The Student News Site of Kent State University

a magazine

The Student News Site of Kent State University

a magazine

The Student News Site of Kent State University

a magazine

Building Confidence Through Personal Style

Photographer: Abbey Monty
Stylist: Stephanie Mossop
Model: Candy Autrey

Imagine the feeling of wearing your favorite outfit every day without the scrutiny of outfit-repeating. You would feel like a million bucks; everything fits exquisitely, and you identify with the clothing you wear.


What if this could be true for every outfit?


We must regard the cost factor to start, as well as the unrealistic expectations of curating a closet full of clothes you adore. A full closet is not necessary. Instead, consider staple pieces that you could wear with several outfits. 


Outfit-repeating has notably been defined as redundant and uninteresting. Influencers and celebrities have immersed our feeds with a warped view of consumption. Shoshanah Wall explains this in The Stigma Behind Outfit Repeating, stating, “Each new outfit posted on an influencer’s socials is a potential paycheck, with nothing to gain from re-wearing older looks.” This may apply to influencers and celebrities, but it does not apply to the general population. The standard set by micro-trends promotes fast turnarounds for purchases and disposal that could be better spent on a garment with longevity. 


Loving fashion does not equate to designer clothing and purchasing from the “hot” brands influencers are promoting. There may be pieces that speak to you, but consider whether you would wear the desired merchandise several years from now, or more realistically next month.


Personal style is timeless. Consider the silhouettes, colors and textures that compliment your body and skin tone. Understand that garments can be worn in a variety of ways, exuding a completely different style. The most rewarding aspect of styling outfits is pairing pieces together that feel mismatched or out of place but just work. Sometimes, the experimentation sends a wave of embarrassment throughout your body once you are out in public for the world to see. But it’s all a part of finding your voice through fashion and learning what you like and don’t like. 


Model: Leah Thompkins


Recalling my high school years, I remember wearing outfits inspired by the “e-boy” aesthetic because I felt confident in black clothing and wearing graphic tees over striped long-sleeved shirts with baggy pants. It was a staple outfit I could manipulate in various ways by styling it with jewelry or a beanie.


Reflecting years later, I cringe at the style choices that I thought were well-executed and unique at the time. However, I was exploring my style and I felt satisfied with my selections at the time, so why be critical? 


The way I chose to dress in high school has evolved into my style today, which is ever-changing, yet authentic. Authenticity develops confidence, and when we have the nerve to dress in a way that fits us, we emulate confidence and attract like-minded people.


Anna Catrall dissects personal style in her story, Inner Radiance: The Connection between Personal Style and Feeling Good, and suggests, “Our inner state of mind and outward appearance are closely connected.” This sparked a vision of a lifestyle consisting of waking up and envisioning the day ahead of you. Maybe being mindful and choosing an outfit with intent can give you the momentum you need throughout the day.


Encapsulate your feelings through clothing when presenting yourself to others. It’s a window into your soul that opens you up to human connection. Wardrobing can have the power to shift your day for the best.


I think about walking into a coffee shop wearing an outfit that fills me with contentment. I feel bliss in what I wear while fading into the swirls of latte art and classical music with intense focus. Or think of wearing a sophisticated outfit to class just to show off a newly thrifted gem. There’s always this voice telling you to regret your choice because others are just wearing sweatpants. You mutter to yourself in embarrassment just because you feel a sense of seclusion or unwanted spotlight. 


This is the discomfort of expressing yourself; however, this is all a part of the beauty and horror of building confidence through personal style. 


There is no need to take yourself too seriously. We are all trying our best to build confidence in ourselves during this contradicting, image-focused digital culture. There is this overwhelming anxiety that reeks of self-loathing and disconnection. 


Yet, despite it all, there is hope.


Treat others with kindness, believe in the power and love within yourself, and dress in a way that reveals your heart and opens you up to connection with others.


Support Student Media

Hi! I’m Annie Gleydura, A Magazine’s editor-in-chief. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.

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