Your style. It’s something that runs as deep as your DNA. More than just your outer appearance, your style says something about your core values, your cultural upbringing — your very psyche.
Just like you can change some of the cards Nature dealt you — such as brown-coloured contact lenses to cover your baby blues — you can change your inner style. For that kind of sea change, though, says Professor Karen Pine, author and former professor of the psychology of fashion at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, you need to “look at life from a new perspective.” Here’s how:
Signature Style or Straitjacket?
What starts as a signature style can entrap you in a “straitjacket” of sorts, says Pine. That sort of trap can entrap more than your look. It can entrap your very thought process. Because research shows that your sense of style has a bigger effect on your behaviour than you might think, it pays to get out of your rut and embark on a “style adventure,” contends Pine. It can, she argues, change your life.
It’s not just the eggheads of the fashion world that think that way. Fashion bible Glamour agrees. Staff writer Alaina Vieru agrees that a given hairstyle can peg you as a “type.” Fringe bangs label you like a youthful charmer, while unkempt hair can make even the wearer feel “messy” if that look is outside their trademark style. Those who step out of their comfort zone often face their friends’ shock, as did Elizabeth Day when she shed her straightened hair for her natural curls only to have her friends label her as “zany.”
Embrace Your Unique Style
But according to celebrity hairstylist Luke Hersheson, the fashion world, too, has begun to embrace individuality. A zanier look, after all, may lead to a more freewheeling spirit — a great thing when one goes on holiday. It might even free you from ways of thought imposed on you from outside — your childhood, your friends, your culture — everything but your inner spirit.
It’s time to discover — and embrace your inner spirit. That may mean trying several looks before you discover your unique style. Or styles. As Pine points out, your style may embrace several looks — one for each of your moods.
If you feel at your best as a curly-haired drama queen on Saturday date night, but prefer a straight-haired, all-business look when you head to the annual meeting at work the next Monday, that’s fine. Or if you envision yourself a spacey hippie, straight out of the late 60s — every day of your life, that’s OK, too.
Give yourself permission to explore.
The adventure lies in the discovery.
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