It took me a while to accept the way I am. I wanted to be Kendall Jenner. The lean, toned, long-legged and tall type… but naturally, I’m quite the opposite! Short (5’2″), short-legged, thick limbs, with a disproportionately large head.
For me, this topic is closely tied to the idea of self-confidence and self-acceptance. I wanted to wear the crop tops, but they were always too short for my long torso. I wanted to wear the cute booties, but they always accentuated my thick ankles.
I was stubborn at first, sticking to things I wanted to wear but didn’t feel confident in because, well, the clothes didn’t look good on me. As I grew older and progressed through the stages of trial and error, I slowly began to realize what worked and didn’t work for my body and my preferences. I also learned that my opinion mattered the most. What my mom liked, what my friend liked, what was the most comfortable, what was the most practical, or what was the best deal didn’t matter at the end of the day. If I didn’t like it, I didn’t wear it.
I had my fair share of experimentation. I went to a private high school that had uniforms. So going from high school to university was a major switch. I realized that I actually needed a wardrobe of my own, apart from my quilt, blouse and blazer. And that was the start of my bright-coloured-Hollister-shirt phase. As I was sporting every colour of the rainbow, I started following influencers on Youtube, ones who I admired and wanted to dress like. A key example was Claire Marshall. Super chic and bad ass. Yeah, if I wanted to be like Claire Marshall, the Hollister shirts? They had to go. I wanted to be a chic, classy boss gal too (while at the same time wanting to be a casual basic girl).
After realizing I looked more mature and ‘classier’ in neutral-toned clothes, I started going for my safe colours: white, black and blue. And ever since, that has been the palette of my wardrobe. But my style is changing! I’m starting to embrace the more eccentric side of my fashionista-self. I’m starting to experiment with patterns and interesting cuts. I try on crazy pieces at the store for fun, because you never know what gem you’ll find once you wear them.
And as for my self-confidence and body acceptance, though I still wish I were like Kendall Jenner, I’m learning to accept myself and am still discovering what best compliments my body. For example: High-waisted pants to elongate the legs; heeled shoes, again, to elongate the legs (and perk up your buttocks); high V cut shirts to bring out my collar bones; sleeved shirts to cover my arms; tops that synch in at the waist to contrast my hips from my waist; and emphasis on fit (not the ‘size’ of the piece).
Style truly has been a dynamic thing for me, and has been an integral part in me learning about myself and about the importance of listening to, embracing and loving me.
What has your style journey been like?