Regardless of where we came from or who we are, we have all been a victim to the stare. The dreadful, soul-shattering stare from some rando the makes you overly aware of every detail, every wrinkle, every imperfection that you think your outfit holds. The stare that makes your already too-heavy, steel-toed boots feel like blocks of cement on your feet. The stare that makes the cute, black skirt that you swore was down to your knees feels like it’s rising with every step you take and you can’t decide between an awkward waddle to keep it down or a gazelle-like stride to the door just to escape the stare. The stare that made you throw out the shirt you swore was never that tight or hide the sweater that you love just because the idea of wearing it makes your skin crawl. It makes your heart race and your palms sweaty. You walk a little faster with your head a little lower, hoping that if you don’t make direct eye contact with it, then it won’t affect you. But the truth is that no matter how fast you walk, or how low you hang your head, it still has an effect on you. And you are not alone.
We have all spent money on something only to wear it and wonder, “What was I even thinking?” We have all done that silent, awkward waddle of silent shame because we can’t stand to admit someone doesn’t approve.
Enough with letting that stare dictate what we can and cannot wear.
Enough with spending money on clothes that we can only stand to wear once, because the idea of wearing it ever again and subjecting yourself to the deafening judgment of an all-too-silent jury makes staying in and watching Netflix much more appealing.
Keep these three simple points in mind and dress everyday for the life you live.
This is simple. If you like it, if you’re comfortable with it—wear it. Do not let a stare or a snide comment stop you from being comfortable. If the Snuggie fits, wear it. If you want to wear that onesie with reindeer on it, wear it. It’s completely up to you.
Add your own twist to it. Make it you. Throw on some blue lipstick and big yellow dress. Wear colors that “don’t go together.” Those shoes that that one person said should never be worn? Throw ‘em on and kick the judgment to the curb. Your style is your style. There’s no reason you should cater to other people’s standards. Think about it. Does it really affect them if you wear your favorite platypus socks? Absolutely not. So go for it.
It is not okay to just wear what other people are okay with. It is not okay to judge other people for wearing what they want to. Be confident, be beautiful and outrageous. Be you in whatever the hell you want to wear. Style is not about conforming. Style is about staying true to your personality and owning it.
All in all, just be you. Yes, people will look and stare and judge, but it is so unfair to conduct life in a way that will please others if it leaves you feeling miserable and caged in. Own your clothes in more ways than just deciding to keep the tags on.
Photo by: Elena Rodriguez