Yeah, this outfit isn’t an ordinary pairing. That’s precisely the point.
Diversity is influencing the world across a multitude of different avenues today, and it’s beyond liberating. However, its work is far from done. Especially when you’re talking about personal style. In honor of NYFW this past week, I felt it appropriate to discuss the acceptance of style diversity. Our styles are a form of personal expression, our own personal artistry. It shouldn’t be a way to divide, but rather appreciate the beauty in daily individualism, both mainstream and alternative. Today’s post is for everyone: those who identify outside the box and those who don’t, and I invite you to join the conversation.
The Stigma’s Origin
Experimenting with style has always been a special ritual for me. Every outfit I put together allows me to showcase a different side of my personality. People tell me all the time “I could never wear that or pull something like that off”. My response is often “well, that sounds like a personal problem”. A personal self-confidence problem to be exact. Social media allows us to get inspired by different sectors of fashion more easily, however it hasn’t always been supportive of its diversity socially. It can be easy to get labeled in public or online as weird when we express ourselves outside the box through our style choices, especially when it’s off the mainstream path. Self-confidence in ourselves is where this aversion stems from.
While labels seem like a way to distinguish ourselves, it’s actually more divisive and limiting: girly, gender neutral, tomboy, “cool girl” are all ways to separate us from each other. Flip your mindset this way: when you see someone with a style opposite yours, instead of judging the book by its cover, take a look at the person wearing it. Celebrate their confidence and their joy of personal expression. That’s what fashion is all about at its core. We all have a seat at the table, and this season at NYFW, I was thrilled to see many designers taking a leap into their own creativity to bring more alternative forms of style together with popular trends on the runway.
Brands That Embody Style Diversity
Do you ever feel like its impossible to find something that really resonates with your personality in store? I feel you. As early as I can remember, I always felt like what I wanted to wear just didn’t quite exist yet. It was part of why I wanted to grow up to be a designer (I still do. Stay tuned). However, these days, there are SO many up and coming designers of all styles and demographics. Chances are though, you haven’t heard of them. I’m here to tell you, they DO exist, and your voices are being heard. As a fashion blogger that focuses on an alternative niche, there’s nothing I love more than sharing those voices with you:
Gypsy Sport: I had the honor of attending the runway show in 2017, which sent ripples into the fashion industry last year in regard to alternative fashion and style diversity. Rio Uribe unites people of all backgrounds and gender identifications through streetwear that celebrates the beautiful differences in personal styles and perspectives, all under one label.
Rack Addik: Built on the foundation that feeling fashionable and beautiful can come right from your own thrift store and personal creativity, Kelly Dempsey pioneers a new way of looking at the clothes we choose. Our gender, personal style, or where we came from is less important; it’s more about the confidence we have while wearing what we choose.
Dolls Kill: I love the playful and creative vibes of this San Francisco based brand. If you’re looking to take a step away from a more feminine style, this is a perfect way to test the waters with a pair of killer shoes or a fun graphic tee/sweatshirt.
Jac Vanek: I’ve been following this gal since her early days and DAMN: can I say just how refreshing it is to see someone with a major side of sass kicking ass through some cheeky merch? If you’re a witty, sarcastic B like me, do yourself a favor and follow her. Her store is under construction at the moment, but stay tuned for some more awesome hoodies, mugs, etc to drop.
Dress: Fluid Checks Dress, See by Chloe
Socks: Roller Crew Socks, Adidas
Sneakers: Perf Leather Slip-On, Vans
Sunglasses: So Real Sunglasses, Dior
Backpack: Blue Olga Backpack, See By Chloe
Primer: Ambient Light Correcting Primer, Hourglass in Luminous Light
Foundation: The Influencer Clean Longwear Foundation, Sunday Riley in 140
Highlighter: Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, Fenty Beauty in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal
Blush: Air Blush Soft Glow Duo, Marc Jacobs Beauty in Lines & Last Night
Eyes: Naked Petite Heat Palette, c/o Urban Decay
Lashes: Ardell Wispies, Target
Lips: Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick, Fenty Beauty in Spanked
Photos by Lydia Hudgens, makeup by me