By Shelly M.
From the archives – repost from May 18, 2023
According to a recent article in HackSpirit, fashion choices that are wildly different than typical for an environment can place you into a situation where you seem less approachable. This may be because people around you don’t feel as though they have anything in common with you. However, maintaining a sense of personal style and uniqueness can add color to your day and inspire others to be themselves. So how do we navigate maintaining personal style and fitting into our environments, whatever they may be? In this article, we outline a few tips from our own experiences on how we’ve navigated maintaining our personal style while remaining approachable in our environments – and receiving a ton of compliments along the way!
By the way – we want to hear from you as well. If you have any tips for maintaining a strong personal sense of style while remaining approachable to others, let us know by filling out the form here, and we’ll publish another piece like this full of your – our readers – observations!
Here are tips based on our observations:
1. Take some time to observe the existing fashion norms in your environment.
What do your neighbors or coworkers gravitate toward in terms of style? Do they embrace strong colors? Do they have loud fashion? High fashion? Muted fashion? Knowing this information ahead of time will help you to understand what exactly you are dealing with in terms of fashion landscape, and determine how exactly you may make your unique mark. Why is this important? Well, as an example, you may love wearing a bikini to the company pool party. However, if you are still wearing a bikini at the company board meeting, it may put more than a few people on edge, despite how much they love you. This was an extreme example, but, if your goal is to fit in and make friends, then knowing how to incorporate the style choices that are typical of the environment into your look are key. This thought naturally leads to point 2.
2. Incorporate your environment’s style into your own.
Doing this signals to others that you have acknowledged the fashion norms of the environment and they you appreciate them. However, as the artist that you are, you have not forgotten yourself in the process. How might this look? As an example, your personal mark of style may be bold and edgy haircuts. However, you work in a business environment where hair styling of any type is just not a thing. One way to incorporate the environment’s style into your own is to keep your hairstyle, but make sure that your clothing choices reflect the prevailing fashion sense in that environment (i.e. business, business casual, casual, athletic etc.).
3. Wear fashion that you are comfortable in.
There is something about discomfort in our clothing or hairstyle choices that screams beyond the confidence we want the world to see in us. Getting up, “putting yourself on” in terms of fashion choices, and walking out the door should feel easy – even if it takes some of us longer to get ready than others. That is, your fashion and style should give you a sense of freedom and confidence. It should almost be like one less thing you have to think about that day. Confidence is said to increase how approachable you are perceived to be, so choosing outfits and hairstyles that make you feel confident are important!
These three points are our thoughts. What about yours? Do you have experience remaining approachable while maintaining a strong sense of personal style? Let us know in the comments, or follow us on IG to continue the conversation! Alternatively, if you’d like your thoughts on this topic to be featured in an upcoming piece similar to this one, check out this page.