Style. Fashion. Two words used interchangeably without a second thought, but are they really the same thing? At one time I would have said yes, but years of looking at trending fashions, experimenting what works for me when considering my body type and what I like, my answer today is a resounding no. Lauren Hutton said it best: “ Fashion is what you are offered four times a year by designers and style is what you choose.” We are often so wrapped up in what the trending fashions are, that we overlook our preferences and at times fail to consider if something will work for our body types. Sitting with that thought for a minute inspired me to consider my top style tips that have little to nothing to do with fashion, trending or otherwise.
Still with me? Okay let’s get on to those style tips, Shall we?
3 Style Tips That Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With Fashion Because Yes There Is A Difference
Style Tip #1: Consider What Aspects You Love About Your Body
No one’s body is perfect despite what magazines and tv ads would have us believe, so while we all have things we’d like to change, I want you to focus on what it is you love or what you are learning to love about your body. If you’re not sure where to start (because I won’t lie, self-love and body confidence doesn’t happen overnight), take a photo in an outfit you like and write down what you like about the outfit and the reasons. This will give you an idea or two in order to figure out what aspects of your body you want to emphasize or show off and the ones you want to hide. Write that down and keep it with you when you shop so that when a piece catches your eye and ticks all your other boxes, it checks this one too. I have items in my closet that I wear, but I know I’d wear them more often if I had thought about this tip when shopping.
Style Tip #2: There’s A Combination Of Aspects To Consider When Shopping
- Do you like it?
- Does it work for your body type as well changes that you need to make for your seated and/or disabled body type?
- What is the ease of getting into and wearing it like for you, is it adaptive
When something catches your eye in the store, take a second to really think about if you like it and why it is that you do. The second thing is if you like it for you, you can think something is cute, without wanting to buy it for yourself. Secondly, does it work for your body type? When I first got into fashion and heard about body types, I ignored the tips because although I now know that my type falls into one of the main categories, I’ve had to choose what tips to try out because my disability affects my body and that matters too. Fashion has just started to pay attention to people with disabilities and the disabled body type, but there is so much more for them to serve the disabled consumer. Last, but not least, how adaptive is this piece? Is it part of one of the adaptive brands with built in features or just easy for you to get on? Unfortunately an accessible fitting room isn’t always available even if you want to go through the process of trying on clothes so this step may mean a lot of trial and error as well as some returns as you work this out.
Style Tip #3 Don’t Overthink It Embrace It
Your style will change and that’s okay. I loved experimenting with my style during my teen years and my enjoyment of the process only grows with the more I learn about it and figuring out what works for me. That being said, I also hated it at times too because I failed to understand one thing: a sense of style is constantly evolving. We don’t have the same style from teens, to twenties, thirties, and so on and that’s okay, but it can also be hard to discover what it is we like when the new sense style, so I’m going to share something that I’ve learned: it is possible to overthink it, don’t. Don’t be afraid to embrace the process and be playful with it, it’s okay to be figuring it out. If you are putting outfits together don’t be afraid to mix and match, try things out whether it’s colors, patterns, or something else. If you’re looking to start a little earlier in the process of defining your style check out the blog post linked below.
Related: 5 Steps To Defining Your Personal Style
One of the reasons I started The Sitting Beauty Diaries originally was to share my love of style and experiences with it and the fashion industry as a wheelchair user because style is supposed to be fun, but at times with pressures of the industry to be stylish and trying and being different as a wheelchair user to try and do those things in a way that worked, could be challenging, but I’ve learned that you need to have fun with the process and remember why you love it. Style works for everyone, you just have to find the way it works for you, so I hope you found this post helpful and see that you can be stylish without following fashion trends in addition to the fact that there are style tips that have nothing to do with fashion for stylish looks.
If you had a style to include in this post, what would it be? Let me know in the comments!