Do You Want to Be In Fashion or Uniquely Dressed?


do you want to be in fashion or uniquely dressed

One aspect of being human is that we like to find things in common with others. This is why we feel comfortable in our tribe. We assume that their values are similar to ours.

Feeling the same or similar to others can make us feel more comfortable and that we fit in to our community or peers, that we are “right”.

Anyone who has brought up a teenager is likely to hear “but I need those shoes/pants/top as all my friends….” or the like. Being the same to peers (not necessarily family at that age) is super important to teenagers.

As we grow up, some of us continue to value the sameness, being alike.

Others of us would prefer to be different in some way or other.

I will always remember one of my Image Consulting (personal styling) students telling us in training just how much she values difference. She told us that when she was at school she’d always have to tweak her school uniform to be different from the other girls. And when others copied her, she’d tweak it again (much to the disapproval of the Nuns who wanted her to dress in the school uniform the prescribed way).

Even during her training when another student (who enjoyed being the same) would even comment on “yes I like that too” or “yes I’m the same as you” this student would immediately find a way to explain how no, they were different.  In fact when we talked about this aspect of how we think and behave, she told us that she feels very uncomfortable when others want to be the same as her.  It’s like an irritation that she has to scratch immediately, to find a way to assert her difference.

How do you apply this to your current wardrobe?

Being Different and More Uniquely Dressed

Well it’s useful to know if you want to be like others around you.  To fit in with their current fashion decisions.  Or if you’re happiest when you are expressing your own unique style that is different from others.

People who prefer difference hate it when others ask where they bought something (these people are usually sameness people, as they want to know where to go to find stuff the same).  They may lie about where they got it, or just brush you off with a “oh I got it overseas” or “this old thing, it was a few seasons ago”  or “I can’t remember” (so if that has happened to you, now you know why).

Being In Fashion and The Same as Your Peers

If you prefer sameness, you’ll likely want to keep more current and add a little of each of the latest fashion trends that comes through each season.  You are more likely to shop the “high street chains” than source garments through small boutiques or artisans (or even consignment).

You are more likely to want to know the dress code at every function. You’ll call the host to clarify a dress code and call your friends to find out what they’re wearing.

If you prefer difference you will be scouring sources for the unusual, the unique.  You may like to shop on Etsy, have clothes made for you, or go out of your way to find unique boutiques that sell small labels you won’t find in malls.

Have you noticed which of these you tend to veer towards?

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  • Very interesting Imogen.
    I think it takes a lot of character to attempt to stand out.
    Whenever I have tweaked things its because I saw many of them on the sales floor and in order to avoid running into someone wearing the same garment I have to make it my own. I confess to refusing to buy something I loved just because I saw many of them in store.
    I don’t find it annoying when people ask where I bought something, its usually kind of fun because they are often surprised 🙂 They may think something was super expensive only to find that it was thrifted.

  • I definitely prefer things others don’t have.

    When I was in high school I had so many other kids asking where I got things and then they went and got it, so it turned me off.

    Two of my older sisters also kept asking where I got my things (anything in general) from, they automatically assumed mum had bought it for me (which she had as I was still a teen) and then they’d bitch amongst themselves, but family issues aside, these days, most times I’ll say where I got things from, whether it be Millers, Kmart or ebay, where a lot of jewellery and bags come from. I know 9/10 times no one has what I have anyway so it doesn’t really matter any more, and I doubt they’re about to go and track it down.

    But I definitely understand where your student was coming from, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I say it shows one’s lack of creativeness in their own wardrobe and life, and if they have to copy other people so blatantly, then they have no imagination of their own, and have no idea how to figure out their own clothing style. Or any other style.

    It is irritating when people want to copy others, I see so much of it on social media with people copying interior design ideas and the rise of the “blogger influencer”, sounds like influenza to me and really, the people who cannot think up their own style and have to copy others and buy everything they have (or get for free from all the businesses “gifting” them their products), are nothing but sheep. And I learned not to be one many a decade ago. I’d rather be myself than a unimaginative second rate replica of someone else.

  • I have my style and don’t really care what others wear. I mostly buy in retail, but have everything altered, I think it’s mostly the way I mix and match that creats uniqeness in my dressing, not the garments themselves. I also prefer more quiet, understated looks, not screaming ‘I’m different’. However, when I was in middle/high school, I desperately tried to fit in, so I kept asking my parents to buy me clothes popular kids wore, naively hoping if I looked like them, I would be like them. But I don’t care about that any more, I know I’m different and I dress accordingly…

  • I like to ask people where they bought something if the item is interesting not so much because I want to copy their style. I want to browse the store and see if there might be something I like for myself. Or get local recommendations in a new area. But yes, I have run into people who seem uncomfortable with compliments or give vague answers when asked.

    As for me, I like looking like myself even if that is different from everyone else or very much like others. Kind of depends on my mood and personality. Like Jelena said, it’s not so much the pieces but the way my outfits are put together that make me stand out.

  • I definitely like being different and unique, in fashion and other parts of my life. But this doesn’t mean that I always have to stand out or that I wouldn’t share my ressources. Maybe because I don’t know any women who would want to look like me or would go the same lengths, for example actually order things overseas. I tweak most of my clothes, add something or cit something off, dye, shorten, take in …

  • Both appeal to me. I don’t mind if someone is wearing the same item because we’ll style it differently. Part of that is personality and part is situation. Growing up as a freckled, green-eyed redhead in Southern California, I didn’t fit in. The ideal was a tan blue-eyed blonde. The norm was dark hair, eyes and skin. Now I live in the Netherlands – the tallest country in the world (I’m below average height here) with North European coloring. Since I’m not average nor the ideal look, it’s easy to play up the unique. But I have noticed I am learning to appreciate different ways of doing this including following trends.

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