I do not identify as a fashionable person, I think to be fashionable is to have a certain relationship, expertise and connection with the industry as a dominant form of self-expression and interest.  Fashion is definitely an interest of mine, but because I am a limited human, I have allocated my limited attention and time to the art form I feel the strongest about – literature.

In literature, however, I also encounter style. In literature I have a style of my own.
It manifests in the voice of my poetry, my favourite writers and texts, and aspiring reading list. Since I am a cohesive human being, style reflects in other parts of me, and very evidently, shows up in my fashion.

I often value comfort and functionality in my outfit choices. But more importantly, I value feeling comfortable and functional in what I wear. To be comfortable and functional is to be at ease in my skin, to feel at peace with who I am, what I have received and have to offer. It is to feel that the strength in me is sufficient for the coming day, and for the burden I have to carry. It is to also know the quiet stillness of joy that remains, because I am.

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This means that I am often in jeans, in leggings, drape knits and the same cardigan. It means that I slip out of my clothing as soon as I get home into sleepwear. It means that I prefer staples and basics to trends. But it also means pencil skirts that limit my stride. It means scoop backs, lower necklines and sheer fabrics. It means carefully drawn lip lines and eye lines. It means some days I care about the shape of my cleavage and other days not at all. It means some days I armour up in accessories and other days prefer bare and light.

Regardless of what I choose to wear, the guiding principle behind my choice is how I feel in my clothing. I will cycle through clothing in the mornings until I find what feels right, and whatever it happens to be that day, I accept as part of who I am and what it reflects.

Style is a thumbprint I use to verify my identity, a thumbprint others use to verify my identity. It holds that kind of authority to affirm and confirm who we are to ourselves and each other.

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Everyone has a style. It may be strong in a different medium, or manifest in a different form, but it is present. My self-documentation is an acknowledgement of other parts of me that deserve my affirmation too. Since I came to this decision, I have tried to make a conscious effort to acknowledge style choices in the lives of the people around me as well, to ask the reasons behind their decisions, or to just affirm that it was a wonderful choice.

“That looks good on you.”

“I really like how you look today.”

“Oh, do you like this vibe? Why?”

Knowing who you are is how style becomes intentional and powerful. Of course, here I am talking about what we wear, but it also expands to what we consume, how we choose to live, the words we use to speak, and the way we treat the people around us.

There is nothing on earth quite like you, this much is true. We can choose to make intelligent and conscious decisions about how we express our presence for ourselves and to others.

It is another way we tell our stories.
Imagine this loveliness:

Everyday, on the street, are thousands of marvellous picture books.

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Cardigan: BlueNotes
Faux Jean Button-Up: Hauled from MongKok Street Boutique
Purple-Grey Leggings: Cotton On
Ring: Aldo Accessories

Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

One thought on “OOTD: Style is a thumbprint

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