Own your style, even if it isn’t in style

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Recently, fast fashion has become even faster. With TikTok and Instagram shaping fashionable aesthetics left and right, trends are going in and out the door in a matter of days. On top of this, people really love giving their opinions about what fashion trends are current “bops” and which ones are now total “flops.” In other words, everyone has something to say about clothes, whether you want to hear it or not. 

While clothes aren’t necessarily the most important things in my life, I am interested in fashion. The way I dress impacts my confidence and mood, and I genuinely have fun putting together outfits, even if it isn’t a big deal to anyone other than me. I’m not a fashion expert, but I do care about style and sustainability, and that makes me pretty mad about how we talk about clothes on the internet. 

Scrolling through TikTok, it seems like I need to reinvent myself every other day, whether that be because of a fashion, beauty, fitness or lifestyle trend. While the simple solution would be to ignore these trends, it seems close to impossible. Even if I didn’t have social media, any type of marketing scheme relies heavily on the idea of reinvention, clothes especially. And I acknowledge that this isn’t a new problem. Ever-cycling clothing trends have been happening since before the internet even existed. Right now, it just feels like no one can keep up with what we’re supposed to be wearing, looking like or doing. 

So as much as I would like to simply ignore the newest fashion craze, I can’t really help it, which only leaves me with the feeling like I’m doing something wrong. Lately, the cold weather coupled with pure mental and physical exhaustion has meant going back and forth between the same few sweatpants-focused outfits. And in all honesty, I know I’m not dressing like myself. To me, I don’t see the point of keeping up with trends if they fly by before I even can afford to buy them. Everything around me is moving so fast, and I am moving so slow. 

I have a feeling I’m not the only one feeling a little off. Winter is tough anywhere, but when you’re on the Lawrence campus it’s a different animal. And when I constantly interact with creative people on this campus who have unique styles, I continuously wonder why I don’t seem to have the ability to just put on a fun outfit I like. In other words, I’m surprised how hard dressing myself has become. 

So, if you’re feeling like your outfits are too basic for your normal liking, and your general attitude about yourself is also a bit off, you’re not alone. As much as you probably hate to hear this excuse, right now is a weird time, and it will probably keep being a weird time. Oddly enough, despite living an abnormal lifestyle, trends keep happening and fast fashion keeps getting produced. The world, as much as it sucks right now, hasn’t stopped turning. 

While I can’t solve fast fashion problems or escape social media, I can remind myself to not be so hard on myself. If I spend the rest of the term in sweatpants, that’s okay. Looking basic right now doesn’t change who I am, and deep down I know that I am still a creative, stylish and fashionable person. I’m not going to force myself to follow trends I don’t like because they’re just going to be old news in a few days.  

And, as a reminder, you can observe social media trends without feeling the need to participate in them. Y2K clothing on TikTok might be all the rage right now, but that doesn’t mean what you wear is any less fashionable, whether it’s leggings or a ballgown. Own your style, even if it isn’t in style. And don’t beat yourself up if you just don’t have the energy to put an outfit together right now and show the world how you usually like to dress. Out of all the things you could be worried about right now, what you wear should not be on that list. 

Wear not only what you want, but what makes you feel good right now. We all need to continue to take care of ourselves, and that looks different for everyone. Wear what makes you feel comfortable and safe, even if that isn’t your typical go-to outfit. Remember trends will come and go, but your own unique style will still be there waiting for you when you’re ready. Dress for yourself and no one else.