Over the past year or so I have been slowly rediscovering my love of fashion, and in the process, finding out just how much it is linked to my self-esteem and confidence. Last year I was staying home a lot, wearing a lot of food-stained tracksuits, and feeling a little shitty about the world in general. As a result, I completely lost my fashion mojo, and my sense of identity. And I missed it. So this year I have been putting a bit more effort into styling myself, and am actually amazed at how much of a difference it has made to how I feel.
It is crazy to think how far the notion of "fashion" has evolved since the first caveman slipped into his mammoth skin loincloth and realised that his delicate, dangly genitals won't get hit with flying ash embers any more when he prods the fire with a stick. What began as a simple necessity to protect against the wind and cold has somehow spawned into Lady Gaga's gravity-defying Noritaka Tatehana heelless shoes, those stupid sunglasses Kanye West wore in the "Harder Better Faster Stronger" video clip that almost completely obstruct your vision, diamond teeth implants (just for funsies!) and...a dress made entirely out of dried yak nipples! Oh my God, that is disgusting. I sincerely apologise, it just came up during a Google search, and I got curious, and....gross. Moving on.
Now that fashion has evolved this far, it has become deeply ingrained in our personal sense of self. The clothes you wear are now a form of self-expression. You have a "style." The clothing you have selected can now categorise you socially, flatter your perceived "best parts," or even support a cause. Fashion is now quite a powerful thing.
For some of us, including myself, it has the power to alter mood and confidence levels. If I am wearing something that I feel is awesome, and reflects a personal style I have spent time cultivating and am proud of, it tends to show in my face/strut/sassy jokes. Alternatively, if I have just gone out to pick up some milk in the tracksuit pants with the saggy bottom that makes me look like I have accidentally pooped in my adult diaper, I will not feel as confident about myself, and will probably just get the milk, keep my head down and go home to put a fresh diaper on.
Obviously some people do not share these feelings; fashion can also just be completely simple and functional, and there are obviously a lot of ways to express yourself that won't rely on what you're wearing at all. But for me, a self-confessed fashion nut, it can definitely affect how I feel about myself.
For me, I usually feel the most confident in a huge jumper teamed with leggings/skinny jeans and big boots (or these pointy brown lace-up granny boots that I have, which I have worn so much they are falling apart). It is generally my go-to outfit, and is the outfit I will go to school in, go out for a soy latte, wear to a go see a band, and wear at home when I am just kicking back with my eReader. This outfit represents me and makes me feel like I look okay. Other girls I see out in the city seem to feel their best in a skin-tight coral dress with pin-thin stilettos and a patchy fake tan. Each to their own.
The point is, everyone is different, and that's why fashion is awesome- it caters for everyone, and you can choose how to express yourself (and at the very least, provides a warm, waterproof covering for your skin- or a handy and delicious meal when the day is done, if you are wearing the Lady Gaga raw steak dress).
The audience is BEHIND YOU, Kanye! You're looking THE WRONG WAY!