How Music Affects The Way I Dress

February 13, 2020 // fashion, music 

I never paid attention to where my sense of style came from. Like everyone, I had an innate feeling of what I liked and what I didn’t. I knew which colors I would pick out whilst shopping and which ones I would quickly disregard for being too girly, too colorful.

I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a tomboy, but I couldn’t fall into the category of the “girly-girl” either. I was somewhere smack in between loving the color black as if I invented it and thinking that pink was a color reserved for Barbie. It was neither love nor hate, just curated taste that I could call my own.

Yet, I wasn’t really sure where this love for dark tones and solemn demeanor came from. In reality, I was a happy kid - no deep seated issues with my family or friends, no real reason to take on such a somber approach. But, maybe it had nothing to do with my “real life” or what I had experienced. Instead, what if my sense of style, the way I presented myself - was all just a culmination of art & media that inspired me? What if the things I watched or the music I listened to affected the way I dressed? To make such a claim, wouldn’t feel far off.

My music taste growing up was eclectic. Now, I know most people say that in an attempt to sound cool - but I really do believe it. I mean my dad exposed me to the rap music of the 80s & 90s - so much so that my childhood videos are spotlights of me singing along to the Beastie Boys in our garage. While my mom was a rock and roll girl at heart, Bruce Springsteen and Journey often headlined our car rides home. And together, they loved iconic groups like the Rolling Stones, Run DMC, Prince, The Talking Heads, The Smiths and John Cougar Mellencamp. I’m sure I’m missing a few stars - but you get the gist. I grew up surrounded by good music.

When it came time for me to find my own sound - I gravitated toward the genres of my upbringing. Rock and roll, alternative rock, good pop music, rap & r&b tunes were all locked and loaded onto my iPod classic (64GB baby).

While I was listening to the artists of my generation & reminiscing of those of the past - I started to morph into a visual representation of the curated noise inside my headphones. Watching music videos, knowing that rock and roll meant endless amounts of leather jackets and simply feeling drawn to apparel that suited me. If my outfit looked like something a musician would wear, then I was all in - cool coats, ripped jeans and heeled boots were some of the staples of my closet. Oh, and a crisp white tee - because we all know that was the sign of a truly cool rocker.

I didn’t know much about fashion back then. I was 15 years old living in sunny Sarasota, Florida - the only fashion sense for most residents were bikinis and flip flops. But, I didn’t use my environment as inspiration for who I wanted to eventually be. I knew one day I’d move away, live in a city and attend concerts on the regular. I never even thought I’d shoot fashion photography, but that transition felt more natural than most.

Even to this day, my closet reflects the music I listen to. I haven’t given up my leather coats or traded in my pointed toe boots. I swap out jeans for dresses and skirts, making sure it’s all still very cool, you know? It’s funny to think that the music I currently love - the 1975, Maggie Rogers, The Bleachers - to name a few - are all catalysts and inspirations to my growing and evolving personal style. It has never been a forced choice for me to dress a certain way or listen to only popular music - I’ve always followed my own path and leaned into the mediums that felt natural. Isn’t that overwhelming sense of individuality and freedom of expression what fashion & music is all about?