I Dress Myself


- What's up?
In one of my favourite documentaries about fashion, iconic American photographer Bill Cunningham stated that"if we all went out looking like slobs like [him], it'd be a pretty dreary world." Every time I found myself getting distressed over people thinking I was way overdressed or trying too hard to faze no one at all, I refer to this quote and live by it. Fashion has been a vital part of my life the minute I could get up on my own two feet and run around stores in the mall as a child; pointing to anything that I would die to have to my dearest mother who never hesitated in embellishing her ambitious little girl. As time went on, I found my taste maturing as I discovered different kinds of fashion that were defined by their unique style. I didn't upgrade myself to fit into the fashion trends that would normally come and go, but rather evolved my style under the influence of numerous people I've witnessed on the media, the streets, through magazines, websites, and many more. Truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of the fashion girls' my age and my generation sport because it grew repetitive and ultimately a bore. Out of girl love, I respect it and give it a chance every now and then. But people always confuse this statement to be that I just wanted to be 'special' and 'not like the others' but what it really translates to is: I just don't relish it at all. To the ladies who know what I mean, that's great! And to those who don't but have always considered going against the current, here are some tips on how to wear whatever you want:


Alas, this is one of the hardest task to overcome while going through your closet and picking out what to wear. There have been countless moments where I just stood frustrated as heck in front of my mirror in an outfit I felt good in, but knew every one else would think I was trying way too hard. If your problem is image then don't worry; I've been down that road too. Sometimes I felt like I didn't have the appropriate figure to rock a certain look and would eventually just feel overwhelmed with disgust and hatred over an issue of insignificance. However, if you truly believe in your outfit then chances are everyone else will think so too and all that unneeded anxiety revolving around its ambience will fade away just like that. It's all in your HEAD! NO GIRL is ever too young or too old to dress how she feels. You are not dressed in a floor-length fur coat and 5-inch boots to impress the man in the corner or try to appear to others like you're having a good time; you are simply dressed that way because it's empowering to your own entity. You are also not required to dress up if you do not wish to even if you feel like you should because satisfaction does not come from the outside, but rather the inside of one's integrity.

In high school, I was voted best-dressed and to some people that always meant the 'one who actually made an effort to look good today'. Once again, misconception at its finest. There's a difference between 'trying' and 'being'. I naturally wanted to look put-together each day because for one thing, those were the kind of clothes I shopped for and for the other, it was just who I am. One of my best friends in the entire world during high school loved fashion and it didn't meant competition between us; it was just more curiosity and inspiration for my passion for fashion to grow. I remember walking down the hallways towards my classes in ankle boots so echoing that whoever passed me would've done a double-take. I immediately let myself know I was aware of this form of attraction I was receiving from others who didn't reciprocated my aspect, but it gave me confidence knowing I looked my best and feeling special in my own little way. Next time you see someone looking sleek in something you think you'd rock, never hesitate to drop them a compliment. You'll find that the other part of your confidence in your style comes from accepting and appreciating the clothes others choose to wear that make them feel good. So the next time you walk past a crowd in your highest platforms, don't slouch - strive!

LABELS are not dead! Everyone gets a little judgemental sometimes but that never stops them from going beyond and belittling someone over a silly title/stereotype. Who cares if you got that skirt from a thrift store? Whoever said anywhere that Forever 21 was just for the comfort of teens who didn't know how to dress well? Why can't I just care more for brands rather than cheaper merchandise? Is it so wrong to wear a dress even if it's freezing cold outside? There's always two versions of this argument and sometimes only one side gets emphasized more than the other. And since when can girls NOT be intelligent and dressed well at the same time? I mean yes, I'm crazy about fashion. But I enjoy other things too such as books and movies and music and art and small talks with strangers. It's just clothes; so how can a little shopping or interest in it hurt anyone? If you base your opinion about me (or anyone in general) upon what I wear or how I choose to wear it then you need a reality check. Don't tell me I'm anything but worthy of anyone's attention due to my love for fashion when you're so obviously obstructed by your own ignorance and intolerance. NO GIRL of fashion should ever be labelled as materialistic or self-centred (unless experience proves it wrong). As a lover of fashion myself, I love the high-end side of fashion as well as the low-budget one that comes naturally with it. Once you surpass this barrier, you will start seeing the actual clothes on people rather than how relevant it is now to the present.

LIMITS do not exist in the realms of fashion - you heard it first from the source. Don't believe me? Then you're probably taking Chanel WAY too seriously. Go CRAZY and try to not limit yourself with what you think would look good on you and what wouldn't.  If you're not having a ball in wearing what you like, you're probably living out point number one of worrying and overthinking about the consequences. And if you don't like to go crazy, who cares? I would rock a simple black dress every day for the rest of my life if I could. As fashion icon Iris Apfel once said, "When you don't dress like everyone else, you don't have to think like everyone else." Life is grand and so are the people in them; whether if its the clothes they wear or what they choose to do in them.


Photography by Priya Bhatti.

yours until the door closes,

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