It is something I have had to learn to live with, and have even learned to embrace. And like everything else, I have learned to incorporate it into my personal style. It’s all about becoming comfortable about who you are.
So many people I see are lacking a healthy sense of self for some reason – they may have low self-confidence, see themselves in only one specific role (mother, caregiver, wife, etc), or they may mimic elements of others’ personalities or style because their own sense of these is underdeveloped.
It’s all about knowing who you are on the inside. Where is your inner beauty? What makes you unique in this world?
By this time in my life, I finally have a good idea of who I am, although I still have no idea where some of these personality traits came from:
* I write dress codes and teach conformity at major corporations, but am still a big proponent of “if it feels right, by all means, do it”.
* I am extremely aggressive, yet always diplomatic and accommodating.
* I am a high-level extravert, who enjoys being alone just as much as being in a crowd.
* I am straight-laced, but make no effort to hide my quirkiness.
* I have a prim and proper exterior and a subversive sense of humor that only my friends are privy to.
Instead of hiding or changing the things that make me unique, I celebrate them. It has taken some courage to do this, but every day, my style evolves as I come up with new ways to let the real me shine through.
Some ways I do this is to celebrate the yin and yang that is me:
I will wear something truly unexpected with something completely unadventurous, like a black suit with like a hot pink tank and hot pink leopard pumps.
I always wear a conversation piece – usually it is an interesting necklace. Or an over-the-top pair of shoes. Or a less-than-average bag. Usually just one of the above will do. The conservative side of my personality prevents accessory overkill.
I try not to match. Yes, that’s right. When I first started out as an image consultant, everything matched. In fact, it was too matchy-matchy. As I have evolved my own version of myself, I make sure that everything I wear works together flawlessly, but matching is not quite as important.
I wear unusual color combinations. Once-upon-a-time monochromatic dressing was soooo me. Now, it’s more a matter of creating visual interest and stretching the acceptable limits by being both conservative and outlandish. It’s not easy, but it sure is rewarding.
I mix patterns. I will pair a striped pair of pants with a print shirt and by following a certain set of rules, it looks fabulous. Really!
I think it is so important to infuse your personal style with elements of your personality – no matter who you are or what you do. It’s all a part of living your style and being an authentic and self-actualized human being. Being comfortable in your own skin cannot help but breed confidence and self-acceptance. When one feels good about oneself, the possibilities are endless.