By Aretha Uamai
Hello everyone, big welcome to the style section of The Look Online (AKA one of my new
My name is Aretha Uamai and I’ll be your style editor for the year. I’m
really glad to have you here.
I’m going to be starting off with a topic that resonates with everyone and is also one of my
favourites to discuss & share thoughts on – personal style. In this article, we’ll be exploring
aspects of personal style, its evolution in the digital age, and the authenticity of it all.
Personal style to me is someone’s own individual expression of themselves through outfits.
Personal style is one of the senses of self. It is translating who you are and what you like
through clothing and accessories. But there are official definitions, and personal style has
been shaped by the significant icons who have come before, and are among, us. Some of
my own personal favourites include Jane Birkin, Rihanna, Mick Jagger, Aaliyah, and Bella
Hadid. Not only is personal style shaped by people, but also the world we live in as a
We are undoubtedly in the depths of the digital age, therefore reaping all its benefits and
inconveniences. Aretha, this is not a media essay, what does that have to do with personal
style? Curious reader, I’m very glad you asked. Social media has a large role to play in style
today. Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest have become virtual runways where trends are born
and engaged in by many. Aesthetics reign supreme. Everyone is free to share what they
deem “fashionably acceptable.” This works for our benefit, and sometimes downfall.
Trends are born and die rather quickly. The rise of aesthetics has added complexity to the
style game. But at what cost? People are constantly trying to place themselves or others into
a box fashionably, or visually. While that may be fun, like many aspects of social media, it can
have its toll. In turn, this can lead people to genuinely question their sense of self outside of
Does what I’m doing fit the aesthetic?
What aesthetic am I?
What aesthetic is this?
It sounds stupid but it’s true. Everyday I see comments exactly like this. The free and easily
accessible input of opinion doesn’t aid the situation. People are criticised for being too
basic or purely wearing a combination of trends. Is personal style truly a unique expression and
sense of self if it’s becoming criticism and social bondage?
All these layers to personal styles can make one question their authenticity and feel
unstable in their sense of self. Which isn’t what personal style should be. It should be exactly
that, personal. Something that resonates with you, that you feel firm, comfortable and yourself in.
My own style journey probably began around fourteen, when I was given the liberty of taking
partial control of my own wardrobe. Frightening. (And I say partial because I was most
definitely putting something back if my mom had her say in the matter) Long story short,
after drifting into many styles here and there, I feel firm in what I wear, and dare I say have
found my personal style. The sole reason being, I like it. If it ends up fluctuating along the
way (it probably will, knowing myself) So be it.
I believe that’s enough to craft your own authentic personal sense of style. Wearing what you like. This is what spurs one to put on clothing and accessories, wear them, style them, craft outfits and boom! Your
personal style is born. It’s all you, and what you like, trendy or not. It may change, but so do we.
Authenticity lies within you.
All the love, Aretha.