Ask me what my favorite clothing item in my closet is, and no doubt I'll respond by telling you all about this deliciously over-the-top pair of yellow leopard-print cigarette pants that I randomly picked up discount shopping way back when. I love them and pretty much wear them everywhere -- out to dinner with the BF, to work, to the grocery store... even to the dentist's office.
Actually, for clarification's sake, yesterday was the first time I ever wore them to the dentist's office. But if yesterday's teeth cleaning serves as some sort of extended example, then leopard pants do indeed function as appropriate dental-patient wear. Not that I ever doubted that this was the case, but still: good to know. This is especially true considering how one of the dental hygienists (let's call her "Stacy") continued to compliment me on my pants the whole time she was X-raying my chompers.
Now, I know that a lot of the time we women tend to compliment each other's fashion choices only when we don't like what it is that the fashionably fearless are wearing. It's kind of like our way of avoiding the otherwise obligatory, "You don't look so cute. What the hell are you wearing?!" conversation. Personally, I am not a fan of this "lie to one's face" fashion-faux pas phenomenon, but that's neither here nor there. So, in knowing that girls can be mean (not that that's anything new), I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't somewhat skeptical of Stacy's casual commentary. Did she really like my pants, or was she just complimenting my (literally) wild wardrobe because she was so repelled by my pants that she didn't even know what to say, other than "Love the pants!"?
Sincere or not, Stacy's comments about my pants are not about to stop me from indulging in my leopard-loving ways. Why? Because I don't dress for my boyfriend, parents, grandparents, clients, boss, neighbors, dental hygienist, and so on. I dress for one person and one person only: myself! I dress in clothes that make me feel happy, confident, and fabulous. And why shouldn't I? It's my body, my money, my choice.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is, stop dressing in a way that puts the opinions of others over your own. Fashion is a form of self-expression, so express who you are. This doesn't mean you need to dress in designer labels, bodacious prints, or streamlined silhouettes. What it does mean is that you should not dress in fear. Do not wear something because you are fearful of what others will think. Besides, who really cares? Come to think of it, it's the people who dress in a way that resembles their individual personalities and spirit who tend to be the ones we as outsiders perceive to be most confident, the most self-assured... the most fearless.
So, next time you get dressed, put on something that makes you feel your very best. Put on something that screams YOU! Remember, you don't need permission to wear the clothes you like. All you need is a little courage and a desire to become [fashionably] fearless.
For more by Lindsay Simone, click here.
For more on becoming fearless, click here.
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more