What Does It Mean To Dress For Yourself?

With so many magazine articles and advice columns giving us the inside scoop on what’s “in” or “out” every season, it’s easy to second-guess some of the pieces of clothing in our closets. No one wants to be, dare I say it, last season. (The horror!) But what happens if your staple item or accessory is on the list of trends to leave behind with 2015? You should definitely throw it out, right?

Absolutely not! If the item compliments your body and goes well with your style, keep it and keep rocking it. Look to blogs and mags for outfit inspiration, styling tips and knowledge about designers — not a total makeover of your unique style. If you see a trend and you want to experiment, go for it! But don’t feel like you need to abandon your entire aesthetic to do so.

The truth is, while some fads are definitely worth investing in, many aren’t. The deciding factor is always you. Clothes are essentially your second layer of skin, and in order to be confident in your body, you must first be comfortable with it. That’s why you should always dress for yourself.

The concept of dressing for oneself varies from person to person, so Valley asked students what “dressing for yourself” meant to them.

“I’m not going to wear an outfit for the sake of conforming or fitting any expectations. Dressing for myself means I’m going to wear an outfit that makes me feel happy, confident, and comfortable,” says sophomore Jacqueline Murphy.

“For me, fashion is about having fun and dressing in a way that makes you feel happy and most confident. I believe in experimenting with trends, both old and new, and if others like what I put together, great! If not, that’s fine just the same. I don’t aim to please others with the outfits that I wear, my goal is to express how I’m feeling in that moment or showcase a movement or trend that I’m interested in,” says freshman Daniel Englander.

“I think style and how you decide to present yourself to the world is an extremely personal decision and one that reflects a lot of your intrinsic nature. Style is such a projection of who you are, what you’re feeling, and what you love that the idea of trying to enforce ‘rules of fashion’ or ‘trends’ seems inherently contradictory to me. We live in a culture that’s very heavily dominated by capitalist interests that are based in telling people, specifically young women, what to wear or how to look based on how much money it’s going to make. I think, for me, a lot of what it means to come into your own style seems to be bridging the gap between what those people are telling you to wear and what you know you feel most comfortable in,” says english major Charlotte Williams.

And there you have it. The general consensus about dressing for yourself implies comfort and confidence. Don’t be a slave to fashion fads. Keeping up with the trends will have you emptying and replacing your closet every new season, and no one has the time (or money) to make that happen. So dress for your body and your style and wear it with confidence!