Editor’s Letter: This Month We Celebrate Freedom of Expression Through Style

We talk a lot about personal style on Who What Wear—our purpose is to give women the tools they crave to continue to develop their style. I can hear people up the back thinking ‘but what’s so important about personal style?’, well I’m here to tell you it can be powerful, and even liberating. This month, we’re celebrating freedom of expression through style—unpacking how women break away from what they understand as ‘normal’, and develop their own unique style. You’ll hear from influential women within the Australian fashion industry on how their style has developed through the years, the impact their surroundings have had on the way they dress, and how they express themselves through certain pieces. 

I hope you feel inspired to think of fashion as more than just ‘clothes’, and as the powerful tool it is. Fashion is freedom, and I think sometimes we forget the true impact it can have. Not only on how you’re perceived by those around you, but how it makes you feel. Feeling comfortable in what you’re wearing and radiating that confidence could be the difference between nailing a job interview, making new friends, or creating a lasting memory.

To kick off the series I’m sharing my story, and how I broke away from my understanding of ‘normal’ to develop my personal style. I grew up in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, where in the early ‘00s, surf shops were basically the only place for a teenage girl to shop. I love the beach, but I’m not a bikini gal 24/7. From a very young age, I understood the impact of how you dress can have on the way people perceive you, and I knew that I was yet to find my feet. I spent my formative years trying to fit in—ignoring my Greek heritage, dyeing my hair platinum blonde, wearing what my friends wore. I look back now and I don’t recognise the girl in those pictures. When I started to really dress for myself in my mid-twenties, I found my confidence. I felt comfortable in meetings, I could speak easily to those I’d normally feel nervous around, and I found my own places to shop.

We are so fortunate to have the ability to dress in a way that allows us to express ourselves and continuously evolve. I know that my style journey is never ending, but I love where it’s at right now. I find joy in scrolling Instagram and hunting for an unexpected emerging label, I feel comfortable in my current uniform (shop it below), and outfit repeat almost every day (in my early 20s, that would = blasphemy). The latest ‘It-bag’ no longer haunts me. I’m not trying to ‘keep up’ with anyone. I’m conscious of where my clothes come from and I’m aware of the impact I have on landfill. I curate, and shop mindfully—I take a supremely edited approach to my wardrobe, and only let in pieces I know will bring me joy (the Marie Kondo approach).

Follow along this month as we tell the style stories of some of Australia’s most recognised women. We’ll shine a light on the intersection between style and culture, while we explore different ‘style tribes’ and how style is perceived around the world.   

Before we kick off, here are some of the pieces I'm wearing, and have my eye on right now.

I love anything that can be layered or worn in more than one way. This JH.Zane top has detachable sleeves, so I can either go dramatic, or simple.

I'm heading to Europe in August to visit family in Greece. Chocolate brown seems to be the new neutral that's re-entered my wardrobe and this skirt is begging to be added next.

This slouchy sweater reminds me of Rachel Green in Friends. I'll be updating it for 2018 with wide leg jeans.

Wide leg pants have become a closet staple, so I'm looking to add a few denim options to the mix.

I first spotted these satin slippers at Fashion Week Australia and I've been thinking about them ever since.

Surō is an Australian brand launched in 2017. It creates slow and meaningful pieces from precious metals. I love the idea of building a special jewellery collection I can one day pass on.

These pants will help me get dressed in the morning in two-seconds flat. Add a turtleneck in winter, or a ribbed tee in summer.

This has been the first jumpsuit I've come across that fits my criteria. Slightly oversized, detachable belt, and button-down.

I love the vintage feel of this top, without having to spend a fortune having it altered to fit. Broderie anglaise is timeless, so I know it'll stay in my wardrobe for years to come.

It's my 30th this year, and I know my husband reads my stories... So just leaving this one here.

I purchased the leopard print version of this skirt earlier this year, and have worn it non-stop. I'm adding the floral version as I can see myself wearing it all throughout spring.

Opening image: Getty Images