Being a teenager is quite hard when it comes to clothes. I guess you start to push the boundaries of how short a skirt you can wear or how high heels you can get away with or even how much chest you can flaunt without looking cheap or annoying your parents. There are also many different fashions and styles to consider, there can be anything up into double figures in just one season. This spring/summer saw pastels, boho, sports luxe, male influences, tartan, white, metallics, folk, the list goes on and on. But for some people it is as simple as wearing what the majority of people in your town are wearing (this was extremely prominent where I live). It seemed to be that a leather jacket, graphic t shirt, dark blue jeans and white converse all together made the outfit that everyone from the age of 13-16 was wearing. I would walk through the town centre and seem to have multiple cases of deja vu. But no, they were all different people wearing almost identical clothes. Not me though, I might add. I was an anomaly.
I think most people have an image in their head of what they want to look like- I know I do. However trying to stick to this is very hard. I have been through several phases of trying to revamp my wardrobe to a new look but ended up getting side tracked halfway through. Many times. But there are ways to slowly evolve your wardrobe to a new style and a new you. I think I have come up with a list of things to do in order to keep yourself on track to developing a personal style.
1. Don’t follow the latest fashions.
They will be out again soon enough. Of course if you just happen to be avant garde and what you have been wearing for years comes into fashion then all is well. The only problem with this is that when it goes out of fashion you may look like silly. There are three solutions to this problem. a) carry on wearing it anyway- who cares what other people think? b) hang it up in your wardrobe for a year and bring it out again when you feel the time is right. c) get rid of it- a slightly stupid drastic approach, especially if you really like something but the option is always there.
2. Find celebrities who wear what you like.
This way you can scan the internet or magazines for photos of them and pin them to a cork board or blu tack then to your walls or door. This way you have constant inspiration for your clothes. Not sure how to wear a top, look to them for advice. The only word of warning is don’t copy them exactly. By doing this (especially if it is someone instantly recognisable by their style) you will end up looking like you are trying to be them. Not cool. Also, if they are a celeb their clothes will probably be out of the price range for the average teenager. Depressing, but true. Use your chosen celebs for a stimulus and to gather a few ideas.
3. Find shops which 9 times out of 10 sell things you would wear.
If you have a few go-to shops then you will be able to buy things which suit you and what you want. Find similar shops to those you love and sell similar clothes to those you love also. This is a simple concept and easy to administer. Obviously you need a few places up your sleeve otherwise you end up looking like a walking billboard, something you should avoid at all costs. I look at some people and can’t help thinking that they just look like a Topshop mannequin.
4. Buy several staple items
A staple item is one that can be worn with almost anything. It can be dressed up or down and go with nigh on any colour. Suggestions for this sort of thing would be:
- a white shirt- this will literally go with anything. Since I bought one last year I haven’t looked back, it is the most worn item in my wardrobe. I goes with any style, it can be teamed with the latest trends or something vintage or just quirky.
- a blazer- ideally black, grey or navy. This will smarten up an outfit in the blink of an eye. It can be worn with jeans, a dress, skirt, shorts, t-shirt, shirt you name it.
- white shoes- again, they will go with anything. However try and avoid converse- they are fairly expensive and as I said earlier, everyone wears them.
- a statement necklace
- simple skirt
- t-shirts in a variety of neutral colours
- vest tops
- black skinny jeans (even if you are going for a smarter, less casual approach they still work wonders
- a pair of leggings, whether you love them or hate them they are super comfy and great for almost any weather
That just about concludes my list. The only thing I can think is a pair of nude heels for anyone a bit older, they can be worn with any colour dress or just about any outfit really.
5. Don’t be afraid to look in vintage shops
I love vintage clothing so I’m a bit biased on this point but I would still recommend them. You will almost certainly find something for you even if it takes a bit longer than in your average high street shop. But patience is rewarded. Don’t be put off if you don’t find something straight away and be prepared to be surprised. You never know what you will find. If you are unsure about this I recommend watching ‘This Old Thing’. It’s a show about vintage clothing and upcycling old clothes presented by Dawn O’Porter. It’s on Channel 4 at 8p on a Wednesday for any UK readers.
So that’s it. I hope this post has been helpful and intuitive and maybe inspired you to change your look, don’t be scared of standing out and looking a bit different to everyone else!