Shedding your inner critic: it’s time to wear what you want

I recently received a direct message that read: "I love your sense of style! I'm too much of a wallflower to wear bright colours or bold prints. One day, I'll get out of my own head."

This was in response to the outfit below which I posted to my Instagram story. I was going out shopping for the day, and I put this look together because warm, comfortable trousers and a cropped top seemed like a sensible idea.

I often get comments on my style - I've been told that it's bold, eccentric, 'out there' and I am usually the most colourful person in the room. Over the past year, I have developed my style and become more adventurous with it. When people tell me that they want to dress similarly, I have always wondered, 'Why don't they?'.

To quote drag superstar and my 'adoptive' mother, Trixie Mattel, "the difference between you and someone who puts a red lip on is they put a red lip on." You're no different to anyone else. Everyone should be able to be their best colourful self but if you don't know where to start, then I’m here to help.

Know your body and know your body type

We are all shaped differently – I, myself, am an hourglass. Knowing this doesn't necessarily influence what I wear, but what it does do is help me to know what would look better on my figure. That doesn't mean you should only dress for your particular body type - you can wear whatever you want! Knowing my body and building a relationship with it though has helped me to branch out into a more adventurous fashion. Loving the canvas underneath the clothes allows me to paint it more beautifully.

Try things on

I know what you’re thinking, and I was exactly the same. It takes so long, sizing is different in every store and some changing rooms have great lighting, while some have no lighting at all. I absolutely hated trying things on but doing so not only saves you money but also saves you time. Also, take a trusted friend with you. Our brains aren’t always the kindest and having an objective opinion can really help.

Try things out

I love to incorporate different patterns but also different textures into my looks. Don't be afraid of opposing colours or prints. Despite popular belief, pink and red go wonderfully together (from what we are currently seeing on the runway, the tide may be changing in my favour). When branching out, you don't need to be the whole tree right away. Most colours go great with black, and this can be a striking way to add a pinch of colour to your outfit. A statement piece can be a great way to dip your toe into the water, and who cares if your shoes get wet? Or you could combine three statement pieces. This recent look of mine is one of my favourites, with all pieces sourced from the high street.

The shirt is mesh and has a very opposing pattern to the coat, but the colours work well together as pink, yellow and orange are all warm tones. I also paired this look with a red lip to add further warmth and to match the red detailing in the coat’s stitching. I think the key to wearing so many opposing (and some may say clashing) items is to look at each of their tones and details and try to find some compatibility.

Gain some inspiration

Instagram is renowned for providing plenty of style inspiration. Following someone whose style is similar to your own or whose style you would like to emulate is great, especially if you don't know where to start when it comes to getting more adventurous with your style.

I’m a big fan of pieces that come in multiple colours

And finally: the world is full of narcissists, but that’s a good thing

Whenever I get that fleeting feeling when leaving the house that I may be judged for what I'm wearing, I remind myself that everyone is too busy thinking about themselves to even give me a second thought. They may for a split second think “That's pretty colourful… What am I having for lunch?” but literally, no one cares. Dress for you and you only, and maybe for that twelve-year-old girl who might think you're actually really cool.

Your style can be influenced, but it is uniquely and intrinsically, yours. You can pull from different decades, different people and different movements. Go forth and dress like a futuristic Punk and go to the corner shop while you’re at it. Clothes and makeup are, of course, a form of self-expression and everyone should be able to express themselves exactly how they want to - whether that's as a walking rainbow or the darkest of nights. All is cool, all is good, and all is you.

Are you a fan of bold colours? Let us know in the comments!