Clashing patterns, bright leggings and fluorescent tank-tops. These are the slightly horrifying and utterly cringy memories of times gone by.
In my tween, and admittedly also teen years, I had no idea how to construct a fashionable, let alone cohesive, outfit. I therefore looked up to the style of my older sister. She knew exactly what she was doing in the fashion realm, and everybody in her sphere knew it.
Being the slightly insecure youngster that I was, I almost never left the house without checking first with my sister if I looked okay.
I did this for many years.
It’s all about confidence
One day when I went routinely to receive her check of approval on my latest outfit, I stopped her in her tracks. “Laura, does this look okay?” floated in the air between us.
After an unusually intense and thoughtful moment she replied; “Lucy, if you like it just wear it. Fashion is about confidence, if you wear it like you mean it, people will love it because they will recognise that you are confident in your own brand of style.”
In my head, something clicked.
I was princess Jasmine from Aladdin, and a whole new world of fashion possibilities —shining, shimmering, splendid—had just opened up to me.
I didn’t need to be particularly ‘on trend,’ I could wear what I liked, and I could wear it boldly. In fact, this was exactly what my sister did. She would take clothes that were quirky and strange and turn them into outfits that elicit comments like “I don’t know how you pulled that off” or “only you could get away with wearing that.”
It wasn’t necessarily that she looked better than anyone else would have in the clothes she wore. She just had the boldness to wear them like they were straight off the runway—and people loved it.
A change was coming
This revelation was about to change my fashion world, but little did I know it was about to change a whole lot more.
Many people will probably relate to me when I say that I’m kept up at night thinking back to socially awkward situations I’ve managed to create.
For this, my duvet has been a faithful friend, allowing me to hide underneath it as though it might shield my self-esteem from the brutal blows of cringy memories.
Sadly, social awkwardness and the inability to quite fit in or be “normal” has been a persistent theme throughout my life.
Things, however, began to change for me recently. About a month ago I confided in a co-worker that I was nervous about a social situation and she helped me see self-confidence in a whole new light.
I remember her words clearly “you don’t need to worry about what people will think of you. It’s like you say about clothes, if you are confident [in who you are] people will love it.” That was such a profound moment for me. I had never connected the dots in my head that if I would just wear my personality proudly people would love it. My duvet hiding days are a thing of the past!
How we see ourselves
Obviously, not everyone will love your clothes or click with you, no matter how confident you are—that’s life! But it makes a huge difference in the way people see you when you’re not putting out self-conscious vibes.
People pick up on the way we see ourselves. If we present ourselves as underqualified and weird, that is what others will think we are, even if that’s not the case.
Confidence attracts people to you and gives others permission to operate in the fullness of who they were created to be. It’s a win-win!
Don’t be afraid to step out and be a bit crazy. Show who you are and be proud of it. The Bible says in Psalms chapter 139, verse 14 that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” you’re valuable to God and its okay for you to be confident in that.
God created you to be unique, and he never makes mistakes. You have no need to be a cookie-cutter so wear who you are proudly. I know I’m crossing into the realm of cliché, but it must be said—there’s only one you!
Being truly comfortable in who you are is freeing. People around you will like who you are simply because you radiate confidence and high self-esteem. So, go ahead— wear your personality like it’s as fabulous as princess Jasmine’s aqua tiara.
Lucy Miles can often be found singing or dancing her way through any one particular moment. Such joyous expression is brought forth from her love of the Lord, learning and people. She currently lives in Switzerland and is enrolled in a Ministry and Leadership Development School with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) and is excited to step into a staff role in January of next year.