Trends easily define every aspect of modern life, we know that. Not just fashion but music, food, books and anything pop culture. And trends are great guides don’t get me wrong, but more and more often we are becoming defined by the trends established on the runway and in stores. The fashion world is a crazy place with overwhelming creativity and what seems like an endless supply of fresh ideas, yet these new ideas are put in boxes by people who are looking to determine their “personal style”.


In any fashion oriented environment you can expect to be asked what your “personal style” is and to me this was one of the hardest questions to answer. For years I have been trying to label and lay out exactly what it is I like to classify myself as based on my style, but this style never really seemed like mine at all. I would look online and determine the latest trends, what’s “cool”,  what others at school were wearing, and then try to stick these qualifications along with my personal and creative outlook on fashion into a tiny box labeled something like “preppy”, “girly”, “bohemian”, “classic”, “sporty”, or “grunge”.


The term personal style started to lose the personality when I was trying to find my niche in a predetermined look and ended up altering their interests in order to fit in. You have to be able to let go of what others are doing, even what fashion experts are doing, because in no way are other people's choices going to help you make yours. Not to say a defined sense of style is something to avoid because if you do happen to know exactly what makes you feel powerful and confident then always go for it-- as long as it’s you.


Time and time again I have put an item back on the rack when I absolutely adored it because it didn't fit the style I was going for or it wasn't on trend. And there’s no use in spending hard earned money on clothes that feel empty or useless because you bought them in a trendy, fast fashion store. Gather the things you love and take inspiration from them in order to find out who you are in your style. Step outside of the comfort of fast fashion and experience new stores or discover the timeless, recycled pieces of a thrift store.


After experiencing fashion abroad for three months now, where it seems as if everyone dresses for themselves and dresses to impress, I have finally gotten the boost I needed to be confident in how I portray my enthusiasm for fashion. We are not meant to be divided and limited by style stereotypes, because fashion is is a string of trends, interests, and inspirations decided by the individual. Wear what makes you feel comfortable whether it’s on trend or not. Buy what you love simply because you love it. Your style is what you make it so explore new things, be adventurous, ignore your comfort zone, and make fashion fun again because it should never be a chore if it's something you love.


Dress out of the ordinary and ignore the expected, because without that fashion will become everything but extraordinary.