Is Style Really A Form of Self Expression?



Aztec jacket 1 Aztec Jacket 2Aztec jacket 4Aztec jacket 3Aztec jacket 9Aztec jacket 6Aztec jacket 8Photos by Jennifer Coffey

So on a completely unrelated note to this actual outfit because it is just an outfit, after all, and really doesn’t require much explanation (I think Atlantic-Pacific is on to something with her silence). And assuming no one is reading this is find out which exciting bus lines I road today, I will have to think of something else to say until I, too, go mute.

I am no Man Repeller, who I think brings up excellent philosophical questions when it comes to fashion and what style really is.  However, for me, this is more of a fun and not serious form of art/(expression?).  Just a mere hobby that doesn’t necessarily reflect my world view and only semi-intentionally projects an image I am trying to show to the world.

Or wait, isn’t the whole point of this that it is 100% intentional? Now I’m confused.

Ok, let me think. My confusion lies in the fact that I have never gotten dressed in the morning thinking, “Ok, I want to project this aspect of my personality into my outfit today.  I want people to know I am ‘X’ just by looking at me”. I just think, “Oh, I kinda think that’s cool. I want to wear that” and then I do. (I don’t think it is bad if you do wake up and dress so people think you are a certain way.  As a matter of fact, it is probably good.  Definitely more thoughtful and isn’t that always good?)

Now, I haven’t completely gone through my whole sub-conscious on this subject yet, as my intention in the first paragraph was actually to discuss something entirely different (that being Pantone’s color of the year and my thoughts on that concept in general). But now I am interested in maybe the most overused expression of all time in regard to fashion.  The defensive response from seemingly every ‘fashionista’ – the “Oh I’m not shallow. This is my form of self-expression!” I do not dislike this response.  I just never related to it.

I have always felt like fashion was not a form of my personal self expression and that A) Maybe I was missing something and B) I just didn’t ever feel the need to defend a love for fashion so I never really cared to find a defense.  If you want to call me shallow, call me shallow. However, having an affinity for what I put on my body makes me no more shallow than someone who likes to, say, play video games.  It is just an interest. No harm, no foul.

I never understood how style was actually a form of self expression until, like, right now.  2 minutes and 45 seconds ago, I was about to write that style is not my form of self expression.  Then, I went through the scenario in my head of being forced into a very un-me (but cute) outfit and felt upset. Upset because it wouldn’t be ‘me’.  So I guess it is one of my forms of self-expression.  Ok, this is probably all super obvious to everyone else – but I just learned something.  Happy Friday, y’all!

Coat: Forever21, Sweater: Alexander Wang, Shoes: Steve Madden

12 thoughts on “Is Style Really A Form of Self Expression?

  1. I think it is important to feel comfortable in your clothes. It is fun to play “dress up” and wake up and say, “who do I want to be today”. Most of the time I am me, and that me doesn’t take fashion too seriously. I feel will comfortable in my favorite jeans and a favorite coat/jacket and not give a hoot about it.

    I could say more, but I worry about how it might come out. LOL.

    Dang it, I always have trouble getting out the words.

    Anyway, I love coat and the rest of the pieces go well together.

    Have a great weekend.
    Jeanine Marie

  2. The first thing that came to my mind was, “Aren’t her ankles ffffffreeezing??” lol! You always look cute no matter what you wear and that (to me) is what style is about~~not *what* you wear, but *how* you wear it when your spirit shines through. Someone else could wear this outfit and it would be just ho hum. Some people just rock an outfit no matter what. You seem to be one of those lucky people!

    1. You are totally right. It’s all about how you wear it. The Olsen’s could wear a potato sack and literally look so chic. And yes, they were cold! But it was one of our ‘warmer’ days here haha

  3. I really liked your reflections on the topic. In the end, it’s all kind of closely tied to self image and self perception, right? I think this is why people pick certain things in stores and don’t even look at others despite the trends sometimes. It really requires an effort to change the way you dress.

  4. I loved what you wrote – it has the playfulness and immediacy/self-discovery that your fashion has. I wonder how a person learns openness?

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