I like zany clothes. I really do. I love colour. I looove pastels. I love fluff. I love mongolian sheepskin. I love anything that’s even remotely kinaesthetically pleasing. I also love chic garbs. And minimalistic vibes. And luxe fabrics. And nuuuudes. And effortless elegance. My sartorial mind is a magical mash-up of all that is weird and wonderful, and my wardrobe is a total reflection of that.
My wardrobe/shoedrobe/floordrobe is basically an insight into my personality; as so many wardrobes are. I adore my clothes. I still obsess over pieces I own and feel totally bad-ass when I don them. Planning outfits is, embarrassingly or otherwise, one of my favourite pastimes (I’m not a sports person, soz). I relish the opportunity of deciding what message I want to send to the world every day, via the simple art of getting dressed; except it wasn’t always so simple. Finding your style and then accessing the confidence to own your style isn’t an easy task. It takes guts. And yeah, sure, this piece could be filed under #firstworldproblems, but the real problem here isn’t so #firstworld at all because we’re ultimately talking about confidence. The confidence to be you.
I’ve had my fair share of confidence crises involving clothes. My penchant for furry things, teamed with my passion for spunky footwear and my ability to dress as though it’s summer 24/7 has undoubtedly provided me with a wealth of double-takes (not the pervy kinds, either – although I’m not sure which is worse), as well as the odd whispered “what the fuck is she wearing?” (or, my absolute favourite, “OMGAH IS THAT MILEY CYRUS?” – I guess circular features paired with heavily sequinned attire will do that to a gal), and even a Snapchat or ten. Yep, you read that right: I’ve been the subject of many a strangers Snapchat stories. I’ve also been the victim (?) of a moo or two: I was in head-to-toe cow print at the time so I, naturally, moo’d back. I’m not gonna lie, initially (a.k.a. back in the early days of my style revolution) it made me feel shit. Beyond shit, really. Insecure. I felt as though I wanted to run back home and hide. Maybe I’d re-emerge in a day or two once I’d ordered the socially-acceptable uniform of skinny jeans and white tee. Who were these people making me feel so whack? And for what reason? But, more importantly, why was I letting them evoke that feeling within me? And the answer was simple, really: I didn’t have confidence. I hadn’t yet convinced myself that I felt comfortable in my own choice of clothing, after spending my formative years vying for social acceptance in hand-me-down Moschino jeans and Juicy Couture tracksuits, and mindlessly lusting after Gucci kicks and fucking JANE NORMAN BAGS (side note: someone *really* needs to explain the Jane Norman phenomenon to me. Why, as high-schoolers, did we all obsess over having our P.E. kits in Jane Norman bags? Why? Who started that? I hope they now have a career in marketing because, despite the odds being heavily stacked against them [we’re talking ’bout Jane Norman here, after all] they managed to convince an entire generation that a Jane Norman paper bag was *thee* arm candy to be seen with #cornformtojanenorm), so it made perfect sense that I felt a little daunted. But a little bit of confidence goes a long way, and now I just bloody well own it. Snapchatting me? I’ll pose for ya, if you like. Wondering what the hell I’m wearing? I’ll give you a definitive list and I’ll even go so far as to provide you with a discount code. Double-taking? DOUBLE-TAKE AWAY, BABEH! I relish it! I love it! The bizarro stares and the muted mumbles only serve to further boost my already booming confidence. I used to board the Central Line every morning and be a beacon of colour amidst a sea of grey and navy and black. Some peeps would grimace at my rainbow regalia, as though they hadn’t seen sunlight for a week and my colour over-load was blowing their tiny minds (on second thoughts, they could’ve been hungover). Some folk would smile (they must’ve been morning people). Others would simply stare continuously, until I’d lock eyes with them, brazenly flashing my pearly whites. Their eyes would then haphazardly dart around the carriage, usually focusing on that most mesmerising of items: the Central Line map. I plonked my ass down on those worn-out red and blue train seats and gave myself a little pat on the back for being so damn sassy: unafraid, unashamed and unabashedly delighted by my choice of garms.
My point is: these strangers you lock eyes with, the folk who pass judgement and the mindless drones who scoff at individuality have no real significance in your life. Their judgement is about as useful to you as a chocolate teapot (admittedly, a chocolate teapot sounds like a glorious thing, but for the sake of argument please set all salivating aside), and it should be treated as such. For every dude drinking haterade, there’s at least five peeps waiting to high-five you for being so sartorially venturesome. For every giggling gaggle of judgemental gals, there’s the cobbles of London Fashion Week and a butt-tonne of photogs who are ready to freak the fuck out over your outfit and your fearless fashion credentials (trust me, it’s happened to me). Embrace yourself! Own your style! If something makes you feel good, you’re sure to look fucking ACE in it; because the only accessory any outfit *truly* requires is confidence. Better yet, that shit costs na-da. AMIRITE? You heard it here first, pals.