Words: Katie Vince (She/They)
Artwork: Lewis Aitken (He/Him)
As a generation, we are so focused on what everyone else is wearing and fitting into the crowd. Take the recent tiktokification of Y2K fashion, for example. Personal style is about finding clothes which express your personality and individuality. Discovering personal style is a different journey for everyone. It requires you to experiment and step out from what you know and are comfortable with.
My ‘style’ before moving to university was questionable, to say the least. My outfits solely consisted of one pair of ripped-knee Joni jeans which left my Papa teasing ‘Did you get those half price?’. The first time I tried experimenting with my fashion was in 2018, when I was planning my outfit for a Harry Styles gig at the Hydro. I paired a little white cropped tee with a pair of very on-trend black and white pinstriped trousers (daring, I know). When I moved to Glasgow, I used my SAAS for its intended purpose – to overhaul my wardrobe. But despite having the clothes, I had no idea how to style them. Primarily, I dressed in more of a feminine style, but my ex-girlfriend dressed very differently from me. Taking inspiration from her, I began flirting with more of a masculine presence, alongside my own more feminine long skirts and playsuits. I’d nick bits and pieces from her wardrobe, until we broke up and I eventually had to buy my own.
I don’t quite know what feels so intimidating about experimenting with different styles, perhaps it’s a fear of embarrassment or judgement. I felt that fear looming over my head a hundred times worse when I lived at home and knew every single person in a 10 mile radius from me. But moving to Glasgow made this a lot less daunting. I gained a lot of confidence from not knowing many people in such a huge city and not feeling those same eyes on you 24/7. It also helps that the people I now surround myself are pretty fucking cool themselves. They make me feel comfortable expressing myself which has certainly helped me come out of my shell with fashion.
I don’t receive judgement for what I wear, only enthusiasm, and excitement that matches mine. Experimenting with my style has allowed me to explore and embrace elements of my gender identity and sexuality, not limiting myself to fit simply into a box of being either masculine or feminine. Alissa Carrington – a non-binary social media influencer and model – has become a major style inspiration for me. Alissa caught my eye back in October of last year, after they walked in LA Fashion Week. Their style switches from sleek monochrome moments with trousers and a plain tee, to more casual looks with a graphic tee, loose-fitting jeans and a pair of converse. When deciding on and styling my more masculine outfits, Alissa’s Instagram is my first-stop.
Two apps have been my fashion saviours – Pinterest and Whering.
In the past I was never really a Pinterest girl, but it has been one of my main sources of outfit inspiration over the past few months. I’ve created my dedicated “fits” board, saving anything and everything that looks remotely stylish. For a seminar a few weeks ago, I managed to get past my fear of looking like a “little lad” and styled my outfit based off a saved pin – a sweater vest with a white shirt, trousers, and my trusty black converse. After multiple FaceTime calls to my best friend to check-in for reassurance, I ventured out into the world.
Whering is the 21st century’s answer to Cher Horowitz’s dream outfit organiser – it has become my holy grail. It is a digital wardrobe that catalogues your clothes and creates outfits, without having to sift through your entire wardrobe, leaving you to deal with the bomb-site aftermath. It even has a lookbook for each day of the week, so that you can save outfits and check when you wore them. On a day of procrastinating assignments, I took photos of every single item in my wardrobe and created my digital wardrobe. Pairing Whering with Pinterest, is an easy way to get outfit inspiration using the clothes I already own.
My personal style is certainly getting there, but I’ve still got a way to go. I think, like anything, it’s important to figure out what works for you, rather than what’s trending. Finding that style is definitely a rewarding journey and one I couldn’t recommend enough. Getting an idea of my personal style has enabled me to express myself and feel comfortable in the clothes I’m wearing, but I still have a way to go.