe go all out with a new look and you'll find you can suddenly make something conventional completely individual.

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We all long for that feeling of when our clothing and the way we present ourselves on the outside is perfectly cohesive with how we feel on the inside. It is important to note that this isn't a one-week exercise or a simple experiment that ends with success or failure.

Often, it is a long process in which we learn and grow with our fashion tastes growing alongside. As we mature, we naturally begin to care less about what others think of us and develop our own natural tastes; so, one day you may well look in the mirror and realise you finally love everything in your wardrobe and feel right at home when getting dressed in the morning, nothing to wear days be gone.

However, until that day comes, by shopping ethically, finding inspiration through peers, celebrities and media, and continuing to let yourself experiment, you're one step closer to having that ultra unique, and ultra 'you' style.