Dig Baton Rouge

EAST OF THE RIVER

By Katie East

A person’s sense of fashion is ever evolving. How you dress in college is nothing like how you’ll dress in your 40’s and certainly not how you dressed when you were a kid. Hopefully, your fashion gets better with age. Of course, there are the mom jeans and dad bods that can throw things out of whack. For the most part though, our style should get better with age.

I’m not one of those people that have always had a good fashion sense. I hope, that I’m finally finding my stride. Too often I went for what was trendy or fun and didn’t know what actually looked good on me. I wanted to try things because my friends wore them and also because no one explained to me how horrible gaucho pants looked.

Your body does not care what your friends are wearing. Your body is its own entity and you have to dress what you got, not what you want.

Usually, when someone becomes comfortable in their own skin their wardrobe reflects it. I look back at some pictures of me in my early 20s and it’s painful how hard I’m trying. Once I figured out what worked on me it was easier to avoid shapes that didn’t.

The biggest mistake when you finally understanding how to dress your body type is becoming too boring. I did this for many years and am just trying to come out of it. You realize you look good in v-neck shirts and shorts and thus you wear a slightly varying v-neck shirt and shorts everyday of your life. You are not a cartoon character; you should not have a daily uniform.

Obviously, this is boring and should only be a quick phase. It’s like the “getting your balance” phase. So, you put yourself out there and tried both salmon and mustard colored clothes and you can’t pull either of them off. Guess what? Only seven percent of the population can actually pull those shades off. After that, it’s easy to want to revert back to plain-Jane things you know look good yet unremarkable.

Eventually though, you need to set yourself apart style wise. If you think that last sentence excludes you, you’re wrong. If you are a human and ever plan on meeting another new human for the rest of your days then it matters what you wear.

First impressions are important whether you want to admit it or not and dressing to your shape and personality does make you feel better and more confident. Even if strangers didn’t look at you or judge your clothes (and they totes do) they would still notice a difference in your confidence when you’re dressed well. When you pinpoint your own style you look good and feel better; people notice.

The best way to try new things in your wardrobe is to pepper them in. You can try something “trendy” if you don’t try it with a totally new outfit; that’s a surefire way to look stupid. Also, downplay the other things you’re wearing if you’re trying something new and bold. Ladies, when you try a neon lipstick don’t also go for major eye shadow. Tone it down. You don’t want to look like a drag queen (unless you do and if so, by all means go for both). For dudes, don’t wear plaid pants when you’re wearing a new salmon shirt. Plus, didn’t we talk about the color salmon? It’s not you – it’s the shirt.

It’s important to stick to the basics and layer on fun or different things as you go. The most fashionable people I know always have one pop of color or one interesting article of clothing or accessory they want you to focus on. Your outfit should be like a band instead of a chorus; there should always be a lead singer.

The key to fashion, and happiness in general, is balance. You don’t want to be over the top but you shouldn’t blend in with the background either. What you love today might be a glaring error in a family photo down the line. The older you get though the more you realize that whatever you feel good in is probably what you should be wearing. Confidence looks better than any brand of jeans could.

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