The Link Between Personal Style and Identity


Victoria Mair, Staff Writer

Everyone has a style, but whether or not that style is being expressed is the question. Personal style is when someone shows up expressing a specific kind of beat or rhythm in their life. Everyone in our society has a specific energy, movement, and feeling, all wrapped up in their identity. This brings a special aura to the people surrounding them. 

Research on shame, conducted by Brene Brown, reveals that body image and appearance are nearly universal shame triggers. This situation is caused by certain environments, relationships, and life cycles. A person often cares for their appearance not because they are super vain or obsessed with their image, but because they want to connect, and want to be seen. However, this is where the tricky part comes into play. A person wants to be seen as attractive. A positive outcome of this is that the most attractive look is always the most authentic one. 

Authenticity involves the importance of resonance. For style, resonance means choosing clothing that resonates with you. Looking for a match and a sympathetic relationship between the clothing and the wearer. 

“I choose specific clothes to wear because of how they represent me,” said junior Amira Collins. “You won’t find me wearing clothes that I absolutely hate just because they frame my body, or I look attractive. If I’m not comfortable then I’m not wearing it, because your style gives people an impression of who you are, then I’m going to take advantage of the short moment to express who I am.”

Imagine an orchestra. An orchestra consists of different instruments grouped by their like sounds and characteristics, and they each express a specific quality. There are the woodwind instruments, such as the oboe, and the flute, which express a light and bright melody bopping along. There is the strings section with instruments that make long, sweeping, dramatic sounds, such as the violin, the harp, or the cello. Thirdly, the brass section, where there are instruments such as the trumpet, trombone, or tuba. This is the loudest section in the orchestra and expresses a powerful emotion. Last but not least, there is the percussion section, where such instruments as the bass drum and the timpani keep the beat for the whole orchestra. 

Like each of these instruments, the people in this world were made to express their different qualities and characteristics. However, according to Molly Bingaman, a personal stylist and master body consultant behind The Lady Bird Style Lab and Salon, “just like an instrument, if you don’t take care of your appearance and your style it tends to fall out of tune.” 

Falling out of tune is accustomed to our daily lives since the world is filled with a multitudinous number of people. People tend to observe, admire, and take an interest in the different styles that others are expressing. As a result, it may encourage someone to follow that same style, until they realize it isn’t in tune with them. 

In order to understand your signature style, the first step is to understand the way you move. The key is to choose clothing that has the same kind of energy you express. Each person resonates with one of the four groups of the orchestra. 

The first group represents the people who are light and bright; people who are creative and constantly experiment with new ideas in order to continue being energetic. These kinds of people would express that energy by wearing bright colors, or fabrics that move and have a lot of animation. Whereas the second group is moving slowly and more fluidly, and it expresses the characteristics of someone who is comfortable and relaxed. The third group expresses those who move at a quick, cutting pace. Their energy is wired to accomplish things and gives a substantial feeling. This energy is expressed through textural clothing with a movement quality of being fierce and sharp. Lastly, the fourth group expresses no movement. The people in this group aren’t going to move unless they know it is the right move. These people need a lot of alone time and express a bold look. 

“When it comes to style, it really depends on my mood,” said junior, Angelina Kim. “I mostly wear clothes with bright colors, indicating that my personality is usually bright and happy.” 

The link between personal style and identity is when your clothing moves and expresses the way you move and reveal yourself. Through this, the resonance and the attractive, authentic look will be discovered, and people will see you better, hear you better, and they will be able to feel who you truly are. The special part of this is that you will have strong connections with the people around you and the bravery to show up in your life and your relationships as your authentic self. 


Photo Courtesy of UNSPLASH.COM