With the fashion and beauty industries constantly shipping out new trends, here are some tips on how to authentically be yourself.
Experiment with new styles
Fashion is a chance to show people a new side to yourself, or a side to yourself that you don’t get to express in other ways. Be bold and be brave, buy those rainbow finger-knitted gloves and wear them with whatever the hell you want.
If you want to wear something but are worried about people looking at you, try wearing your outfit around the house for a few days until you get used to seeing yourself in it. If people do stare, who cares! You will look fabulous because you’re being authentic. Talk to close friends or family about it if you are worried about what people will think – sometimes talking things over is a great way to get out of your head and get styling.
Express yourself in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident
While fashion is exciting and interesting, it should never be a source of insecurity. It’s an opportunity for you to express yourself and walk down the street feeling confident in who you are. This summer, wear clothes that make you feel comfortable both physically and mentally. For example, wear shoes that you can walk around in comfortably and bring a jumper to cover up if it gets chilly (you never know with UK weather).
Keep it practical (ish)
While fashion definitely can and should be experimental, it shouldn’t stop you from doing the activities you want. For example, even if you do really love your new white floor-length skirt, maybe don’t wear it on a walking trip in the rain.
In the past, gender roles have forced both women and men into uncomfortable and impractical outfits. In the Victorian era, for example, women were expected to wear hoop skirts which could reach a diameter of nearly 6 feet. Not the most versatile piece of clothing ever!
Don’t let socialised gender roles or fashion norms force you to wear something that doesn’t suit the activities you like to do.
Go charity shopping
Your style doesn’t need to be based on whatever the latest clothing brands are displaying in the shopping centre. Pop out to the local charity shops and have a look at what’s on offer. This is a great way to find your own style outside of whatever the latest thing is. Charity shopping is also a much more sustainable way to express your style and get creative.
Read some queer-positive fashion magazines
Metal Magazine and Gal-Dem are both great places to start. Alongside politics and current affairs, these magazines talk about fashion and style outside of mainstream culture. Metal Magazine showcases some of the best up-and-coming faces in fashion and challenges mainstream heteronormativity. Gal-Dem centres queer people and queer perspectives in their publications, showing us how great fashion can be outside of the gender binary. Also check out Ashamed, a queer-positive magazine made for and by people of colour.
Don’t worry about it too much!
At the end of the day, they are just clothes. The person underneath them is much more important. Yes, fashion is fun and expressive, but it is not the be all and end all, so have fun and don’t sweat it.
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