How is social media affecting personal style?
Given that we're now more attached to our phones than ever, always within reach of various social media platforms, the act of sharing our newest outfits on platforms like Instagram or TikTok has actually increased the pressure.
Sharing our latest outfits on Instagram and TikTok has only intensified the desire to shop for the newest styles and trends that dominate our social media feeds.
Sydney-based stylist Monica Morales spoke to Who about the benefits and pitfalls surrounding social media's obsession with the latest trend.
"I think social media and the easy accessibility to so many things... has a lot of people obsessed with the next best thing, as opposed to slowing down and really figuring out what brings them joy and what feels authentic to them," says Monica.
"I think it's good and bad. It allows you to be connected to so many people and ideas around the world in an instant, so in that way, you feel constantly inspired," she says. "But on that bad side, a lot of people dress just for their socials and not for themselves, which can take the joy out of creating an outfit. And also it creates this fear of outfit repeating."
In a study by Jana Hawley and Andrew Reilly, titled Attention Deficit Fashion, the researchers look into how short-form content such as Instagram and TikTok has affected the consumer's attention space, and how that has translated to a quicker turnover of trends.
How can you find your own sense of style amidst it all?
So the question is how can we identify our true style, and find a way to dress that feels authentic to who we are as individuals?
"There's nothing wrong with being trend-focused," says Monica.
"I mean I jumped on the ballet flats trend as soon as the [Miu Miu FW22] show came out, but as long as you are putting the same amount of focus on what you really love and not denying yourself something cause it's not trending right now. It's a real mix of staying open to new trends and vibes, but also enjoying what you like."
In fact, social media can be an asset when it comes to honing down your style. Finding inspiration from like-minded style savants and furthering these ideas to suit your wardrobe and lifestyle is a great way to explore fashion.
Another avenue to explore your personal style involves assessing the items you already have in your closet. Do you notice recurring silhouettes, colours, or patterns that you're naturally inclined towards when you shop? Can you create outfits based on the pieces you already love from your wardrobe?
"Fashion is ever evolving and so are you as a person and so is your personal style and that is super exciting," says Monica. "However you don’t have to change as fast as microtrends and social media trends change and learn to slow down and just be present in the now and with the things you love and make and you feel good."
How the Who team found their own sense of style
If you're still figuring out your style and looking for some inspiration, the team here at Who has brought some insight into how they built their own wardrobes. Plus, the lowdown into the items we're eyeing for our own shopping lists, which might just spark your next purchase.
Isabelle Knevett - Senior Digital Content Producer
I grew up being that kid that definitely stood out (usually not in a good way) due to her wardrobe, I found my style through fashion mags and cult films and television. My go-to look is a uniform-inspired outfit complete with a tailored oversized blazer, mini skirt and combat boots and I top it off with so much gold jewellery that you can hear me coming from across the office.
Sometimes I describe myself as a bit of a magpie; always in black and white, a little snappy and attracted to anything that shines. Which is why I love to shake things up with sequined skirts, statement earrings, the occasional psychedelic print and diamonte'd bags to add a point of difference to my otherwise monochromatic wardrobe.
I like to channel elements of the rebellious energy of Kelly from St. Trinians (iykyk), the punk and grunge edge of Blondie and a cursed mix of Jenny Humphrey and Blair Waldorf.
Kiran Blazer, $195, Nude Lucy
Twiggy ring stack, $149 (usually $187), Arms of Eve
M.N.G Curvi skirt, $79.95, THE ICONIC
Aere Chunky knee-high boots, $280, THE ICONIC
Local Supply BKK sunglasses, $95, THE ICONIC
Jayde Malifa - Digital Managing Editor, Lifestyle & Food
When it comes to my personal style, I am less concerned about fashion trends and more focused on building a wardrobe of style staples. For inspo, I am actually always looking on social media and seeing what my favourite brands are releasing and then how my favourite IT girls are adopting and styling them.
My personal style is very much rooted in a capsule wardrobe of timeless silhouettes and colour-blocking. I do love a bold print but have bought less and less over the years as they date very easily. In terms of my ‘uniform’, I am generally wearing a suit or two-piece matching set, then dressing it up or down accordingly with accessories and shoes, whether it is classic white sneaker during the day to a cute, coloured heel at night. Where I invest mostly is accessories, with Karen Walker sunglasses and architectural statement earrings being my absolute obsessions.
4th & Reckless Plus Longline blazer and pants set, $86.50 (usually $115), ASOS
LMS The Bianca heels, $120 (usually $220), THE ICONIC
ASOS Design Hoop earrings, $16, ASOS
Karen Walker True North Wave sunglasses, $270, THE ICONIC
Maison de Sabre Crossbody phone pouch, $149, THE ICONIC
Tina Burke - Digital Managing Editor, Entertainment
I once described my style as “school kid on an excursion.” Admittedly, I was wearing overalls at the time, but the theory still kind of applies. There are a lot of baseball caps and sneakers in my arsenal... not to mention, a lot of primary colours.
I have been through it all on my journey to find my personal style: beachy, minimalist, boho, all-black-everything, exclusively dressing like I’m on my way to Copenhagen Fashion Week. I think I have somewhat found my own sense of style as I've aged, realising that more often than not the "trend" of the moment often wouldn't suit me. I wouldn't feel comfortable. So, instead, I basically dress like the grown-up version of the child my mother used to send off to pre-school. Though, with a few more blazers and loafers than a child would usually wear.
My style has certainly been heavily influenced by social media – I quite literally have a Pinterest Board called “My Style.” It's where I save outfits that suit both what I already own and the general vibe I’d like to emulate. Don't get me wrong, the people who live on my Pinterest board are much cooler than I am. But, it has given me a bit more of an understanding of my somewhat minimal, occasionally eclectic, Scandi-inspired vibe.
New Balance 530 sneakers, $136 (usually $160), THE ICONIC
Aere Accordion pleated knit dress, $160, THE ICONIC
Bloom maxi slip skirt, $31.49 (usually $44.99), Cotton On
ASOS Design Brushed houndstooth jacket, $106 (usually $132), ASOS
Round mini shoulder bag, $24.90, Uniqlo
Chanelle Mansour - Senior Digital Content Producer, Streaming
If I had to describe my personal style in one word it would be this; black. Ink black, jet black, midnight black, liquorice black – and yes there’s a difference – you name it, and I can guarantee it’s sitting pretty in my closet.
It’s a shade that will never go out of style (for me at least) and will always be found in my sartorial rotation. My go-to ensembles usually consist of black on black on black, with maybe a bright pink bag or heel if I’m feeling festive.
Lioness Olsen coat, $83.40, THE ICONIC
Burland pant, $95, Petal & Pup
Toledo knit sweater, $69, Petal & Pup
Billini Iggy shoulder bag, $31 (usually $79.95), THE ICONIC
Allura boots, $50 (usually $109.95), Billini
Madison Scott - Senior Digital Content Producer
My style is definitely all over the place and I can never really describe it in one-word phrases or ‘aesthetics’ since I really like to change it up and grab inspo from so many different places (also I change my mind a lot).
Whilst I find myself using social media to grab inspiration for more specific items, I do think the fundamentals of my style have strongly been influenced by movies and TV shows. Ever since I was younger I have had the unhealthy habit of obsessing over character’s flawless wardrobes. Think Lizzie Maguire, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Live Tyler in Empire Records, *anything* from Practical Magic and of course, anything Meg Ryan wore in the 80s and 90s.
Thanks to my habit of re-watching old shows and movies on a regular basis, my current style also has a pretty strong 90s influence (which I am very much blaming on my current obsession with Ally McBeal, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and Gwyneth Paltrow). With how fast the fashion industry cycles through new trends, I do also try and stick to a more classic and timeless look; opting for denim, white tees and tailored pieces etc.
High waist relaxed tailored pants, $47.99 (usually $59.99), Glassons
Clean Eileen 90s stone jeans, $250, Nude Jeans Co
New Balance ML2002RA sneakers, $230, THE ICONIC
Le Specs Outta Love 90s sunglasses, $70, THE ICONIC
The Clean Cut T-Shirt, $49, COS