unfashunably late? or fashunably early?

Hello everyone! I hope the end of your semesters caused but merely one mental breakdown (preferably none at all, but that can be a big ask). We made it out alive, even if we endured a few scrapes and bruises. Speaking of making it out alive, if you’re thinking, “Hey, she no longer sounds like someone is holding a gun to her head,” you’d be right! Many of my previous posts were mandatory assignments and may have seemed a tad uninspiring, which is a strong turn left from what Unfashunable is all about. I hope you can forgive me and reconsider the prospect of us getting back together… I promise I’ve changed! No more covering current trends and go-to shopping hubs (unless I feel like it). Unfashunable is quite literally the opposite of that. I’m not Vogue. I’m not InStyle. Though I do study what’s in style. I not only respect trends, I often dabble! But in a way that remains sustainable and true to me. That’s what Unfashunable means: rejecting the fast fashion agenda and instead, wearing your soul on your sleeve, aka “personal style.” You’re gonna read me say that a lot so get used to it now. Personal style. Personal style. Personal style. In your system? Good. Now… what is it?

In less Liberal Arts terms than “wearing your soul on your sleeve” (paid $80,000 to The New School for that), personal style means wearing what speaks to you, not what is translated to you by massive capitalist conglomerates. They don’t speak human anyway. And that’s the thing about personal style that is intimidating – to be in contact with it, you need to have an idea of what it is to be human. To have individual thought yet a simultaneous desire for sameness. When the punk is a punk, he wants to be different and yet also the same. It depends on who is surrounding him. I’m not saying to be a chameleon. Instead, the contrary: when you find yourself, your environment changes to match your pattern. And maybe the patterns in your closet too. What is fashion if not but another channel to communicate values, moods, interests? And what if you don’t know how to communicate your values, moods, interests through fashion? Where does that leave you? Vulnerable to unsustainable fashion habits. Otherwise known as FASHION JAIL ’round these parts. You don’t wanna end up there. The jumpsuits are Shein.

This doesn’t mean personal style and fashion trends are mutually exclusive, but it does mean your judgment on which trends to participate in becomes clearer. When you know you will continue to wear it past its “expiration date,” past its allotment of stardom, it feels more like something you enjoy is popular as opposed to enjoying something because it’s popular. This discernment is a muscle that I still have to exercise, occasionally indulging in that cheat meal of an unsustainable purchase and later regretting it. The instant gratification doesn’t outweigh the hangover. Though, like all cheat meals, this duality is healthy in moderation. The fashion journey, often parallel to a self-discovery journey, is rarely linear. As your values, moods, and interests evolve throughout, as they tend to do, so might your expression of your personal style. And that’s okay. As long as you try your best to distinguish between influence and intuition, and just stop buying so much clothing in general (more on that next week), you’re on the right path.

Now, why is personal style so important? Why can’t we just wear trendy clothes?! BECAUSE! When you have cultivated your personal style, it transforms your shopping habits. If you’re dependent on trends to dress you, you will constantly be chasing an ever-changing, though often repeating, measurement, which is the literal definition of unsustainable. When shopping, people generally know to avoid companies that employ unethical labor and sourcing. But we sometimes overlook the internal ethical conversation. We might ask, “Will this even last a decade?” But what about “Will I even wear this in a decade?” How do we begin to even know the answer to that question? We can’t, but by getting to know yourself, you can make a pretty damn good guess.

I understand why fashion for some can be confusing, something they’d rather not concern themselves with at all. Some people genuinely don’t even care about what they put on their bodies, and guess what? That’s still a communication of values. Isn’t that so cool?! No matter what, what we wear conveys what we think. So might as well have it tell the truth. If you’re unsure as to what exactly your truth is – welcome aboard. I hope Unfashunable can help you feel heard beyond the mess of piled clothing on your bedroom floor. Let’s try to organize this chaos together.

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