Fashion has always been a way for me to find confidence. Let’s be honest, as women, confidence is something that some of us struggle with sometimes. It’s normal for that to happen, and it’s completely fine to lose confidence. What’s important is finding that confidence again when it seems to be lacking. When my confidence is slipping, I put on a cute outfit and I go to brunch with my best friends, or I go to a museum in Richmond and have an impromptu photo shoot.
Body positivity is important, in a world where social media may be imposing on that. Finding comfort in our own skin is the best way to conquer negative stigmas. Dressing up in your favorite outfits, or trying out a new trend that works for you, is one of the best ways to find your own body positivity.
This is how some women in my life find confidence in their fashion.
“I want people to see the dress. But focus on the woman.” - Vera Wang
I haven’t always been confident in my body, but my most confident self is when I am wearing a nice pair of high waisted jeans that hug all the right places. I pair that with a crop top that shows just enough of the parts of my body that I am proud of. Outfits that reveal my tattoos make me feel confident because the ink on my body tells stories of who I am, so I am proud to show them off. My fashion is a reflection of how I want to feel and what I need to be confident in a specific setting.
“Self-Confidence is the best outfit, rock it and own it”
Ashton is my Little in Alpha Omicron Pi, and such a strong energy, she is a Leo after all! Here is what she has to say about how her fashion complements her body positivity: “I have always been scared to show my body because I’ve always tried to be the ideal weight. One day I got the confidence to wear high waisted jeans and an amazing urban top, I realized how great I looked and now I’m more confident when choosing my outfits.”
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak” - Rachel Zoe
Katelyn is one of my beautiful g-littles and the way she thrives in her own skin inspires me. This is how Katelyn finds confidence in herself through her fashion: “I wouldn't say that I have a concrete style, I really just throw on what makes me happy. That's actually how I became more confident in myself. By wearing clothes that made me feel comfortable and confident, I was eventually able to extend that positive feeling into the way I feel about my body as well.”
“Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you” - Ralph Lauren
Jasmine is my best friend and has been since Kindergarten. We spent a lot of our days shopping in the mall for those outfits that made us feel confident. “It's hard for me to find clothes that I like that actually fit me. I wouldn't say I have a specific fashion style because I can't just shop for clothes and pick out what I like. I'm kind of limited in what I can wear, so I think a big part of my fashion is finding things that work on me. When I actually find clothes that fit me and look good on me, it makes me feel more confident and positive about my body. I like to wear oversized clothes as well, and when I'm able to really pull off that look or I really like how it looks on me, I feel really positive about my body and I appreciate my body.”
“A great dress can make you remember what is beautiful about life” - Rachel Roy
Morgan is also my Little in Alpha Omicron Pi and another fiery energy, because she is a Sagittarius, after all! Morgan continues to slay every day, from her job as a deputy sheriff to her highly fashionable style. “A red dress with heels. I felt like I was on fire and I was the center of attention. This dress complimented me in all the right places, making me comfortable and confident, and like I could take on anything.”
“The way I dress depends on how I feel. I never have to psych myself up. Usually, it just feels like it works.” - Rihanna
Krystle is my cousin, but more like my older sister. She’s the one who got me into fashion, and she is my role model in life. Her confidence, in her fashion but also in life, is what inspires me every day to follow my own dreams. She is always smiling, and always happy, and that’s something I really look up too. From my greatest role model, here is her message: “Dressing how I feel is ALWAYS a must and in the warmer months I am always feeling flowy pants, crop tops, and tropical prints. Flowy pants usually come up high enough to accentuate my shape in all the right places and allow me to rock a crop top with the most confidence! Not to mention, they make my booty look amazing! Whether or not I’m actually going to be on a beach this year is the real question, but these pants totally help me manifest that possibility!”
Women want to wear what’s comfortable to them; they want clothes that make them feel comfortable and hug their shape in places that make them feel beautiful. These are the empowering women in my life that I feel accentuate the true meaning of being confident, meanwhile having beautiful, unique styles. Fashion is not always a trend or a brand, as Ralph Lauren said, it’s about what comes from within. It’s about what makes you feel beautiful, comfortable, and confident.
Xx, Ashley Newman
Virginia Commonwealth University, Alpha Omicron Pi