T-Shirt: “Well Dressed Southern Mess” from SPIRIT Jersey // Photo Credit: Jane Ko
Fashion is equal parts expression as it is reflection – style is discovered and it accentuates the confidence and character of its beholder. As I reflect on my childhood and the moral and values instilled in me growing up in Texas, I realize the impact the south had on my personal style. These are the 5 things growing up in the South taught me about fashion.
#1. Do yo’ Thing
The ability to use my own style to be different, and to live within my own standards of beauty, is what allowed me to explore the depths of who I am. This requires not taking fashion and clothes so seriously. My mom always encouraged me to dress how I want to dress, in the manner that made me me feel confident, respectful, comfortable and embrace being different. Growing up as a fashion experimentalist, I wore some funky things in the lunchroom. Guys would make fun of me and some girls didn’t understand my style but I never saw purpose in trying to dress like everyone else. If I was going to sacrifice my allowance for a new jacket, I at least wanted it to be different from all the other ones.
I have this funny little motto. Typically – my mom loves the outfits I orchestrate but every once in a while I’ll step out of my bedroom with something ‘a little out there’ and she’ll give me a tender version of the stink eye (the an indication to step back in my bedroom and change). I respect my mom’s opinion and always hear her out but disapproval fosters my personal style – as long as someone doesn’t like my outfit, I know I’m dressing for myself and not for the approval of others – so when someone doesn’t like what I am wearing, I know I’m doing something right.
#2. It’s More than Just a Dress
The South taught me that a dress is just dress. What makes this dress stunning dress is the beautiful soul wearing it. A dress can be taken off but your character is here to stay and nothing is more gorgeous than a kind and caring spirit that radiates from the inside out. The South taught me that my morals and values are standards to live by and clothe myself in.
#3. Confidence in Comfort
Looking back at my favorite outfits, they were the ones that allowed me to feel confident and comfortable. The need to be flawlessly polished at all times can be exhausting. I appreciate a girl’s ability to embrace comfort, dress down, and throw on a T-shirt. Speaking of T-shirts….Can we talk about how cute this “Well Dressed Southern Mess” Spirit Jersey is!? Finally a cute boyfriend tee that acknowledges the fact that I am sometimes (a lot of times) a mess. It has the cutest drop shoulder ‘boyfriend’ fit and doesn’t shrink on me in the dryer! Anyway, point is… sometimes it’s okay to take a step down, slip on the flats, and ride the wave of confidence every girl needs.
#4. Beauty from the Inside
I often challenge myself to leave the house without makeup on or let my hair dry naturally curly for date night. When you look in the mirror, it’s important to be able to love your totally raw, product free, self. Once you accept that you are beautiful from the inside out (hello, because you are!) that is where fashion and personal style become fun.
#5. Embrace your Roots
If I had a penny for every time an out of stater asked me if I ride horses to school… So no, I don’t live on a farm, have a thick Texas accent (accept when I get nervous), or own a “TEXAS SECEDE” bumper sticker, on the contrary, I eat BBQ once a week, compete on a western swing dance team, love Texas football, and substitute “you all” with “y’all” every chance I can take! You probably wont see many swing dancing, rib eating, cowboy boot wearing females in many other parts of the world, but these are things that made me who I am and rather than trying to fight it – I let Texas win over my heart and I am proud to add a pair of cowboy boots and pearls to any outfit.