Fashion and Its Connection to Our Personal Identity

Taylor Tutt

Many view fashion as a trivial interest, simply a minor factor to our world without any significance to our daily lives. Fashion is often disregarded and undermined in its power of determining who an individual is and how they may show up to the rest of society or the communities around them. The truth is, fashion can tell us a lot about a person. From their culture, their interests, their careers, and even their personalities as a whole. In fact, often times we dress up to show people who we are and ultimately connect with others in the outside world. We are constantly using fashion as a way of communication, whether it is to show people our moods or how we are feeling that day, or even in an effort to form new relationships with people whom we may connect with off first glance due to their own similar and unique fashionable choices. The bottom line is fashion is more than what you throw on your body to get to wherever your headed that day. No matter how plain or by definition “basic” you think you may dress, even those fashion choices can tell an individual and those around them who they are and even what they’re interested in. Each and every day, whether you notice it or not, we are subconsciously curating what we wear and deciding how our styling choices will end up conveying who we are that day.

Finding how we identify to not only the world or to others around us, but also to, most importantly, ourselves, is one of the most crucial parts of our lives, yet often times seemingly very difficult and often changeable as most of us will not stick with one identity throughout our lifetimes. Of course, one of the best ways in which we can find our identities and then further express that to the people around us, whether that be to our families and friends or even at work and school, is through fashion! Personally, throughout my high school years and now as a freshman in college my own style and how I choose to identify and showcase myself in society has changed drastically. I went from dressing like most of my peers to signal that I wanted to and could definitely fit in, to transforming my style completely in an effort to look as different as possible from everyone else that I was around. Now, as I have learned more about myself, and what I like as an individual, including my aesthetics and what I plan to do with my life as I continue to grow, my fashion choices are starting to truly reflect who I am, who I want to be, and how I want to be perceived. Not only do I communicate through fashion to let people know the type of individual they will be interacting with on that specific day, but I have also found my own identity through fashion and my own personal clothing style. It should be noted, however, that not every day is the same for me and you and how we style ourselves on that particular day. Some days you want your identity to be one way and the next day it may be completely different. Our identities are allowed to be fluid, along with our fashion and style, because we as humans are constantly adjusting throughout our lifetimes and becoming anew every day, which is a great thing because it essentially allows us to experiment with different and unconventional fashions, allowing us to expand our fashion knowledge and get to truly know who we are, what we like, and again, how we choose to identify and communicate. 

Fashion designers often take this concept of identity and work it into the clothes that they design. They tend to use their own identities or even the identity of their models or muses to inspire their collections and the reason they make the fashion that they do. They use their designs to communicate to critics, buyers, celebrities, and to all fashion viewers as a whole the type of designer and creative that they are, why they create, and the identity that they embrace the most. Ultimately, this is self-expression.  We all use our identities as self-expression in order to reveal ourselves to the world. However, many battle with a proper form of self-expression and finding who they really are. That, everyone, is where fashion comes in. Don’t underestimate this major power of fashion. Fashion can help you find who you are. Fashion can help you express yourself. Fashion can connect you with your personal identity. Use fashion as your guide in becoming who you have always been and who you have always wanted to be and don’t be afraid to experiment with it, you’ll have fun! It is like playing dress up every day, only just a tad bit better because this time we get to use it in our daily lives. Fashion will connect you to your own identity and, best of all,  you get to find yourself. 

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