Street Style Epiphany
A rambling really, on July's edgy vibes and a Seoul recollection ( pun intended ).
July started in a moody disposition.
"Ok, ok. You're doing this for you as well girl. Ok. Yeah. You gotta have more confidence in yourself before you can even aspire to inspire, right?
Now, EXPRESS YOURSELF."
And what comes out? A moody black & white picture.
SO. MUCH. EMOTION. from yours truly.
This set reminded me of Jennie's outfit from her song -SOLO. (I am such a big BlackPink fan - I'm all for their vibe and outfits.) Portraying you know, the strong, independent girl boss I hope to be one day.
But I was being overdramatic, as usual. When emotions get the better of me.
While May exuded a floral, gentle vibe (perhaps because it was the chocolate and flower-filled month that hosted Mothers' Day); June was filled with florals and frills (the month when summer holidays start. Hello impractical tops!).
Ahh, July. Edgy, kick-ass vibes.
Bring back the black, the contrast of red.
I was wearing too much lace
and florals in June. For the past two months, I was creating thematic outfits inspired by the 'monthly vibes'. Until my boyish-side had enough of those frills. Please, pllleeaassee bring back the t-shirts!
What the heck is her deal with t-shirts you ask? Yes, Sheryl, I'd like to know too you professional overthinker!
T-shirts and jeans are my wardrobe staples. But after college, I got especially frustrated when they remained such integral parts of my wardrobe even after I'd outgrown my old-fashioned fear of revealing some scandalous shoulders. And I was trying to glam up for university.
That summer, a graduation trip with three other friends to Seoul seemed like the ultimate opportunity for wardrobe redemption.
Seoul. The capital of ultra-chic Korean streetwear.
Where bustling markets overflow with affordable clothing and
SO MANY CHOICES! *insert squeals*
I remember huddling in my friend's cosy college room, up that narrow stair. The four of us excitedly poring over travel books, using sticky notes to denote places of interest (which comprised of many food places and of course, shopping). As we packed our 4-day spreadsheet, we gushed about our new chapter at university, how we'd want to dress. We scoured Instagram and Pinterest, excitedly whispering of how we were going to start University life cool and stylish. I love edgy fashion, and I announced that I'd have a full wardrobe makeover with the chunkiest accessories and tons of black clothing (as if I don't own enough monochrome).
Thank god I am a pretty picky shopper and only bought one outfit or else I'd have a huge wardrobe issue on my hands now. You see, I used to have this fixed perception of clothes. They had to be EITHER lace OR edgy, girly OR boyish.
Towards the end of the trip, I started feeling a little disconsolate. I despaired over the fact that I hadn't quite picked out anything. Was I going to wave those stylish dreams goodbye? Then, hope shone as brightly as that classy basement shop we entered.
There the mannequin stood, in all its glory.
A strappy white crop top, and a high-waisted black skirt
that said 'black clothes only'.
I was in love.
It was a pricier set - so I had to forgo the white top and instead, found a substitute black crop top that said 'I'm not human'. My first crop top ever. HOHO.
Anyway, the next morning, I set out in the full black attire, with my dark purple hair, wine-red tinted lips, and a choker too, no less. My friend admitted that she was surprised to see me dressed in such a way but hey, it's nice! (This friend of mine is very honest. I was SO PROUD of this compliment). But I was also extremely uncomfortable in the crop top - it being my first time exposing any part of my mid-riff, even if it was just a strip. I sat in that crowded underground train thinking: "Do people think I'm a goth? Wow is this how it feels to be cool? Wait, do I belong to the coveted street style yet?"
Unfortunately, that crop top never made it into my repertoire again.
Over time, things that used to bother me so much: lace, crop tops, strapless tops, spaghetti straps - I just subconsciously got used to it along the way. Sorry, teenage me - you didn't have to force yourself into it. You just had to grow into it.
Well, who knew that the current dilemma would ironically be a huge love for t-shirts? The one staple in my wardrobe that friends would say I buy too many of.
I especially love styling t-shirts with denim shorts and denim skirts. Or with high-waisted ripped jeans and black boots. That's how I feel comfortably kick-ass.
But as usual, I wanted to be more creative and t-shirts just felt like I was starting to go back to square one.
Until I came across a tee and denim skirt outfit on Pinterest, just like how I love to wear it! Oh wow, someone else likes to wear it that way too?
The pin was categorised under 'Street style'. Ohhhh so is my dressing considered 'Street style'? There's a style I belong to??
Does anyone know what street style means exactly? I've been gleaning some T-shirt styling inspiration on Instagram. And scrolling through the Explore page, streetwear looks wonderfully simple: plain tees, oversized ripped jeans, and pretty much pieces I love. On the other hand, it brings to mind bold colours, unique silhouettes, and materials- like Jessica Wang's Chinese streetwear style. I love how bold her style is, and she pulls them off so effortlessly!
I'm not at her level of styling yet, but I aspire to be at that level of confidence one day. But everyone has to start somewhere right?
Haha! Big smiles and colour because it's STREETWEAR I'm WEARING!
Oh god, why are you such a weirdo??
If July's taught me anything, it is that I have to first accept myself, know what I like, what I feel comfortable in, and dress first and foremost, for myself.
I know very well that I am a perfectly imperfect human being, and I'll be learning about myself, people, and the world throughout my entire lifetime. But as of now, I have yet to fully accept myself nor do I have any idea who I am just yet, but I'm a little bit closer, I think.
To anyone reading this, here's a reminder that you are enough.
You're strong, and you're unique.
So just do you your way :)
And here's to stepping into August!
Thank you for reading!