Shifting from Connecticut to Colombia two years in the past was a life-changing expertise in so some ways, it even affected my private sense of favor. My altering wardrobe was not as a result of I tailored any of my new neighbors’ model selections or the model stereotypes they sometimes abide by — in reality, it has been the other! I actively go in opposition to them.
Do not get me improper — as somebody who has proudly repped Paisa (Northern Colombian) heritage my entire life, there’s a particular place in my coronary heart for the stereotypical vogue traits that many individuals typically (and rightly) attribute to the area. There’s something about pocketless denims, bedazzled strappy crop tops, and chunky blonde highlights on darkish, straight hair that appears like residence to me. However, in the end, these traits do not feel like me, and thus I needed to study to interrupt free from them. Here is what I’ve discovered.
Make Your Personal Guidelines
Once I first moved to Medellín, one of many mottos I might repeat taking a look at my closet every morning was “make your personal guidelines.” To start with, my outfit selection for the day could be closely influenced by what I believed locals may understand as acceptable, as I attempted to suit inside their requirements. Nevertheless, whereas I respect model stereotypes in Colombia in the identical approach I respect the entire traits I grew up seeing within the US, on the finish of the day they do not all the time signify how I select to specific myself. So I began to make up my very own guidelines.
My very own model guidelines are fairly easy: if I am not sure whether or not two articles of clothes go collectively, I lean into the pairing and put on them anyway. I additionally prioritize what’s vital to me — consolation, at the moment — and regulate to straightforward security precautions, akin to sporting minimal jewellery. This offers me the freedom to specific myself past society’s requirements, particularly these positioned on ladies, and develop a extra genuine model that’s nonetheless acceptable to the place I am residing.
Take Up House
I firmly imagine that some magnificence requirements derive from the societal expectation that ladies should take up as little area as attainable. To fight this intuition that has made its approach into the closets of many cis and queer ladies, I wish to make model selections that purposefully take up extra bodily area round my physique than what is usually anticipated of it.
Balloon sleeves, for instance, have turn into a staple in my wardrobe over time; the dramatic puffs round my arms really feel like an extension of me. Equally, I really like pairing geometric luggage with my outfits, particularly ones that jut out in entrance of or round me. As an alternative of constructing myself small every single day with my model selections, I’ve discovered to specific myself by taking over all of the area I probably can.
Do not Be Afraid to Stand Out
The overarching model rule that I’ve discovered to embody from head to toe is to not be afraid of standing out. In fact, some ladies may discover it extra snug to suit contained in the requirements set by the locals in her new metropolis, particularly when residing alone. However probably the most influential intuition I’ve developed when honing my sense of favor is to make daring choices no matter how they is perhaps perceived by the surface world — for instance, scorching pink hair.
Whereas ladies in Medellín typically favor jet black, platinum blonde, or chunky highlighted hair, I’ve chosen to sport a coloration nearer to that of a radioactive strawberry, and I adore it! My pink hair provides an automated layer of individuality to every of my seems to be every single day, and permits my model to be much more uniquely mine. And, after all, nobody can say a factor in the case of how I select to current myself as a result of, like I all the time have, I make my very own guidelines.