Friday, 9 October 2015

In Defence Of Individuality


Individuality: the quality of a character or person that distinguishes them from others of the same kind.

Your individuality is what sets you apart from your peers, family, friends, and the other seven billion plus people on this planet. We can express our individuality through our hobbies and interests, the music we listen to and the opinions we choose to voice. The most obvious form of self-expression is, of course, our physical appearance and how we choose to present ourselves to the world. Sadly, this seems to be where a lot of us fall down.

I love fashion, don't get me wrong. There was a time when I would spend an embarrassing amount of money on magazines every month, and dream of nothing more than being a super-cool jet-setting fashion journalist, strolling the streets of Paris or New York, on a daily commute to a beautifully decorated, high-rise office.

Now, I'm not so sure.

As much as I love it, and the industry, and watching all of the glamorous shows and collections unfold through blogs, Instagram and magazines, there's a large portion of the fashion world that I'm not quite so keen on.

Every season, we're inundated with a list of trends we should be following, and 'must-have' items for our wardrobes, and who we should be watching, and looking up to, and striving to replicate in order to be 'on trend', whilst also desperately looking towards the next season in order to be 'ahead of the curve'. Sounds exhausting, right?

Not to mention the hefty chunk of media that forcefully tells us how we should be 'dressing for our shapes' - larger shapes should be trying to look slimmer, short girls should strive to look taller, etc., which personally, I think, is - pardon my language - but total bullshit.

This is coming from someone who would once indulge in trends because that's what everyone else was wearing. "That journalist in Elle said I needed these, so I went out and bought them."Do they make me feel good about myself? Not necessarily, but this is what's 'in season', right?

Doesn't that sound sad to you?

In the last couple of months, I've come to realise something quite important, a big weight-off-my-shoulders kind of realisation, the kind of epiphany we all need to have at some point in our lives, and sooner rather than later: I. Don't. Care.

Trying to run in the fashion rat-race is tiring, and draining. Unless you've got thousands of euros to spend on a new wardrobe every other week, you just can't. And indulging in trends and fads because you feel like you should, rather than because those clothes make you feel good, is wrong.

Fashion, at its core, is (or should be) about expressing individuality, finding what you like, and rocking it.

Realising you don't care is life-changing. It hit me one day that wearing certain clothes to please others is stupid, and that I didn't really give a shit if anyone thought the outfit I'd put together 'didn't work', because I bloody well liked it and I was going to wear it anyway. Fashion's supposed to be fun, but when you're caught in the rat-race, it's far from it.

Shopping is a hell of a lot more fun when you can pick up things you like, and not seek validation from whomever you're shopping with in order to justify buying it - that the only justification you need is that you like it.

Finding your own personal style is not only incredibly liberating, it's also imperative. Your wardrobe and outfit choices should reflect who you are, they should make you feel comfortable and happy and good about yourself. It shouldn't be about replicating another's style, but drawing inspiration from them instead.

The point is: you should love what you love because you love it, and not because someone else thinks you should. There is nothing cooler than seeing someone so comfortable in their own personal style, and putting together something they love, and rocking it with shit-tonnes of confidence. That is what cool should be - confidence. That's the only trend you need to follow.

Ciara Pollock © . Design by FCD.