I wrestle with the idea of personal style being alive and well in the 21st century. Given the digital era in which fashion has totally engulfed itself and the pretty images being constantly dangled in front of us, it is difficult for anyone to stay faithful to just one particular style. As humans, it’s natural to grow curious and question individual beauty when perfection seems to be a swipe away.
Perhaps, I spend a little too much time stalking style on Instagram. Maybe this explains why I constantly feel like my clothing has expired. Could it be that timelessness is not only based on craftsmanship but also how you navigate owning your style? Of course, if you repeatedly see the same images they will obviously have some effect on your psyche. You either feel an impulsive need to buy the product, or a little less stylish because you don’t have it.
Brands and influencers bombard us with the same images and products and this work out in their favour. And while social media may be a good place to stroke your ego if you managed to put together a stylish look, in your opinion, it can be an equally painful place five minutes later when it exhausts your trust in your self-confidence and personal style. Personal style is about self and aligned to your own views, so for this very reason personal style should probably kept somewhat personal. Perhaps we don’t need to post every look. Perhaps we should just be content with the fact that we really like it
According to author Dr Tim Bono of the book When Likes Aren’t Enough, “When we drive a sense of worth based on how we are doing relative to others, we place our happiness in a variable that is completely beyond our control.” If we really ponder on such, happiness will always be a fleeting temporary moment. There will always be a new product and that five-minute euphoria when you acquire a material possession will somehow become shorter and seem less enjoyable.
When we look at social media, coupled with the multitude of negative effects that the fashion industry harnesses, it’s no wonder that there are so many unhappy people behind those super flashy Instagram posts. According to a survey done by Today’s Style, 51% of women between the ages of 18 and 24 said they feel pressure to look perfect on social media. And 60% of women of all age groups said they would not post a picture on social media, unless they loved the way they looked.
So, perhaps personal style is not dead. We need to examine it without so much digital noise and appreciate it for what is truly is; it’s personal. This is not to say that you shouldn’t post pictures to your social media accounts but if it becomes a place where you feel less confident about your choices, then it may not be the best place for your style. After all, it was Bill Cunningham who said that the best fashion show is on the streets. So, wear your clothes for you not for social media.