Conformity holds you down when you were meant to fly!

By Casey Hicks

I grew up in a small town so it was easy to fall into conformity, especially when you attend Catholic School. That means uniforms and no, not the cute ones. We dressed exactly the same every single day. I hated looking like everyone else. I was not like everyone else so why did I have to dress like them? Wearing a uniform everyday is what lead to my relationship with fashion. I counted down the days until our next “Dress Down Day” which is when you can wear normal clothes to school. We didn’t get many, so I took full advantage. I wore clothes that I loved, clothes that set me apart and clothes that reflected me.

Clothing is how I express myself, a way I communicate without speaking. I used my personal style as a way to set myself apart from my classmates then and others now 20 years later. I have never and will never dress for anyone but myself.  When I look and feel good in my outfits it’s empowering. We all know people are quick to judge and make assumptions, so it’s important to have personal style. Personal style is unique to you, and should reflect who you are. Ask yourself this, is your appearance reflecting the true you?  If your answer is no, then its time to develop your personal style and create a wardrobe that reflects it. You deserve to feel confident, empowered and comfortable. Most importantly you deserve to be happy. In a world where individuality holds such high value, why would you conform?

I’m sure you’ve figured this out by now, but my passion is fashion. So cliché I know. I recently started my own business: Fashion Forward Image Consulting, a business that encourages clients to thrive off individuality and embrace their uniqueness. As an image consultant I help my clients develop their personal style and shop for items that reflect their style. I am motivated to help others express themselves through fashion. I want women of all shapes, sizes, and social class to be able to express themselves through their personal style. Dressing well does not have to drain your bank account or deplete your self-esteem. I never want a budget or the size on a tag keeping anyone from dressing in a way that makes them feel confident and comfortable.

Although I’m in that small town I talked about above, I am the happiest I’ve ever been. In a way I feel defeated because I swore I would leave this small town but this town has shaped me. I’m proud of my individuality; it is the driving force behind my creativity, persistence, motivation and confidence. Because I wasn’t afraid to be different, I found happiness. I stayed true to myself and made my passion into a career. Individuality is so important because those who possess it are the future. For the readers I will leave you with one last tip: Embrace your individuality and you will become the person you always thought you would be.

Casey Hicks is the founder of Fashion Forward Image Consulting in Central New York. As an Image Consultant & Personal Stylist, Casey works with clients to develop and own their true personal style that leaves them confident and empowered. You can learn more about Casey on her website www.ffimageconuslting.com or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ffimageconsulting