Being the youest you.
Sorry for a bit of a delay in getting back to the blog. It’s been a really busy time at home but fortunately it’s coming to a more settled place in a week from now after many months of unsettled life! Last months blog posts were all about Mindfulness thanks to Mindful In May. Somewhere along the line of researching mindfulness I was introduced to an abundance of literature on Authenticity. Which created a natural progression from being mindful to being yourself.
So for June we will be looking at what makes you the youest you and what it means to live an authentically stylish life.
When you operate in an online world, there are certain measures of ‘success’ that others like to make comparisons based on. When bloggers and businesses get together (be it in a virtual sense or the face-to-face kind of gathering) these measures are often a point of discussion.
Social media stats, blog hits, email lists, sales and the like are the figures that have been linked to success to what makes an online venture a winner.
In business terms these quantitative measures means dollars and sphere of influence. It provides a baseline for brands to work out their monetary worth either directly through sales, or the potential to make sales by the number of people who are viewing posts, social media or products. For bloggers and influencers the number of followers or views they have shows how much influence they have and the more followers means the more they can charge to collaborate with labels to advertise products and services. This all sounds a little ‘icky’ and business like but it’s the reality of how e-platforms operate.
While I’m no Kardashian I often get asked by business and bloggers ‘how do you get social media and blog followers‘. This earnest question is usually met with a not-so-useful answer of ‘I have no friggin idea why anyone reads what I write‘. I know it sound lame but I really have zero tips or clues on how or why people choose to talk sustainability with me.
The only conclusion I have drawn from my time in blog land is that you have to do what’s right for you! Being Authentic is the only way to be self sustaining.
This is a sentiment that has been confirmed time and time again in my fumbling through self-taught e-platform land. Being authentic is a sustainable way to operate because it means that you don’t waste time or energy trying to remember the stories you have been telling or the image you have been creating, you can just be yourself and invest that time you would have spent ‘performing’ to an ideal on doing things you love instead.
A month of authenticate stylish discussion.
Authentic self is very much tied into our personal identities and the way we express ourselves through clothing and style. Which is why it’s an important thing to address in regards to fashion. One of my favourite places to style-stalk is StyleLikeU as it explores the notion that style cannot be bought. That the way we wear our clothing is only a part of our true authentic selves. That style is more than skin deep.
When we start to unpack the ‘who am I statement’ we realise that we are more than our clothing, careers, family, friends and social media stats. We are a combination of all of these things and none of these things all at once! Finding a way to express the essence of what we want people to take away from our visual appearance is both natural and contrived. Naturally we have to work out what our values are and how we want people to understand us. Then we must ‘create’ this visual persona though fashion items tailored to the visual ‘style’ we are putting out there.
Only authenticate style is sustainable.
I personally believe that taking time to understand your personal style is the only way to shop fashionably for fashion. This is often a difficult thing for people to commit time to because of a common rhetoric that suggests that those who are interested in personal style exploration are vain, vapid, or only interested in ‘first-world’ problems. I have personally been under attack through social media for being ‘vain’ or only concerned with ‘first world problems’ through my own Wardrobe Workout shopping hiatus.
Sadly the perpetrators of these sorts of attacks are misinformed about the impact that their lack of consideration regarding fashion items has on the planet. They are unaware that their decision to believe they are excluded from or ‘above’ fashion only sees them ready for an acid tongue lashing from the Miranda Priestly’s of the world (see clip above).
I believe that one of the most selfless things you can do as a consumer is actively take time to consider your relationship with the items you consume.
I veto the notion that buying a $5 t-shirt from Kmart can be justified because you are too busy with real life to care to take the time out to explore your personal style and how it impacts the environment. I would even go as far as saying that spreading the message that ‘style isn’t important’ or ‘only vain people care about clothes’ is sending the sustainable fashion industry backwards. We can fix these rhetorics by allowing others the space to care about what they wear. This is done from your wardrobe out! By taking time to question your own authentic style and allowing others to discuss this with you and start their own journey you are allowing people the space to show they care about their clothing.
Being me in the most authentic way.
If you have had a little critical think about Sustainability in Style and it’s evolution you might have realsied that there is far less ‘me’ in it than ever before. What began as one introverts personal style diary for a year-long fashion shopping hiatus kind of spiralled to a much larger viewing audience than I had ever planned. I became quite uncomfortable with having to ‘model’ my outfits (it was insisted and I caved) not due to being shy (which is part of it) but mostly due to the fact I don’t really enjoy looking at (this includes editorials or look books of brands who just have images of smiling models with boring background) or being in posed photos. There are none displayed around my house and I don’t even have personal social media feeds.
Posing for photos is not a truly authentic action for me. However over the last year or so I’ve discovered a way to capture who I really am through my ‘lifestyle’ outdoorsy pics. This is what I feel to be a true depiction of how I really live. Even if a lot of my time over the last few months has been spent in a science lab wearing a lab coat! Nature is where my days are spent outside of this.
The outfits that you see online are what I wear on most days. I don’t dress up for shoots any differently from what I would wear daily. I’m always overdressed for life when I’m not at work. It’s sometimes uncomfortable being out looking ‘styled’ on a daily basis. I do get really embarrassed when people tell me I look nice. However, I also like the conversation that comes from wearing different looks. It’s like being able to conducts social science experiments on a daily walk.
I wore a pair of boots a few weeks ago that resulted in every second person that walked by me asking me about them! It was a long day of talking about boots but I met lots of people. On the flip side I also feel stripped of identity when dressed down in cargo shorts and a t-shirt for work. It’s quite amazing to see the difference in the way you are treated when dressed like a boho fashion festival mis-fit vs. a janitor or tradeswoman style outfit. Our visual representation is a strong force.
After this little ‘personal’ blab-a-thon I hope that you are excited about sharing a month exploring authentic style and living with me!
How do you feel? Are there times when you don’t feel like you can express your authentic self? Do you feel like you have worked out your youest personal style? Why? Why not? Share below.