I’ve been working in the fashion industry for the past four years. Whether four years seems short or long to you, they contained a vast array of experiences. I have worked the sales floor of J. Crew and hunted in bargain bins in Miami fabric shops with my designer friends. I have marketed for a lingerie company and as a personal shopper for clients like Jennifer Lopez. Fashion is my world. And yet, fashion and I have a complicated relationship. I guess you could say, our relationship doesn’t really fit. Or at least I didn’t think so.
Around the time I started working in the industry, I began to give up on fashions, trends, and really putting any semblance of effort into my closet. Don’t get me wrong, my sense was still there: I was still confident in helping others pick out outfits, recommending fabrics for product lines, or simply picking out the perfect tie for a birthday gift. However, when it came to dressing myself, I was struggling to understand what clothes meant to me. Everyone around me seemed to be able to express themselves through a consistent style. Why was it so easy for me to advise others and yet be so lost myself?
When I was in elementary school and scared of choosing my own clothes, I never believed that I had creativity or vision, so I defaulted to comfort. I insisted on a wardrobe of 7 velvet tracksuits, one color for every day of the week. Now, 10 years later, I was slipping back into that mindset. This manifested in me taking the Steve Jobs route and going as minimalist as I could: jeans, plain t’s, and tennis shoes. I really believed that by creating a “stress free” wardrobe, I would finally have a style, even if it was a simple one.
Then, one day at work, I was joking around with a coworker while folding pajama tops.
As I reached for another shirt I mused “In another life, I would totally wear PJ tops out to dinner.” She looked me dead in the eyes and said, “I think you should, you could totally pull it off!” And for whatever reason, that night, I did. And you know what? It made me happy. A tiny bit of faith in myself was restored. Slowly, I’ve come to realize that having style doesn’t mean that you have to blindly conform to one look. I didn’t have to have a closet full of only preppy and elegant clothes, or just boho-chic dresses. I can allow myself to pick out individual pieces that bring me joy, and while they may not be “stylish” in the classical sense, it all comes down to confidence. And I look damn good.
Brittany is an (almost) graduate of the University of Miami and works for a Miami based lingerie company. When not consumed with the previous activities, she can be found studying for law school.