Personal style isn’t very personal when you’re copying somebody else's. Blogger and gUrl mag columnist Izzy talks about finding the confidence to stand out– never mind the haters.

In my first year of high school, all I wanted to do was look exactly like my best friend. No event was attended without a “what are you wearing?” text sent first, and nothing was ever bought on a shopping trip without approval. She had an affinity for cartoon-printed shirts and beanies, so I did too. When she bought a pair of doc martens, I begged my parents to get me some second-hand. And when we stopped being friends, I didn’t even know what I liked anymore.

For those five years of school, it seemed like everyone just wanted to “fit in.” Myself included. When I no longer had my best friend to look to, I found someone else. Repeat this for the next two years and my style had become very eclectic. There was a two month period where all I wore were harem pants and crochet tops, another devoted to high-top converse and plaid miniskirts. I felt like I was forever dreading free dress days because what would the other girls be wearing? Will they like this colour? Are these shorts still cool? And don’t even get me started on the week-long school camps. So. Many. Choices.

About 3 years in, I realised that personal style isn’t very personal when you’re copying somebody else's. I fell deep into the world of fashion blogging and started to LOVE getting dressed in the morning. My outfits were different - there was no denying that. But I felt more confident than I ever had dressing to please other people. I was the black sheep for a while and my out-there ensembles made waves on the dreaded free dress days. A few weeks later and girls started asking me for fashion advice.

“My outfits were different, but I felt more confident thanI ever had dressing to please other people.”

How do you get the confidence to stand out?
Start gathering inspiration. Document everything you love. Make a moodboard, scrapbook, Pinterest or Tumblr filled with looks you’d love to wear.

Take that and make little changes to your ‘safe ensembles'. Every time you get dressed, push yourself out of your comfort zone just a bit further. Wear that super-trendy pair of shorts, but add the hat you’ve been too scared to pull out. Dust off that impulse-purchase pair of heels. Make the most of your wardrobe and take pride in your personal style.

High school is a small world, my friends. So look beyond it.It’s okay to be the black sheep - especially if you’re the best-dressed black sheep in the room.



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