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  • Writer's pictureHelen English Artist

Dress it up!

I have previously talked about personal style in an artistic sense. That is, how we express ourselves creatively on a piece of paper but personal style in terms of what we choose to wear and present ourselves in public is just as diverse and important as a marker of who we are.

Much like painting style, sometimes it can feel like it happens by accident. For a lot of people it does. It can definitely feel like we are simply buying what is available and what fits us. Confidence is often another driver of what we wear. Clothes are often worn as a disguise in our society rather than a symbol of our fashion beliefs. I celebrate whatever colour or style you wear if it is a choice made out of love for who you are. My point is, wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if we wore clothes to express ourselves rather than as a barrier.

I had many of these epiphanies a month or so ago. It’s taken me many years but it occurred to me that the style that I started to develop in my late teens had been cruelly subdued by the real world! I was driven by the popstars who I admired – Madonna, Toyah Willcox, Annie Lennox, Kim Wilde – and I longed to be able to imitate their style but at work we were expected to wear tailored suits or the equivalent and, if you were female, there was an unspoken expectation of heels being an appropriate finishing detail. The DMs and quirky clothes took a hike to the back of my wardrobe to stay there for a few decades.

Although there are obviously workplace expectations in many jobs, things have relatively relaxed. It’s likely that that flats, even DMs, and more diverse hairstyles are not seen out of the ordinary. If you work in a creative field then you probably have even more leeway. If not, there’s always the weekend so I say dress for you and make a statement!

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