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How Standing Out Can Help You Fit In: My Midwest Fashion Story

How Standing Out Can Help You Fit In: My Midwest Fashion Story

hannah is wearing a head-to-toe yellow outfit from a thrift store. she's standing among a background of yellow sunflowers and is reaching up to touch one.My Midwest Fashion Story

Something most people are surprised to learn after hearing about my fashion blog and history with fashion is that I’m from Wisconsin. A small town in Wisconsin to be exact! They definitely expect me to be from a bigger area.

I don’t have any shame about where I live but it has presented its fair share of challenges throughout the years.

Growing up, my exposure to fashion was limited to my big sister’s monthly subscription to Seventeen magazines. (Some things never change!)

And the pinnacle of fashion excitement was attending weekend fashion shows at Walmart!

How Fashion Shaped My Life

During my teenage years, I experimented extensively with my personal style, which brought about mixed feelings. Being plus-size until the age of 21, I wore outfits that most curvy women wouldn’t feel comfortable in. I relished challenging societal norms and pushing boundaries.

I’m grateful that I dared to be different even when I was plus-size because it instilled in me the confidence to continue dressing eccentrically to this day. Eventually, my community became accustomed to me being the girl with the wild thrift store clothes.

hannah is wearing a head-to-toe yellow outfit from a thrift store. she's standing among a background of yellow sunflowers and has a big smile on her face.

Fashion Rulebreaker

Conditioning people to accept and appreciate uniqueness is no easy task. Going against the norm can be tough.

Thankfully, the fashion police have never come knocking on my door and I’ve realized that if I can express myself freely in my small town, I can do it anywhere!

I am aware that there are towns even smaller and more rural than mine, where dressing the way you want can be even more difficult or even dangerous due to conservative attitudes.

hannah is wearing a head-to-toe yellow outfit from a thrift store. she's standing among a background of yellow sunflowers and has a big smile on her face. hannah is wearing a head-to-toe yellow outfit from a thrift store. she's standing among a background of yellow sunflowers and has a big smile on her face.

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WHAT I’M WEARING
All thrifted/secondhand, $7 total | Old Lulu*s white sandals, $20 | Old Maurices white lace cami

hannah is wearing a head-to-toe yellow outfit from a thrift store. she's standing among a background of yellow sunflowers and has a big smile on her face. hannah is wearing a head-to-toe yellow outfit from a thrift store. she's standing among a background of yellow sunflowers and has a big smile on her face. hannah is wearing a head-to-toe yellow outfit from a thrift store. she's standing among a background of yellow sunflowers and has a big smile on her face.

Standing Out Helps Me Fit In

Confidence definitely takes time to build up and, even then, comes in waves. Sometimes I feel like standing out and other times I feel like blending in… like with sunflowers!

But the benefits of dressing up have outweighed the negatives. It’s helped me find my people and it’s fun to know I’ve been a well-dressed stranger to someone in public.

In the end, I believe that fashion should be a means of self-expression and a celebration of individuality. I hope for a future where people can simply be themselves without judgment.

rural wisconsin yellow sunflowers with a blue sky


ALSO STALK MY STYLE ON:

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