By: Key Michel

The Tik Tok trend “wearing versus styling” was initially formed to show viewers how they can easily elevate their own outfits with simple style hacks. Its mission was to inspire viewers that instead of simply wearing their outfits; they can apply more effort by styling them in their own way. Whether it was adding accessories to the outfit, or implementing style hacks to certain clothing pieces; many Tik Tok viewers found joy in seeing the before and after reveal. The trend ignited a ton of Tik Tokers to follow suite showcasing how they would elevate their own personal style choices.

Now the trend did come with its own set of backlash; and frustrations from viewers. Some people weren’t too swayed that people were understanding the concept of “wearing versus styling” and instead viewed it as “styling versus elevating”. Several users of the app expressed concerns that people weren’t showcasing their own personal style through their clothes; and that their trendy outfits lacked individuality; and screamed mediocrity. The concerns surrounding the trend caused many users to come in defense stating that style is subjective; and that people should be able to express themselves in whatever way they choose to.

It’s vital to shed light on the concept that people will always view style and fashion through their own personal lens. Whatever lens you choose to view fashion through will determine how you perceive it, how you use it in your own life; and sometimes how you believe others should be using it as well.

For example, for some people fashion is simply clothes; they get dressed and that is it. For others, it’s a way to fit into mainstream trends, to fit into a certain group; or to have an identity that they aspire to have that they don’t necessarily obtain yet. Lastly, others view fashion as a form of art; and a way for them to express who they are.

We can inspire people to view fashion through the same lens that we view it through; but everyone does have the right to view fashion through whatever lens they decide to put on. Everyone has the right to make their own style choices and decisions. I would love to inspire everyone to view fashion as a form of art; and a way for them to express their own story; but I also have to respect the different lens people choose to view it through.

In addition, style is a way for people to express their own stories; so it becomes tricky when we make remarks about how one should or shouldn’t go about expressing the pages in their very own book. Everyone that made a “wearing versus styling” video wasn’t an expert in fashion; and a lot of them weren’t striving to be one either. These were people that wanted to have fun; and showcase how they would take their own outfits up a notch. For all we know, some Tik Tokers may be in the beginning stages of their style journeys; and finally mustered up the courage to make a video showcasing their own interpretation of “wearing versus styling.”

As leaders, change agents and media in the fashion industry; it’s important for us to have grace, and to understand that everyone isn’t at an expert level when it comes to fashion; and that’s okay. Our mission should be to empower them to love what they wear; and to feel powerful wearing it. Our mission is to make fashion exciting and fun again.

We should always remind ourselves that style will always be subjective; and whatever lens we choose to view fashion through is subjective as well.

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