What Is 'Style' And Do You Have It?

[SOHO, New York]

In the grand scheme of things it probably seems trivial that I spent the majority of my teen years worrying about whether or not I would be considered fashionable, but I did. Back then I would hugely overthink my outfits, I was envious of my older sister's fashion sense and honestly I just wished that I could hurry up and figure out the whole 'personal style' thing for myself because quite frankly it felt like something that everyone else had figured out except for me. Looking back, I just want to shake my younger self and tell teenage me to stop worrying and go back to watching Hannah Montana or something...

So that brings me to the age old question, at the ripe age of 22 (how am I already 22?) have I now discovered my own personal style? Well yes and no, because (long story short) I had it all along.

I feel like there are so many connotations with the word 'style' and when we say or hear those words certain things tend to come to mind, but in my humble opinion, style is wearing what you want to wear, however you want to wear it and being comfortable and confident with that. When it comes down to it, who decides what is deemed fashionable or stylish? Fashion changes as time goes on and so do people's perceptions of it, but being confident in what you're wearing never really goes out of style and it's those people who I look up to.

You see, the thing is...

Everyone has style. 

I used to think that I didn't have my own sense of style because I'm not a pro fashion blogger, a celebrity, a stylist, a designer or a model and when push comes to shove nowadays I have a degree in Film and Television and that doesn't exactly scream "I'm stylish!" (<- although really, what on earth does scream that....?).

What I've realised over time is that a lot of us are actually interested and passionate about fashion and styling, it's just that we may not feel confident enough to shout that from the rooftops. Maybe your own unique style is understated or maybe you just think that how you dress isn't 'unique' enough to be considered universally stylish, so we keep our feelings in and avoid any questions centred around defining our personal style.

Regardless, I really believe that we all have our own style inherently and even though yours might change or evolve over time, it's there. So be proud of your personal style at any given moment in your life and embrace that.

Everyone defines style differently. 

It's easy to think of style quite narrow-mindedly but try to remember that we each define it in our own ways and we have every right to, that's what keeps things interesting.

In the same vein, try not to let other people's opinions of what style is influence your own definition of the word.

Just because one person might be the considered the pinnacle of street style for example, if you dress the polar opposite to them that doesn't mean you don't have street style- it just means your style is different. This may sound obvious to a lot of you but this lesson is one that took me far too long to learn!

The moral of the story is that if you think you have your own personal style or sense of fashion, that doesn't make you arrogant or conceited or silly, but do try and keep an open mind and don't forget that just because you don't think someone has any style, that doesn't make it true.

embracing your own style

Style isn't a destination. 

Contrary to what I thought when I was around 13, you won't just wake up one day and be stylish. You won't reach a certain age and suddenly be able to piece together these phenomenal outfits that you would never even have thought of before, sadly it just doesn't seem to work that way.

When I was little I genuinely remember thinking that when I was older I would know exactly how I wanted to dress myself and I would look great all the time and that would be that. Oh little Julia, how wrong you were.

I found that when I stopped thinking of personal style as something that I had to reach (like crossing a finish line) then it really relaxed my whole definition of what style and being 'fashionable' is all about. I think that if you think of style as a destination then you'll probably never feel like you've reached it.

Rather than that, try and think of your style as something that you always have, but it's shifting, changing and evolving with each day.

You don't need other people to confirm or deny it.

You don't need to wait for someone to say you're stylish to make it so. It's really easy to get caught up in what other people think (about everything) but I think especially with topics as controversial and subjective as fashion, it's a different story. If you read 30 blog posts and articles about how blue jeans are 'out of style' then yeah, it can be hard to walk around in your blue jeans feeling like you're the most fashion-forward person out there. Realistically, every fashion 'rule' or trend out there has sprung from the mind of a person, just a person, so why do they get to choose what's stylish? Decide for yourself and own it.

personal style

You know what, I don't think I've ever written 'style' as much as I have in this post (and now the word is starting to lose all meaning...) but on a serious note, do you agree that we're all stylish?