Choosing Style Over Fashion as a Girl with Vitiligo
As a girl with vitiligo, I am obsessed with my closet. My shoes, tops, dresses and accessories build me up and give me confidence. More than that, they give me control – control over an appearance that doesn’t feel like mine anymore, that has been taken over by vitiligo.
My closet hasn’t always given me confidence though – it took time and attention to build a wardrobe that works for me. And most importantly, it required a change of focus from fashion to style.
The Difference between Fashion and Style
Fashion and style are often used interchangeably but today I’m breaking them apart to make a point. Fashion, by definition, is about popular trends in clothing. Style, on the other hand, is about creating a unique appearance that is built on your own principles of design.
There was a time in my life when I was desperate to fit in – and I turned to clothes to help make that happen, or at least I tried to. I thought that even if my skin looked weird, maybe my clothes could tell a different story. The result was a spiraling journey into depression – because no matter how hard I tried, I was still the girl with vitiligo, I was still the girl with spots.
There were two challenges here – the first was that I needed to do the hard work of loving my skin and my body the way I am. And that took time. But the second was more actionable – it was a change of focus from fashion to style for me. Instead of making the newest clothes on the rack fit on me, I started deciding whether the latest fashion trends worked for me – based off of my own style.
Choosing Style as a Girl with Vitiligo
For me, there was freedom in forgetting fashion – in deciding what works for me and loving the way I look, even if I’m not the trendiest girl on the block.
Fashion caused me to fall into the routine of trying to be like everyone else. Focusing on style has given me the chance to build a wardrobe that celebrates my uniqueness – because I am unique. I’m the girl with vitiligo whose skin has completely changed colors. How many people can say that?
So how do you choose your style as a girl with vitiligo? For me, it took going back to the basics by following some of the principles of minimalist style – eliminating everything but those pieces that actually felt like me, and made me feel beautiful.
Here are a few of the articles on the blog that can help you build your own style this fall:
Erika Page is a writer and blogger with universal vitiligo. Her first spots appeared on her spine when she was seven years old and today vitiligo covers her entire body. Based just south of Washington, D.C., Erika founded Living Dappled to create a community of inspiration and hope for girls and women living with vitiligo.