THE BLOG
05/17/2012 09:26 am ET Updated Jul 17, 2012

An Outward Projection of Personal Style

There's something very charming about effortless style. It's easy to tell when someone isn't trying to look chic, but what's not easy is trying to look like that person. Any style is attractive to me, but a style that stems from self-expression has got to be the best kind. Take, for example, Oscar PR girl, the girl behind Oscar de la Renta's public relations, a.k.a the most respected and sophisticated woman in fashion (to me). Whether she throws on a dress, a fur frock or a pair of Abercrombie jeans from the '90s, she looks as if she spent hours in front of the mirror. It's an effortless look and there's something so special about it -- it's admirable. She's doing what she loves and she looks damn good doing it.

I titled my blog Fashion is Freedom for a reason. Fashion is not only how you dress, but how you live. It gives a representation of yourself for the world to see. Fashion frees me from the expectations of others. It allows me to be my own person. Of course, there are always trends -- what's "in" and what's "out" -- but only you have the freedom to put it together, make it your own, work it. It's all up to you. Color, pattern, texture, quality: It all adds to your outward projection of yourself, how you chose to express yourself to the world. This is truly a beautiful thing. Fashion frees you from society and helps to create the individual you are meant to be. It's a way of speaking without using words. You can introduce yourself in more ways than one, and your wardrobe is a beautiful way to tell a story.

Sometimes it's hard to stick by these statements but they're all so true. It's a lot easier to respect someone when you see that he or she is an individual. I know that I personally find it hard to admire someone average. I find myself asking questions about why they didn't stand out or act on individualistic impulses. An expressionistic mindset is the key to standing out, and it may seem like a challenge at times. But if you look at people like Oscar PR girl, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O., they branched out and took risks -- and they're iconic because of it. Fashion icons didn't sit around and wait for New York Fashion Week to roll around: They made their own trends, chose their own styles and influenced the decisions of many others. These women, and many others, communicated a nonverbal message through their style on the outside that speaks for who they are on the inside.

You don't have to be a fashion junkie like me for style to set you free -- you just have to recognize that self-expression is huge. But for me, fashion frees me from the expectations of my peers. Fashion shapes who I am and how I look, and it can change how I feel as an individual. It's not what you wear, but how you wear it. What really counts is how you can make a style "your own." When I'm told to wear something, I put my own twist on it. Fashion doesn't have limits and it doesn't have rules: Fashion is meant to be personalized. As one searches within fashion, self-expression becomes evident. When I'm able to express myself through my style, I can give a representation of who I want to be through what I'm wearing. As many of us turn to fashion icons who were daring enough to be themselves, you will become who you pretend to be. If you're trying to be a fashionista, you can accomplish it. You'll be that girl. And by doing this, it boosts your self-esteem. When the world looks at you, they are immediately introduced to your fashion.

As I stumble through this messy world, being original with style is a release from everyday routine. Just as every human being was created differently, our fashion should never emulate that of another. Fashion is liberating, fashion is creativity, fashion is originality, and fashion is freedom. Remember what Marilyn Monroe wisely said: "Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."

Everything I am and want to be can be seen through my style and my thoughts on www.zmalfashion.com.