With the weather getting nicer, I feel happier and more myself then I ever do in the winter. I love to wear colourful, patterned dresses or skirts. With a little jewellry, a pretty hairband and flat sandals, I feel nicer, and even comfier. The looseness of that sort of clothing feels nicer to me than stiff jeans, boots and all those layers on my arms. But that's just what I personally like! I'm a firm believer that your style should reflect your individual personality, and shouldn't be based on societies expectations.
1. Make a list of things you like to wear (or would like to wear). This will give you a starting point! Fandom shirts? Lolita dresses? Jeans and a shirt? Comfy clothes? Maybe you can find comfy pieces in prints you like - I've seen some fantastic leggings! For instance, if you are a man who has always liked how woman's clothes look - write that down.
2. Get inspired. Beauty and style blogs. Instagram. Local events where people dress nice. YouTube. Magazines. There's literally hundreds of places where you might find ideas! Find items of clothing you think look nice, and make a note to look for something similar.
3. Look for it. Don't write-off anywhere until you've checked it. I've picked up some nice clothes from supermarkets. Maybe you don't have the money for a full Lolita outfit, but you can find pieces with lace details in the shops. Check online, too - also, check up stores that aren't available in your country - many will deliver. And remember, you can check in a section that is a different gender from what you present as. Try on as much as you can in the shop - this will give you an idea of what you like, and what looks good. The more you try on, the more you establish what suits you. If you're crafty, you could make your own, or add details to old pieces to make it look
4. Accessorise. Accessories can seriously make or break an outfit. I've dragged friends in America to Hot Topic just so I could get a look at their geeky jewellery (and picked some up, too.) I like to co-ordinate my jewellery with my outfit. For instance, if I'm wearing a Pokémon shirt, I like my Pikachu necklace and Pokéball earrings. If I'm wearing my turquoise blue skater dress with flowers on, most of my accessories will be blue with flowers on. You can find accessories to match any style, and from most places where clothes are sold. I'm somewhat of an accessory horder - if you lose me in a clothes shop, there's a 95% chance I am looking at jewellery. I often get asked how I've put together an outfit - it's usually a cheap dress that I've jazzed up with some (also quite cheap) accessories.
5. Wear it! Admittedly, this may take some getting used to, especially if the clothing is far outside your usual range. If you live in a city, different clothing shouldn't raise too many eyebrows, but in the middle of nowhere it can be a different matter. You could start small, with maybe just a small accessory at first, or wear your clothes somewhere that doesn't treat unusual clothing as unusual. Or just jump in and wear it all!
At the end of the day, fashion is about having fun. It's easy for me to preach my "where what you want" mantra when what I like to wear fits the narrow definition of what's acceptable, but I do think the world should be less judgemental of something as inconsequential as our clothing choices. I hope you take away an idea of what to look for on your next outing. Me, I'm always on the lookout for pretty jumpers and cardigans, even though it's the wrong time of year for it right now!