The Obsolescence of Comparative Fashion

Have you ever wished it was you that went on that trip to Bali last month instead of Billy?

Or how about wishing that skirt Jessica had on last weekend was yours? (Pretend that Billy and Jessica are peers in your life). The answer is probably yes, so you need to read this.


 Self-comparison is very prominent in our generation and specifically at FIT. For example, everyone I’ve ever asked said that they’ve compared themselves to Jessica or Billy. I was a victim of these comparison habits as well. Recently I’ve had a major realization about why we do this and find myself feeling much better now. 


I thought about what I wanted to change so badly to be more like that other person. Some of the topics were my hair, diet, body, home, clothes, friends, social life, finances, education, nails, size, what makeup I own, what I create, my handwriting, music- the list could exceed the maximum word count in this article. Some people compare almost everything they do to what other people do. It isn’t very good for you and affects more aspects of your life than you think. 


The Major Issue

The major issue comes when you compare aspects of what you are or have to someone else. The other person’s ‘thing’ that seems so amazing is being praised and it outshines your ‘thing.’ This thought going through your mind over and over tricks your subconscious mind into thinking that you’re not good enough. Never let anyone, especially yourself. make you feel that way. Confidence is key, and it’s the best outfit you could ever wear. 


As we all know, social media is a major contributor to this unhealthy habit. While we scroll through people showcasing their lives, we subconsciously compare it to ours. If Rebecca from that one class in middle school posts that she just moved to France, your subconscious mind may question why you don’t live in France. In reality, as long as you are happy and healthy where you are, you shouldn’t feel like you have to move to France. 


Especially, at FIT I know the pressure to be well dressed is real for some. A new line drops and Stacy from draping class has it on. Or John from stats class has on some shoes that you “just NEED so bad.” Your mind may wish that you too were wearing something like that when you have a stunning outfit on too. You don’t have to wear the most expensive pieces to be fashionable, you just have to wear whatever YOU feel great in. If you were to get the same top that Stacy has on then you’d be wearing the same clothes. Why copy when you can create? 


Finding Your Fashion Style Takes Confidence

Fashion is always evolving and it’s because of people that step outside of what’s considered the ‘norm’ and add their own individual flare. It’d be so boring if no one had their own personal style and everyone dressed practically the same. The world would become that one episode of Spongebob where he becomes “normal” and loses his quirky personality and oddly square pants. 


Your style does not have to be filled with expensive pieces. If that is what you are passionate about and that style is for you, then great! Most of us, I’m assuming, as college students might not have an extra income to spend on luxury clothes right now. And that’s okay! You can have just as much style by walking into a Salvation Army and making an old men’s blazer your new dress for tonight. Add a belt, or paint on your favorite animated character, throw some boots on and BOOM!- You’re fashionable. 


Upcycling has been the new fashion trend that will save our planet and wallets. We all know how horrible fast fashion is for the environment. Working with what you have or buying second-hand not only helps the planet, but it’ll make you feel good too for doing your part. Think of clothes as a blank canvas waiting for you to paint or sew or cut them. 


A Quick How To- From the Author:

Sketches By Taylor Bach

The illustrations, drawn by me, are some examples of my personal style and examples to get inspiration from. My style involves mixing random things and seeing how it looks. Last week I wore a nightgown from the thrift store with a skirt over it and some thrifted trousers. I felt like a million dollars while my outfit was under twenty bucks. 


To develop your style- start with the basic staple items. A boot that you like, some comfy everyday shoes, jeans, cargos or trousers that fit you well. Maybe a couple of tees with different fits and styles, a skirt or two, some fun tights, a good coat for this cold NYC weather, a big bag to throw everything in when you’re on the go, and maybe even a fun hat. The staples combined with some fun pieces like a plaid dress or sparkly bra are where you really get to let your personality shine. Mixing different patterns or styles that you wouldn’t think are wearable just might actually go together! Of course, there will also be times where it might not work, but it’s a game. Playing around with different silhouettes and patterns and styles makes your clothes your style.  

Sketches by Taylor Bach

Finding Your Style Will Empower You

You’ll be encouraged to stop downplaying what you have compared to what Billy and Jessica have. If you’re having fun with what you do and what you wear, chances are you’ll stop caring about what others have and what they wear. It’s not a change that will happen overnight, but it will positively impact your mind and effect you more than you realize. This positive energy will radiate to those around you and you could even make someone else’s day brighter. 


Personal style is not the quick fix to stop comparing yourself to others. There are going to be other hurdles you will face that will threaten your security in yourself. However, being aware of these issues is the first step into ending it. Finding your style in every aspect of your life is so important. That way we’re not just a bunch of “Jessica’s” or “Billy’s.’ You are enough and your style is there; it’s up to you to play around and find it. 

1 Comment
  1. Taylor, not only are you my daughter you are my motivation and inspiration for just about everything. The third paragraph made me cry. Why do we feel we need or want the newest, most expensive clothing? Is it we want or need it to feel good about ourselves, to be accepted into a new circle of friends(that appear to be so nice, until you get to know them) or simply just love the look of the overpriced item.
    For me, in elementary school until my early 30’s I thought if I had those shoes or dress I saw on someone wearing, I could be her. I may not even know her name or anything about her but, she appears to be happy and successful.
    WHO CARES, I can be too. It is a mindset – easier said than followed through with. Those five-hundred dollar shoes and seve-hundred dress, would not make me or anyone a better, more popular person, honestly, I have always frowned down upon expensive clothing – I appreciate the time, energy, finances also, the aggravation and I am sure emotions and tears as well as happiness, when finished. It is art!!!
    But, really, I just wanted to be someone else to see how it feels to get temporary, positive attention.
    Now, more than ever, I do NOT care – it is about how I feel.
    Happiness is subjective. All you really need is a positive attitude and to realize just because someone is wearing the most amazing clothes they appear as though they have never had a bad moment or hit a bump of hardship in their entire life, I promise, it is not true.
    My favorite outfit is a smile.


    I am beyond impressed and extremely proud of ALL your accomplishments. You and your brother are my reason for not giving up when things can NOT get worse. You keep smiling, success is already with you.

    With all my love,