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The Rife Team

How I Use Fashion To Express Myself

Lucy turns out her closet to explain her fixation on fashion – take a peek

Fashion has been one of my biggest interests, ever since I was young.

I’d spend hours in my bedroom, furiously pulling out clothes and trying to find those that had been long forgotten, like that old, just the right shade of turquoise, moth-eaten jumper that I desperately needed for the next morning because it pulled the whole look I envisioned together. I’d go to sleep outfit-planning. I’d mentally running over what clothes I had, which I didn’t but lusted after, which combination was going to complement the other, and what the outfit I’d put together was communicating. I was obsessed with what the story was behind my outfits, how I presented myself and what I was wanting to tell the world with how I looked.

Clothing mattered to me so greatly because, to me, it was more than clothing. It was my way of presenting myself to the world.

When I put clothes together I’m creating a narrative, a story, which has been carefully crafted to communicate something specific.

Using clothes to express yourself is nothing new. Fashion is a way to communicate a thought, feeling or a mood to the world without having to open your mouth or answer anyone’s questions.

Whether you think you have an interest in fashion or not, it’s one of the easiest ways you can visually express statements about your identity. As I’ve grown and evolved, so have my fashion choices. For me, style is a personal invitation to express who I am. I can assert a part of myself. My inner confidence can be set up for the whole day with a strong outfit.

Fashion also plays an integral role in enabling me to create a social dialogue, even if that dialogue isn’t directly clear to the people who view it.

I dress for me, not others, and I can communicate through a look when I can’t comment any other way.

Your clothing may convey many messages, or may be subject to interpretation. It’s human nature to make assumptions just from looking at someone. Fashion is a language, whether you’re ‘shouting’ by wearing a bold pink puff sleeve dress or ‘whispering’ in a muted tone two piece, you’re still communicating. It can be taken down to an everyday level too – if you’re suffering from a two-day hangover and just need to survive the trip to Tesco’s for grease and carbs and you’ve thrown on that old pair of oversized joggers, slightly stained t-shirt and sunglasses, you’re communicating.

Fast forward a decade or two later from my first morning clothing hunts and I still find myself lying in bed distracted by my restless brain running along my clothing rails.

Here are a few of my favourite outfits that I feel express my personality and demonstrate how I personally use fashion and clothing to express myself.

Fashion is art, fashion is expressive, fashion is immersive. It can represent you, it can speak for you, it can be fun, it can be serious. The options and possibilities are endless.

Dress for yourself, dress for what makes you happy. Dressing for success is an old cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason.

Fashion of course is not limited to clothing, accessories, makeup and hair styling can add further to your social commentary when expressing oneself. It’s all about details.

A varied use of colours, prints, patterns and texture is what I like to see and wear.

I love putting together “clashing” patterns that wouldn’t necessarily go together.

Colour, cut, pattern, fabric, material and how individuals put it all together all adds to one’s statement.

Bold colours, playful and daring prints are part of my fashion “DNA”. I love playing with the clashing prints. Forget any fashion “rules”.

I’ve always used fashion as a way to express myself, either my individuality or as a way to integrate with my peers.

How do you use clothing to express yourself? Let us know on social media

Photos by Qezz Gill