Fashion is fast. The term fast fashion is omnipresent these days, but it didn't exist as a term a few years ago. It's the fashion industry and so it's designed to always be changing, that's how it makes money. It sells you what it tells you.
The problem is that if you follow fashion and trends you are constantly obselete, and with that comes a feeling of never quite being or having enough. Someone else will always have the latest designs or be more outrageous and extravagant than you.
It's exhausting to me to even think about having to constantly stay current. A relentless indulgence of keeping up with the catwalks, the designers, street fashion, fashion magazines, fashion blogs, influencer's social media feeds.
Style is forever though. Style is something you are born with. It's not just something you wear, although it can be that too. Style is the essence of who you are, a unique recipe where the ingredients are all the things that make you you. All of your quirks, your fears, your triumphs, your issues, your experiences. Style is the whole of you that is greater than the sum of all your parts.
Style is the music you listen to, the films you watch, the hobbies you enjoy. Style is the things that move you, that inspire you and motivate you. Style is how you express yourself in the world through your character, your behaviour, your humour and yes your clothing.
What you wear is an expression of who you are and how you see yourself, but it doesn't necesarily have to have anything to do with fashion or trends. You can buy the latest trends but it doesn't mean you will naturally have style, but you can most definitely have incredible style with a wardrobe that hasn't been updated for decades.
Style is how you wear your clothes not what you wear.
Fashion is an inside club, a secret society. Most people feel on the outside of it looking enviously in, but if you turn your back on it then you are no longer looking in to that small, elitist group, instead you are now looking outwards towards a much bigger circle of fellow outsiders, people who dare to be themselves, people who share your fears of being themselves but dare to anyway.
Style zigs where fashion zags. Style shouts of individuality, whereas fashion conforms for the sake of commerce. Style ruffles feathers, fashion uses feathers, dyes them yellow and churns it back to you via the latest super influencer.
At Shores we use the statement 'we are all outsiders on the inside' to remind us of why we do what we do. It always brings us back to our vision and our purpose. We are cheerleaders of the outsider. We are outsiders and proud to be so and we want to open up conversations with other outsiders who share our vision. Outsiders change the world. Outsiders think out of the box. Outsiders don't settle for being told what to think and what to believe.
There are no rules to being an outsider. There isn't a one size fits all 7 step plan. You just have to start with small moves. Tiny movements in the direction of claiming yourself back from the claws of conformity. It takes courage to stand up and maybe stand out, but it starts to feel so good. Confidence builds, soon you start to discover other people, books, films and podcasts who encourage you and push you onwards. Momentum grows. You feel the change within yourself and you love who you are becoming. You are getting back to you, maybe for the first time since you were a child.
So what small moves can you start with?
Buy a bright green rucksack rather than a black one?
Wear pink socks beneath a grey work suit?
Be curious about other people. Ask them questions nobody else would ask them.
You know that hobby that you keep quiet because you are embarassed about it or think it's nerdy? Tell someone about it. Be proud.
Start to think about the things you have always wanted to do but never had the confidence to do them. Maybe you could write them down. Maybe you could look into what it would take to do one of them.
It's up to you. Truly. It is up to YOU. Now that is true freedom.