#StyleMeAugust

This past month, my friend Lilly and I participated in the Style Me August challenge by Hilary Rushford. This is my reflection on the 31-day experience.

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I will start out by saying I am no ‘fashionista.’ I don’t have a love for looking ‘stylish’ and I don’t have a shopping problem. I don’t wear makeup or jewelry 99.9% of the time and my hair is usually tied up. I buy clothes on occasion, but am not the kind of person who shops every weekend. I mean, I do like shoes… but I’d rather spend my money on food and travel. Personally, this challenge was about exploring different ways to wear the clothes I already own.

I was a shorts and t-shirt kid. I grew up going to private schools (uniforms implied here) and my friends didn’t care how I dressed on the weekends. We were more concerned with silly things like Harry Potter and Monty Python.

College was the first time I didn’t have to wear a uniform. So I stuck to slouchy jeans and t-shirts for the first year or so. Occasionally, my friends would drag me to Rue 21… where I’d walk around aimlessly as they oodled over clothes. I just didn’t understand.

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By the time my 4 years at university were up, I had some stylish tops (via rare shopping trips with my mother and sister) and owned more than one skirt. I wore heels and dresses on special occasions… but preferred my Converse, to say the least.

Since then, I’ve been pushed into the corporate world. Last summer I had to buy ‘professional clothes.’ You know, black pants and blazers. I felt stupid wearing them. But, job interviews, ya know? I wasn’t comfortable wearing them and I felt really silly trying to pull it off.

Over my first few months working an office job, my subconscious took note of the outfits my colleagues wore. And eventually, I started changing some things about wardrobe to make myself feel a little more comfortable in my skin. I started mixing my casual clothes with my professional ones.

This brings me to August.

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In the past month, I have really enjoyed being creative with my outfits. I liked being given ideas/prompts and having the freedom to run with my creativity on them. I also enjoyed editing the photos. Pictures are so much fun! Normally, I’m only taking food shots- but this allowed me to play around with some different techniques. I am so pale…

Along with wearing things in different ways, this challenge boosted my self-confidence. Every day, I had to take a picture of my outfit for Instagram. For many of the days, I had someone else take the pictures. When you do this, you get a change to see how other people see you. And when you write a caption on a picture, you get to accentuate the positives of what you’re wearing. Having a daily reminder of how blessed I am and visual proof that I can rock those pants is uplifting.

This challenge has kept me committed to something for 31 days straight. I love a good bit of structure. So in a roundabout way, this challenge kept me motivated and organized. If you do nothing else today, Colleen, at least make a style post! Now I can say I did it.

It has also strengthened my friendships– especially the one I share with Lilly. It gave us something happy to bond over and it allowed me to learn more about her interest in fashion. For a few days there, my dad even tried to join in on the themes.

One more! It’s basically a summary. This challenge has allowed me to step outside the box. One day I wore jazz shoes because I was tired of flats. One day I wore a formal dress and glittered up the joint. And that last day- guys that dress was SHORT! Haha! But the best thing about all this was that I didn’t care what other people thought. I was enjoying myself and having fun with it. I believe that’s what matters.

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Click to check out my Instagram (brilliantruth) for individual postings!

It sounds cliché, but I think that as long as you’re having some fun with you life and aren’t hurting other people, it’s okay to do what you want. I care about others and sometimes I care about their opinions. But that shouldn’t always be the case. It’s difficult for me to find a balance, but with fashion, I have proven to myself that I can. So this is one experiment to check off my list in figuring out who I am. Thanks for reading!

CRCH

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