Who knew that an identity crisis could be caused by the clothes hanging in your closet.

The idea of personal style was something that use to weigh heavy on my mind as I struggled to figure out “who I really was” in regards to what I wore. I speak in the past tense because this is no longer something I struggle with. Instead, it was just a very big bump in the road that led me to become a much better version of myself.

Without considering my year long Vineyard Vines obsession in middle school, I’ve never been dedicated to only one type of fashion, nor has there ever been one word to describe the way I dress. In high school (and even early in college) I looked to others for fashion and outfit inspiration and for what trends to try out next. What I thought was taking inspiration from someone really turned out to be me becoming exactly like them – what they wore, hobbies they had, how they did their hair, or applied their makeup. It was really weird because in the midst of it all I had dug myself deeper into not knowing who I was.

Not having a personal style is both a blessing and a curse because my fashion taste fits into so many different categories. Each day I play a new character depending on how I’m feeling, what I have planned, or the weather outside. I’m able to tap into different versions of myself through what I wear as each outfit hones into a certain part of my personality. One day I’ll dress black head to toe, the next I’ll wear a floral dress, or another day I’m Britney Spears from the 90s.

It’s been quite a frustrating journey, but through it I’ve learned to accept every version of myself. This issue goes so much more beyond clothes because it relates to self-love, self-expression, and confidence. It’s about getting to know ourselves and being able to accept who we really are. In some instances, other people use fashion as a way to self identify, to connect to their sexual orientation, religion, spirituality and so on.

Clothes are an extension of our personalities, our minds, and our senses. Our outfits speak before we do. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I guess an outfit is too.

~ Hannah

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