Am I weird? It’s a question I think has crossed everyone’s minds at some point or other, but one I’ve been pondering over the last few days. And when I ask the question it’s not about my personality, I’m well aware that I’m a bit weird… but aren’t we all? I’m referring to my fashion sense (I was going to put sense of style but that’s a matter of opinion and in my extremely biased opinion, I think I’ve got an amazing sense of style 😉) and the way in which I decide how I put everything I wear together.
So my first port of call was to ask my husband, “Aaron, do you think my dress sense is weird?” and he thought for a moment before replying “Well not really, you just have loads of different ways of dressing. Like one day you’ll have your DM’s on with a chunky jumper and the next you’ll be wearing the opposite.”
After I sat down to write this post and read out what I had so far to Aaron, I went through my Instagram feed which is a pretty good reflection of my day to day outfits (well, not my always my work ones as I can only do so much with the heavily casual wardrobe I’ve got). I turned to him and said “You’re actually right, I don’t have a consistent style, which is why I could never have a capsule wardrobe” – that joke obviously went over his head lol.
I’ve never given my style that much thought before, but having opened the can of worms I can’t seem to shut off my brain. I’ve got loads of key pieces that I tend to wear with everything, but mix them all together into one big mess and you’ve got something that’s completely Gaby. I love chunky boots, but I also love dainty sandals, I love floaty dresses, but also love dungarees – there is no in between, more like a sliding scale. I’ll clash patterns, textures and fabrics, some days I’ll be a basic bitch (I’ve got a vision of what that looks like in my head, but don’t want to offend anyone so think it’s best I keep those thoughts to myself) or days when I’m a mixture of basic and not so much, then other days I’ll be a bit more out there and wear something that most people probably wouldn’t consider.
But what makes us pick the things we do? According to an article by Grazia published in 2015 (yeah that’s five years ago now), there are five main components that influence what we wear; emotions, fear of change, near-exposure effect, your job and having an identity crisis.
Given my latest conundrum with my own wardrobe, I thought I’d apply the logic and see if I could figure out why I dress the way I do.
In a nutshell, this is us choosing clothing that makes us feel comfortable emotionally. For example you might be drawn to a style of shoe that your mum used to wear at a time in your life when you felt secure (I used this one as I’m always drawn to classic style Birkenstock’s as my Mum would always wear them when I was a kid), or why some people will stick with a certain style that they found at a younger age as they felt good wearing those clothes.
I’ve definitely got elements of this in my own life, but I wouldn’t say it’s the driving force of my choices.
Fear of change
Okay, the article uses skinny jeans as a reference for this and I think it’s an example that definitely resonates. From being a teen to now, I’ve always gravitated towards skinny jeans as they’ve pretty much always been the norm – that coupled with the fact that I don’t pull off flares or bootlegs that well as I’m a short arse. I don’t think there’s much more I can add to this point as it kind of speaks for itself. People are creatures of habit and this also applies in the world of fashion.
Now this is the impact that advertisements, bloggers/influencers, friends and family have on our choices. You might really admire a jumper that an influencer was wearing one day when you were scrolling through your feed on Instagram, so when you happen to stumble upon the same jumper when you’re out shopping, you’re more likely to pick it up as you associate it with the image you have in your head.
An example of this is the iconic Gucci belt that everyone and their mother has on. Type in fashion blogger to the search bar on Instagram and no doubt there will be a girl wearing the belt (note: I just tried it and found a girl wearing a Christian Dior version of said belt on my front page). Off the back of this, high street retailers started to sell belts inspired by this one, one of which being ASOS and their double circle belt – I remember this one clearly as I was on the hunt for ages after it sold out and immediately ordered one when it came back into stock again. I’m glad I didn’t get a Gucci one as I don’t like feeling that mainstream and the effect has since worn off.
Obviously this is a huge factor as we spend more of our lives at work than anywhere else. We’re influenced by our colleagues and will dress accordingly to the industry we work in. People working in fashion are more likely to spend more money on the latest trends, where as people working in IT don’t have the same kind of influence in their work life (unless they work in IT for a fashion company – just saying). That’s not to say that everyone’ s style is defined by their job, but as someone that’s changed it up in the last year, I can vouch for the effect a job might have on your style choices. I went from a smart casual office, to an office without a dress code, to a more formal office – maybe this is why my brain’s all over the place?
You could be in the midst of an actual identity crisis, which I imagine would be confusing as hell but their use of identity crisis doesn’t automatically mean you’re in the middle of one when you don’t know if you’re coming or going with your style. But following on from the above, changes in lifestyle can change our style – changing jobs being one of the many examples and definitely one I can relate to.
So in conclusion, I think that I can safely say that all of the above points have some kind of influence on my personal style. Let me know what you think in the comments below – have you ever consciously thought about why you dress the way you do and do the above points resonate? Let me know in the comments below!