Fashion is superficial.
It’s a claim often levelled at those who care about style, or as a criticism of the fashion industry as a whole. Since I started fashion blogging, it’s a question I’ve grappled with frequently, why do I dedicate so much time to something which is so heavily focused on aesthetic? And, as I had a couple of existential crises in the library last week, I found myself pondering this question. I love fashion, I love clothes, I love picking my outfit in the morning (most of the time, when I’m not in a rush), I love the way I feel when I’m wearing an outfit that makes me feel confident and complete, an outfit that makes me feel like me. But does that make me superficial? There is so much more to a person than what you see on the outside, so why does what I wear on the outside matter to me?
Last Friday I wore an outfit that I wouldn’t say was ‘my style’. High Waisted black jeans, a denim shirt, white trainers, and golds hoops. I felt put together, I still felt confident, and my outfit got some compliments, but did I feel like me? No, not at all. It felt like I was wearing a costume. Now, I love being on stage don’t get me wrong, but in my day-to-day life I want to be myself, not playing a character.
And then it hit me, there is a major difference between fashion and style. Fashion is an art form, dictated to us by high fashion houses and magazines, but style is something else entirely. It may sometimes be influenced by fashion if that is something that interests you, but your style can be influenced by anything in your life, family, friends, travelling, literature, films, even the weather. Without sounding like a cliché, your style is fundamental expression of who you are. It changes throughout your life, it’s a reflection of your life experiences and how they’ve affected you. We’ve all looked back through our old Facebook photos and asked ourselves why we thought that outfit/hairstyle/make-up was a good idea, but growing up is all about making mistakes and discovering who you are, and your style evolution is just a visual reminder of that.
So after all my pondering I came to a realisation, fashion and style are only superficial if you use them to judge others. If you remove style from the public sphere and make it personal, you take away the insincerity of the aesthetic. Simply put, style is not superficial, it’s a way for us to understand ourselves within the world we inhabit.
I mean I totally suit a hat!!