On Personal Style and Being Yourself

The best thing about playing dress up is getting to explore all the different sides of your personality. 

A cream lace dress will tap into your inner romantic, while a black leather jacket will make you feel like Sandy Dee after she became a badass.

But once you develop your personal style, it can be tempting to stay within those familiar boundaries. If you’re a flannel-shirt-and-Doc-Martens kinda gal, putting on a frilly pink dress – no matter how much you might like it – just feels like too much of a statement to actually do it.

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But no matter how good you feel (and look!) in your everyday clothes, experimenting is always a good idea. And not just because of the obvious fun factor.

Our personal aesthetic is based on not only how we see ourselves, but how we want others to see us. By sticking to one particular style you’re overemphasising certain parts of who you are while completely ignoring others.

And by doing that, you force yourself into playing a role instead of being completely yourself – including all those irreconcilable pieces of your personality that don’t even seem to fit together.

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I’ve gone through a lot of different styles in my life. When I was twelve, I dressed like a laid-back skater girl in baggy jeans and Vans. Now, if there’s one thing you should know about me it’s that I’m anything but laid-back.

Sure, I have my cool, calm and collected moments. But 99% of the time I’m an excitable ball of energy, bouncing from idea to idea and going from over overjoyed to overstressed in ten seconds flat.

When I was fourteen, I exchanged my hoodies for high heels and short dresses. You’d think I was a flirty teenager but I was beyond shy when it came to interacting with my crushes.

When I was nineteen I dyed my hair platinum blonde and started wearing false eyelashes. You might assume that I was a major party girl… and for once you wouldn’t be wrong, but that wasn’t it. That wasn’t the reason for my transformation.

As much as I hate to admit it, I did it for a boy. I could sugarcoat it and talk about wanting to experiment with crazy hair colours while I was still at university or doing field research to figure out whether blondes really do have more fun.

But none of that is the truth. At the heart of it, this was a vain attempt to be liked. I was presenting myself in a certain way to appeal to somebody else.

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What I’m getting at here is this: sometimes our style is a reflection of who we want to be rather than who we truly are. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I firmly believe in faking it till you make it.

But every now and then, take a step back and make sure you’re using fashion as a form of expression – not a costume.

This red dress from Yumi was just the thing I needed to recalibrate my wardrobe. Something about it didn’t feel quite me – it was a little too demure, a little too Zooey Deschanel. And that is precisely why I got it.

At first, wearing it made me feel like I had borrowed it from someone. But without my familiar wardrobe to hide behind I noticed myself behaving

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A quick note on the colourful walls in all these photos… The murals are part of a fun exhibition at Tramway. It’s a lofty art space – one of many in Glasgow. Although the city probably isn’t on the top of your big bad British bucket list, it has a thriving creative scene that makes it worth a visit all art lovers.

This particular exhibition is called Pehchaan, meaning ‘Identity’ in Hindi and Urdu. I think that makes it the perfect backdrop to my style-finding adventures!

My favourite part of the displays is all the North Indian truck art. If you know nothing about truck art, don’t worry – this was my first time hearing about it. Check out this CNN article and this photobook to find out more.

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As for all the beautiful pictures in this post, they were taken by my wonderful – and ever so patient – boyfriend Peter. He blogs over at Travel Unmasked, so check him out! I mean, check out his site. Don’t check him out… or else…

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Pssst, the dress is 50% off (£43) at the moment! 

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Oh, and while I have your attention can I please tell you about the amazing meal I had at Prezzo last month? They launched their new summer menu and I felt compelled to stop by. In the name of filling my belly investigative food journalism, obvs.

I got the crab and citrus salad with sweet roquito chilli pearls, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Such a refreshing summer meal – it’s a shame we don’t have actual summer weather to go with it here in Scotland… *passive aggressive smile*

My boyfriend ordered the Italian burgers, and the one with prosciutto and smoked scamorza was so good. If you have a Prezzo in your town (there are more than 200 in the UK) I definitely recommend you check it out!

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Does your personal style reflect who you truly are or do you need to stop and recalibrate like me? Let me know in a comment below – I’d love to hear more about your fashion adventures!

PS: I’m back on Snapchat! Find me at “girlvsglobe” for lots of behind-the-scenes shoots and a bit of general craziness.

  • As always, beautifully written blog post, Sabina! I love how colourful and bright your pictures are. It’s always a pleasure to visit your blog! And the food you and your boyfriend had, looks absolutely delicious!

    • Thanks so much Simona!! As always lovely hearing from you girl 🙂 Yeah the exhibition was amazing, so glad I got to see it. And the food… ??

  • This dress is so so gorgeous and I love the message behind your post. I feel like it’s only in the last year or so that I’ve become totally comfortable with dressing just for me, but it’s a nice feeling! x
    Sophie Cliff

    • Thanks so much Sophie!! Really glad you like the dress and my post ☺️ That’s awesome, congratulations for being comfortable in your own skin. That’s a huge achievement that many people never get to!! ❤️❤️❤️

  • I strongly believe that part of our behavior is based on what we are wearing. I dyed my hair blonde for 3 years and my attitude was completely different than when I had my natural brown color.

    • I 100% agree Bella. My behaviour is definitely influenced by the way I look and dress! From simpler things like how self-confident I feel to more subtle character quirks. It’s a whole science unto itself!! ?

  • Holly

    Love this post 🙂 I always think you should be true to yourself. Once you’re confident in your own skin it’s great.

    Holly at http://www.ldnmuse.com xx

  • Is that the exhibition at Tramway now? Really? Wow, I really feel like I missed out on that… But a lovely read as always, Sabina xx

    • Unfortunately the exhibition is over as of this week! It was fantastic though – hope the next one is just as good 😀 We should go for coffee & check it out together! I wanna meet you IRL girl 😀 xx

  • Hmmm. I think I have some recalibrating and thinking to do after this post.