I’ve always been a fairly confident person – even through my middle school and high school years. I attribute a great deal of this to fashion. Nothing has ever boosted my confidence more than when I’m wearing a fab outfit. When I like what I wear, I like myself even more than I already do, as narcissistic as that may sound.
"What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language." —Miuccia Prada
I can remember being 7 years old and having three wardrobe changes a day. I needed an outfit for school, for playing with my friends after school, and for relaxing at home before going to bed. There was a purpose for each outfit, and I enjoyed finding what my next fashion statement would be for my next “event.”
For as long as I can remember my mum allowed me to pick out my clothes. I was picky with my outfits and knew what I liked. I couldn’t be told what to wear – I had my own vision. Even when I was playing with my friends, it was always playing dress up, and of course, I needed a wardrobe change to fit with what was happening. I always enjoyed pulling outfits together no matter the circumstances. It prepared me for whatever I was going to be doing in the moment, and I always felt “cool” and confident wearing whatever I chose, and this whole mentality carried through all these years later.
"Playing dress-up begins at age five and never truly ends," —Kate Spade
I can (unfortunately) vividly remember this one specific outfit I wore to school one day when I was 11. It was a denim jacket, plain white tee, green khaki shorts, and wait for it…. black and orange tights. Looking back on it, that was probably one of my most questionable outfits, but in the moment I felt proud of myself. I loved being able to layer. I loved mixing styles. I loved creating a colour scheme, albeit a weird one. At 11 years old, I was still confident in it. I had the independence to choose what I wanted to wear, and channeled my mood for that day into the outfit.
"The joy of dressing is an art." —John Galliano
My outfit always reflected my mood. Even now, you can tell exactly what mood I’m in, or what mood I’m channeling by what I’m wearing. Whether I’m business professional for a presentation at work, or a sparkly dress to show off that it’s MY birthday and here to celebrate – my mood is readily represented.
One thing I learned in college is channeling fashion into my mood, or what mood I wanted to be in. After long nights studying, and early morning classes, I was tired for about 4 years straight, but I never wore leggings or sweatpants to class. My thought process was I may not be in the most peppy mood, and may not want to be sitting in a three-hour class right now, but I just KNOW that the second I put on my favourite pair of pants and a cute top to match, and add some accessories my mood will be lifted 25 levels. The second that completed outfit was on I forgot every tired and unmotivated thought.
"You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it, you’re nobody. I’m not talking about lots of clothes.” —Diana Vreeland
At the end of the day, I have nothing but fashion to thank for my confidence. If it weren’t for the flattering styles, prints, designs, and different styles I wouldn’t be as confident as I am now.