Personal style scares me. I am still not sure I have found mine. Maybe it is because I went to private school and wore a plaid skirt, white button-downs, knee-socks and loafers until I turned eighteen, but I still feel like I am trying to create my personal style. Sometimes I want to look preppy, borrowing tips from Blair Waldorf, glossing my lips, curling my hair and topping everything off with a headband. Other times I will be clicking through a street style slideshow, and I will fall in love with a piece of clothing I simply have to emulate through my own clothes. This is how the black leather slides I never wear wound up in my closet. In a world dominated by loud personalities, and bloggers with clear styles and niches, it is hard for me to interpret trends, emulate styles I love and stay true to what I love. Online, freedom of speech is democratized, but the surplus of voices makes it necessary to individuate yourself. I sometimes struggle with this, when I don’t even know what to wear.
Thrifting has helped me with this, because it forces me to only buy things that I love, that make me feel like myself. In my endeavor to discover my personal style, I ask myself what I feel happiest in, what makes me comfortable and confident about how I look. Then, when I thrift, I look for things that match this. Many of my favorite pieces of clothing are indeed thrifted.
I have an over-sized white button-down that I absolutely love. I bought it at a hospice thrift shop for six dollars. When I pair it with skinny jeans and loafers I feel like my grandmother, and also like my idealized self.
One of my favorite skirts is actually a hand-me-down from my mother. It is a girlish and flattering, light grey with flowers and embroidery on it.
Some of my favorite shoes are from Goodwill. They are olive green, pointy-toed flats with a bow on them. They are old, the insides are peeling. I feel like they are the perfect fun completion for approximately half my outfits.
A recent favorite I found thrifting in Brooklyn is a white Mexican dress with colorful flowers embroidered on the collar. It reminds of dresses sold in the tourist district of my hometown- San Antonio. When I wear it, I am reminded of home, family, and Mexican food.
These are just a few of the items I have found at thrift shops that have helped me develop and create my own style. They give me confidence that the message I am sending about myself to the world via my clothes is accurate, that I am not dressing to copy a celebrity or a runway show but that am dressing to convey who I am.