Nothing — and I mean nothing — made me feel more uncomfortable then when I spent a semester of University in Italy and sat down next to a sleek fashionable, Italian women in my ripped jeans, T-shirt and down-filled vest that made me look like a penniless student. I could tell by the way that she looked at me and sneered that she was judging me to be exactly that, and not the "worldly, intelligent exchange student" that I was hoping to be judged as (wishful thinking).
I spent a large part of my youth playing sports, therefore school branded sweats were my regular uniform, and I proudly wore the "I don't care what I look like" badge.
Except that I did.
Even more so after I started travelling to the incredibly fashionable cities in Europe and Asia.
Now it wasn't a jealousy or a vanity thing, it was a being judged as someone that I wasn't thing... and that's when I started looking at clothes differently.
No matter how much we fight it, our appearance tells the world who we are — how our hair is styled, whether we wear glasses or contacts, the state of our shoes, and what kind of pieces we decide to use to cover our bodies tell a story. NONE of these items have to be designer or expensive, but (in my humble opinion) they should be consciously chosen.
I decided to start thinking of clothes as an extension of my personality, or (being an art history student) as the paint to decorate my personal canvas (body). I can reflect a mood, a belief, a persona, and literally manipulate (for lack of a better word) the world around me to see and treat me the way that I want them too... who knew fabric had that much power?!
Interestingly, the more conscious I became of what I decided to wear, the less self-conscious I became.
I'm not the only one who sees individual's clothing combinations as an expression of self or an art form. The following fashion bloggers have inspired me for years, not only because they are incredibly fashionable themselves, but because they capture the essence of a person in their beautiful photographs. I hope you find some inspiration here as well!
1. THE SARTORALIST — The personal fashion blog of the amazingly talented Scott Schuman, The Sartorialist is "a two-way dialogue about the world of fashion and its relationship to daily life". Schuman captures incredible characters on the street, living their lives, and has released two beautiful books filled with his inspiring photos. His work has also been featured in magazines like GQ, Vogue Italia, Vogue Paris and can be found in the permanent collections of art galleries all over the world(!!!)
2. GARANCE DORE — Garance is one of those women who makes everything look effortless. Not only is she a talented photographer and writer, she is also an amazing illustrator (who's work has appeared in multiple publications) and is a fashionista in her own right. From France, she writes her blog in both French and English, and has a famous boyfriend... Scott Schuman! They travel to world together attending fashion shows and taking beautiful shots of inspiring street fashion... what a life!