It’s no secret that my style has changed over the years and honestly, it’s not a bad thing that it did. Sometimes when I look at old pictures of myself and see the cringe-worthy Hot Topic shirts I used to wear, I almost want to go back in time and give my past self a bonk on a head for thinking that was as good as I was gonna get. Honey, nah. I’m currently in my last two years in my twenties and I was recently looking back at some old pictures of myself, remembering all the style choices I made as I was growing up. In today’s post, I’ll be reflecting on how I dressed while in college as well as looking at my style choices now. Unfortunately, I will not be tracing back to high school me because that’s a road I would not like to go down again and honestly, neither would you! 🙂
Back in the early 2010’s was when I started to get into more brand name fashion. A lot of my influences came from shows like Gossip Girl and Sex and the City but brands that I have come to learn and love like Dior and Gucci were a dream but the price point wasn’t attainable at the time. Instead, I stuck with budget friendly brands like BCBG, Armani Exchange, and J. Crew. I was still learning how to style my clothing and trying not to go overboard with accessories. I realize that in order to obtain a classy look, I needed to go easy and not flaunt too many brand names all at once. I made my first big designer purchases later on that year like my Louis Vuitton speedy as well as my first pair of Tory Burch Reva flats so once I added those to my wardrobe, I started to think a little harder on how I would be able to style my outfits with those pieces. My style still had a long way to go as I continued to learn more about fashion and style.
I started living on campus during my junior year in college – I transferred from a community college to a university once I moved back to the Northeast. I couldn’t do a lot of shopping at the time since I didn’t have a job and I only had a certain amount of money saved so whenever I did go shopping I either went to the outlets or bought whatever I thought was cute at Forever 21. I was also inspired by Korean and Japanese fashion trends at the time – hence the infamous cat tights that was always shown on Tumblr. Before Instagram influencing became a thing, I stuck with Pinterest inspiration for a lot of my clothing pieces at the time.
I’d like to call this time period: trying to figure out my signature style. I kept bouncing back between dressing up with the latest trends as well as trying to combine my interests in Korean fashion with designer brands. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out too well as Asian fashion made me look like a high schooler again while I was trying to dress like what any other 24 year old would dress like. I also tried to go blonde but ended up looking like someone from a K-Pop girl group (don’t ever do this, especially with box dye). I still bought a lot of my clothes from Forever 21, H&M, and would order from YesStyle on occasion, but honestly YesStyle was a gamble as they were all OS fits all and I was averaging a size 8 in US sizes at the time. I tried to go for trends that were uncomfortable for me, like the off shoulder trend. I hate wearing strapless bras and I did not like the fact that my shoulders were so bare. I also didn’t have a huge shoe selection to choose from so I wore whatever I had lying around to the ground (bye bye, first pair of Revas).
As I approached my mid twenties, my interest in fashion definitely took a turn for more simple and adult-like pieces. I ditched all the college-aged clothing I had and Marie Kondo’d the living life out of my entire closet. I was able to make more than a living wage so once I had a more stable income, I started to invest in higher quality items as I’ve learned over the years that fast fashion stores like Forever 21 do not have quality clothing that can last for more than a season. However stores like H&M and Zara have fortunately stepped up their quality in recent years and still have an affordable price point for both basic and trending pieces.
It wasn’t until after I started working an office job that I needed to have pieces that were versatile but could also stay in style for many years to come. Lately, I’ve been interested in buying simple but higher quality pieces like denim and buttoned down shirts as well as solid color sweaters and to wear around the office. For colors, I’ve been sticking to neutrals- whites, grays, beige, and of course, black for a classic look. And because living in the northeast also has the price of living through cold winters, I invested in more jackets and hoodies so they went along with any outfit. I’ve also tried to stray away from having too many clothes with different patterns – I will do polka dots and stripes on occasion but I try to keep plaids and florals to a minimum since they’re more seasonal than all year round.
Looking back on my old pictures I realized that as my style continued to grow, so did I. I noticed how each period in my life reflected the way I dressed and how I perceived myself. I know that some people don’t have a specific style or way they dress themselves and that’s okay! For me, expressing myself through fashion and beauty helped me become the best version of myself. It’s okay to change your image as long as it makes you happy. Another thing I learned while trying to find my style was to be myself and add a touch of my own style in the process. You can only go so far with being influenced with what someone else wore on Instagram but in the long run, it’s your individuality that will make you and your style stand out in the crowd.
How has your style changed throughout the years? Let me know in the comments below!