chameleon style

Too often, fashion tells us to blend in.

Sorry we couldn’t resist!

Glossy magazines determine how we should look, what we should be wearing. They tell us to be chameleons, to blend in with the millions of other fashionistas that march the style brigade throughout our planet.

They’re the reason the platform sneakers and peplum tops became wardrobe essentials for five whole minutes. They’re the reason that we will only buy black clothing one month, and scour store shelves for neon hues the next. We ache for the pair of flats we see in an editorial spread, then switch our focus to wedges when the next issue comes out. 

We become chameleons, blending in with the latest trends and styles. We forget about what we like, and instead get swayed by what they like. 

I became fully cognizant of how much I was swayed by trends when high-waisted jeans came into style. The first time I saw them offered in a store, I was taken aback. Are we stepping back in time? Hasn’t this trend been dead since the late 80s? And yet, the more people that I saw wearing them – and the more models that I saw showing them off on glossy magazine pages – the more I became enamored by the look. I now count a pair of Levi’s high-waisted jeans among my favorite articles of clothing, and a week doesn’t go by where I don’t slip them on. 

After I became aware of the fact that my opinion is molded so strongly by magazine spreads, I made a fun challenge for myself: The next article I bought had to defy trends. It had to be something that wasn’t gracing the pages of  [Glossy Magazine Name Goes Here!] or the display window of a massive department store.

I scoured through a vintage shop until I fell in love. It was a long, white dress that reached all the way down to my toes. The fabric was covered with embroidery, and hand sewn patterns played at the sleeves and the neckline. It was perfect – and it was completely unique. It is one of the favorite items that I own, and every time I put it on, I feel like I’m being faithful to myself.

I still love to read magazines and browse websites for the latest trends. I am still swayed by fashion; I still get excited when I find a new style that I love. But I also learned a lesson: That sometimes, the most important trends to follow are the ones that you create yourself. 

Image Credit: Katie Armour

Leigh Michael