FULL OR MEANINGFUL? Mother Knows Best
Updated: Jun 13, 2020
I’ve been interested in clothing and accessories for longer than I can remember. I was exposed to the joy - and power - of personal style at a young age. My mother was a payroll specialist at a trucking company, and while her work didn’t require a flawless wardrobe, she insisted clothes were a tool for daily life. She used clothes to convey her mood, and when needed, to improve it. Her focus on personal style as an extension of her personality created a safe space for me. She ensured that I saw clothes as a part of my personality, not a collection of fabric intended to cover it up.
Throughout the years, we spent time at vintage shops, boutiques, and craft shows looking for unique pieces to add to our collections. In middle school, I was gifted a handmade, one-of-a-kind winter hat. I discovered and re-styled my mom’s custom bowling shoes. I borrowed her antique coats for family Holiday parties. That’s the thing about personal style – it’s unique. There’s no formula, no name brand, no color palette that makes someone stylish. Upon reflection, I realized it was never about individual clothes, shoes, accessories, it was always about the meaning.
My mom knew this all along. She knew that her personal style sent a message to those around her, including me. Yet, in the age of social media, I feel like we’ve started to lose the personal narrative of style in a haste to follow trends, recreate looks, and gain followers. That’s why I was floored when I was nominated for Baltimore’s Best Fashionista, a Baltimore Sun Readers’ Choice Award.
I started my Instagram page @stylishlytaylored to harmonize my passions of style, science, and social spheres. I didn’t expect it to become much more than a creative outlet, but 4 years later, I’ve won Baltimore’s Best Fashionista for 2020. Me. A woman in science. A size 6/8. An avid thrifter, secondhand shopper, and outfit repeater. If you think style is defined by brand, trend, size, occupation, or price tag, think again. And we, as consumers, have the power to change narratives on sustainability, fiscal responsibility, and racial equity by how and where we choose to shop for our clothes.
So Mom, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My personal style may be an extension of my personality, but you’re right, our closets are filled with messages. Our closets are bigger than us.
You can hear more in my recent interview with @karanmalikofficial.
Until next time,