For starters, let’s just get clear on what that word means (as per the definition when Authentic Synonym is typed into Google Chrome):
of undisputed origin; genuine.“the letter is now accepted as an authentic document”
I love this word. And I love that it’s an adjective….you know, that it is a descriptive word for a person, place or thing. Us. So you see, when it is used as a descriptive word, that allows us to use it to describe both ourselves (person) AND our style (the thing only we can represent…unique to us). #BOOM Maybe you live in a fashion bubble…rest assured, you do not have to blend in! In fact, you will be the breath of fresh air when you walk around as the one who dares to be an original.
Genuine, honest, legitimate style….it’s what I’m talking about. Because I feel pretty sure you can see someone you know well, and feel like they always look good / put together / on trend, and you think, “GIRL! That outfit is so YOU!” That is because how they dress, represents how they interpret the fashion that is available to them in the multitude of avenues. And now, with social media it can be overwhelming to really understand how to make it make sense to you.
When looking for my authentic style I really did try alot of different themes, or maybe I just had to figure out a way to be creative with what I had access to, which wasn’t alot out on the farm. GLAD bags full of hand me down’s was how I shopped. Here’s what I do know, back in about grade 8, my friend Shawna Korosi and I hung out alot. And she had an older sister Mary Anne. Now as a young teenager, it is always pretty cool to hang out with the older kids. I will never forget it….for some reason, Mary Anne looked at me and said, “Taryn, I like your style. You are a total original.” Whoa. I liked the sound of that.
So here’s what that meant to me. I didn’t worry so much about what I looked like to other people (but I wouldn’t cross the line of offensive or inappropritae….I mean, I cared enough to know about that), I just tried to find combinations that fit my mood, fit my style at the time, and didn’t really consider whether it made sense to everyone else around me.
I wasn’t one to show off alot of skin; but I did manage to wear black crushed velvet leggings as pants, with a crop top sweater about 3 times in college. (OMG, that was three awful moments in my journey to authentic style. haha!) I DO however love it when I’m wearing something I feel great in, or love how “me” it is, and people take the time to let me know it looks good! Let’s face it, everyone loves to be complimented (which we should all give out freely on the daily).
While I have grown immensely over the years into my current style (as we all do….it’s something that get to change or have evolve MANY times in our life if we want!), I would say at about 28/29 I had found the look that made me feel great, and have stayed true to that ever since. Classic mixed with trends is my happy place. But in today’s world, there are so many more ways to access fashion than ever before, it can be totally overwhelming! You can like a picture on Instagram, and potentially be sent an email with the link to that dress, and you click that and order to have it mailed to you in a few days! Fashion at your fingertips is no joke!
When you are feeling like you are in a style niche that is similar to many around you, yet you do still want to have your own authentic twist on things, this is where I really encourage you to look for the details. I’ve talked about this in previous post called Style Tips, and I really think it is the differentiator between you, me and everyone else. Find the colors of the season, then find shirts, skirts, blouses or scarves that have something interesting about them. I LOVE DETAILS.
What should you look for? A slouchy pocket instead of a typical one on a t-shirt. Sleeves in a different or perforated material than the body of the shirt. Draping of materials. Great embroidery, whether a word, florals or just a cool design. An interesting hemline whether scalloped, fringed or otherwise. Material that makes the shirt / dress/ skirt seem flowy-er (is that a word?) . Maybe a sweater with a lace trim? Distressed denim (every pair is different!). Accessories that give you an emotional reaction when you see them on you. Or a dress that is totally modest in the front but with a cut out in the back? With fashion being so accessible, there are endless possibilities! But if that intimidates you and keeps you from even bothering to shop, then you and I should chat, I might be able to help!
Upcoming post on Aunthentic Style will be what questions I ask my friends or ladies who ask for my help to shop for a new look, an outfit, or an event, or even do a full on closet & wardrobe intervention! I love hearing about what calls to people, moves them towards certain styles or colors, and encouraging them to try something new. Until then, think about what YOU feel great in….why is that, and how do we get you more of it?