Alright, this sounds very weird but, grief helped me find my true style. I have always enjoyed fashion and the beauty behind expressing oneself with clothing. My style has always flip flopped and I never was able to figure out what clothing made me feel confident. One day, I would wear an “edgy” outfit, while the next day I would wear all floral. I was constantly trying to figure out what I truly love to wear and what would make me feel like my best self.
My passion and love for fashion crumbled when my mother passed away in 2015. Grief slammed into me and felt like a boulder sitting on top of me. Of course I was in shock for the first couple of weeks and I thought that I accepted it. All of a sudden it sunk in. Grief made me lose a part of myself during that time. I had no need or want to dress up or look, “presentable”. All I wanted to do was wear my blanket and never leave my room. This caused major isolation, not only physically but also mentally. I isolated myself, and shunned the topic of my mother’s death. I was also very embarrassed about what I was going through. I would lie and talk about my mother as if she was still alive. I was scared of how people were not only going to think of me but of how they were going to perceive my mother. Judgement was my major fear.
When I turned 18 years old and I went through a bag that held my mother’s old clothing, that was the day I realised who I was and what I needed to do. My mother was always a creative, bright and stylish person. She loved writing, especially poetry. She aspired to be a writer. She never did get her work published because she was also afraid of judgement. She kept her poetry and short stories hidden from the world. I went through her clothing and poetry, and realized that I needed to do something. There I was reading my late mother’s poetry while I’m wearing her old blouse that I found and it hit me. I need to showcase this.
Even though my mother has passed away she can still have her work be seen and her legacy shine on. I also realized that if I kept being scared of judgement, then I would fall down the same route as my mother, and I don’t want to fall down a route of having to please everyone but myself.
So I went home, whipped out my camera that was collecting dust, and I took pictures of my outfits that I styled using my mother’s clothing with my clothing as well. I then made a blog called Remembrance Wardrobe, and published an outfit with a quote from one of my mother’s poems. I let my guard down and I felt like my true self. I found my style, I found my passion and most importantly, I get to collab with my mother with creating outfits and showcasing the importance of remembering and sharing the legacy of late loved ones.
I now wear clothing that makes me feel confident and that have stories behind it.