Dare to be different

“You are so busy being YOU that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.”

― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

There is a scene in the cult classic Monty Python film ‘The Life Of Brian’ where Brian, who has been mistakenly appointed as The Messiah, addresses the crowds to try and correct this terrible misunderstanding. In his speech to the people Brian tells them, ‘we are all individuals’ – the crowd falls silent as they contemplate these powerful words, and then after a brief pause one lone voice comes from out of the crowd, and his confused little voice shouts out, ‘i’m not’.

We ARE all individuals though. No two people are exactly the same. Everyone of us has different life circumstances, upbringings, personalities, interests, hobbies, careers, issues, problems, fears, hopes, joys, fantasies and dreams. These unique attributes make every single one of us different. We just don’t really consider this very much, after all so much of what we are taught and that is constantly reinforced to us by society is to fit in, don’t stand out, don’t upset the status quo.

Buried deep down inside all of us though lies that desire to express ourselves and to celebrate our uniqueness and individuality – we don’t want to be like sheep, we don’t want to just follow the crowds. There is probably no better way of expressing ourselves than by the clothes we wear or perhaps more to the point – the way we wear our clothes.

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“When you don’t dress like everybody else, you don’t have to think like everybody else.”

– Iris Apfel

The trouble with fashion is that it can feel too exclusive, too pretentious, unaffordable, out of reach. We think about the fashion houses of Paris, the fashionistas of New York, the catwalks of Milan and as a result it feels a million miles away from where we are and who we are.

Style though is very different. There can be no exclusivity on style, no price, no rules. Style is something that you are. The only requirement that style has is confidence and self belief.

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97 year old Iris Apfel (above) always dares to be herself, regardless of her age and of what other people think of her.

“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess.”

– Iris Apfel

Style is a celebration of our uniqueness, our individuality, our special way of thinking and seeing the world.  You have to dare to be yourself, but this also doesn’t have to be a big, bold and daunting ‘dare’.

Style can be subtle.    

Style can be simple.

Style can be a quirky piece of jewellery.

Style can be a bright coloured pair of socks underneath a work suit.

Style can be a hat.

Style can be a shade of lipstick.

Style can be a polka dot rucksack.

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“Great personal style is an extreme curiosity about yourself.”

– Iris Apfel

Today, how can you change one small thing in your attire, your outfit, your accessories that will be an expression of who you are? You don’t need to tell anyone. This is about you and how you feel, not about what other people think or say.  

Dare to be different. Dare to be yourself.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

― Bernard M. Baruch

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