Well, not literally.
Unfortunately I don’t mean on the spectrum of ‘we’ve found a magical cure to all medical conditions through the power of constructing clothing coordinations’ as much as I wish that was true because I’d be the picture and patron of health by now. No, more on the scale of ‘finding yourself through your personal, distinctive style and expressing that in top form when all else fails really does help you from feeling completely lost in scrutiny’.
I’m renown for my edgy image by those closest to me. My friends know exactly what pieces I’d reach for in the shops – the bold prints, the gaudy textures, and the elaborate, out of the box attire. Every time my mum purchases something with a pop of colour or a brass pattern, she claims she’s “getting like me”. The fashion content on my social media always has the highest engagement. And I’m always receiving uplifting compliments on how i dress, on how I always look prim, proper, and pristine, and how I need to share my tips.
Whether it’s this that makes me believe style and all its components holds the key to my one true purpose in life, I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s the perfect cover up disguise when I need it the most. It’s literal retail therapy. It’s something to focus on. It’s a way of looking and feeling gracefully good despite not actually being good. An escape route, if you’re cutting to the straight talk.
Owning my quirky sense of style is the piece of my identity that I can keep, that I can’t be robbed of. It’s where I can find myself, the person I used to be, and the one who can still shine! When I’m trying on an outfit I’ve put together I don’t think about the days I’ve been cooped up inside in my pyjamas as I fight off pain, I think of the here and now. I think about how nailing that uniform lights me up from the tip of my pointed toes to the top of my baker boy hat. When assembling that ensemble it brings colour to a world of grey.
I’m sure other spoonie fashionistas will resonate when I say that it’s not just the expressing of individuality that helps reduce the dominance of your illness. Yes, it’s a valid pick me up after a vicious flare up. Yes, it’s a way to carry yourself out of that fog and into a whimsical wonderland, but it’s not always a cover up or a false pretence. It’s simply there for enjoyment and discovery; to provide a strong sense of clarity.
It’s so easy to lose sight of your selfhood when you constantly have to put your health first and finding your personality through your personal style can help you regain that sense of self. It’s a comfort in boosting your confidence but it’s also a way you can show off that separate side that doesn’t revolve around your physical well-being.
It took me a long time to really get to the root of my style persona. I think, now, I’m finally at that point where I know exactly what’s going to allow me to effortlessly exude all the polished parts of myself – and that in itself is a liberation.
Originally is was about throwing a bunch of random flattering clothes at myself because I didn’t have the capability to go to the gym 5 days a week and transform my body in the ways I wanted to but now it’s solely utilising fashion as a pleasurable tool to translate myself through the way I dress. It’s a prominent role in handing me the crown jewels and stepping foot first on to my very own Hollywood star.
Fashion speaks to us not just in the name of vanity but in who we are. Conveying that through the art of personal expression and emotion means we can allow it to be an extension of our inner and true selves.
Clothing and accessories can tell a story and take you on a journey; especially when that journey’s been a bumpy one. You’re enhancing the body that has been through the works through your own tastes and choices and that’s pretty damn powerful. However, as much as a badass suit, a pretty dress, and a burst of dramatic glam can be a magical companion, it’s not a patch on the person wearing it and the reflection staring back at you.