My boyfriend, who’s the “I don’t care about appearances” type, would be shocked to hear me say this, but I love his aesthetic. Not because I’m particularly fond of sweatpants and superhero t-shirts, but because it’s honest. In a time when everyone’s so obsessed with having a signature look that they all end up with the same look, his commitment to his style (or lack thereof) is refreshing.
Even I am guilty of losing myself in trend chasing from time to time. I choose to mainly wear black and white because it fits me well, that’s my honest aesthetic. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes catch myself getting lost in a sea of similar outfits while walking across campus, and that’s the problem.
Unless you want to blend in, which is definitely an option for some, trends should have little to no place in your closet. Some of the best fashion advice I ever got came from my high school apparel teacher. He quoted Karl Lagerfeld, “trendy is the last stage before tacky,” and went on to say that sticking to the classics and what you really like is always best, plus you’ll save a ridiculous amount of money.
You don’t need to run to Forever 21 every month to get whatever everyone is wearing right now. Instead, invest in yourself and clothes that you love enough to carry you through time, plus a few “wow” pieces. A thrift shop, an indie boutique or even a high-end retailer is more likely to have items that you can use to create a style that is uniquely you.
This is especially important if you have a brand, which almost everyone does. You are the human manifestation of your work, so you should look like it. Someone passing you on the street or scrolling through your Instagram should feel something different when they look at you. Maybe you’re not a showstopper, that doesn’t have to be you, but the point is that you be you (whatever that means).
An honest aesthetic is what you make it. It’s being yourself and not compromising your style for the world around you. It’s creating a style that’s all your own. It’s asserting yourself as an individual. People tend to think being fashionable can only look one way, but that’s not true at all. By all means, be stylish, but don’t be trendy.
Be the zeitgeist.