Ever since I became interested in fashion, I've wondered about what being 'fashionable' means to me. Does it mean following what's trending - whether that be on the catwalk, the streets or Instagram - or wearing something uniquely, effortlessly, you? As I've grown up, I've realised that those two things don't necessarily have to oppose each other. For me, being 'fashionable' is a combination of both.
Fashion is a community. It's a place you belong; identifiable by certain clothes you wear. There's no denying that a great part of fashion can, certainly, be fitting in. Almost as soon as designers show their collections on the catwalk, fashion analysts are identifying patterns in the collections and forecasting the trends that will be popular for the upcoming season. Perhaps there was a penchant for military coats across the catwalks, as we saw in A/W '16. The variety of channels with which we can access fashion has increased vastly, too - it's no longer limited to magazines or catwalk shows, but also accessible via Instagram, Pinterest, street style, blogs (I could go on). So, our lives are more saturated with these trends than ever - whether it be the that Gucci T Shirt, the fishnet tights comeback, or, ahem, shirt dresses.
On the other hand, though, we also know that the way to make your mark in the fashion world is to stand out. It's about finding your own voice. Anyone can blindly copy every single trend they see - it's about how you wear the trends that makes a difference. As I pick out an outfit each day, I ask myself: what makes this outfit you? And for this post: what makes this look different from all the other outfits with shirt dresses that are littered all over Instagram?
The answer: combining a shirt dress - an item which most people would wear with bare legs, or tights - with the frayed hem RI jeans that were a massive hit last summer. So, two trends, put together - in an unexpected way. I was worried it would look frumpy, but the skinny cut of the jean makes it work, and the corset belt adds some much-needed structure to the shapeless shirt. These gorgeous metallic booties also manage to add an unexpected twist to a fashion-conscious outfit. And my favourite pink coat instantly made the outfit feel decisively me, adding a touch of elegance to quite a street look (although the yellow one allowed me to experiment). See, that's what being 'fashionable' means to me: keeping up with trends whilst maintaining your personal style. And, most importantly, being comfortable in what you wear.
Corset Belt: Zara
Jeans: River Island
Necklace: Brandy Melville
Watch: Abbott Lyon
So, what being 'fashionable' means to me is putting your own unique spin on things. Don't just be a trend-follower - be a trend-setter, too.