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Wait a moment… something doesn’t feel right. But we can’t quite put our finger on it. Is it the person in the shark costume sitting at the front of the class? The guy dressed as his fave anime character doing backflips in the hall? Or perhaps the person in the clown suit walking among a group of sharply but conservatively dressed business professionals outside?
The rules of society and social norms don’t seem to apply to you if you’re the protagonist of your own story… or at least if you think you’re one. That means that you can dress like you want whenever you want, no matter how much you stand out from the crowd. For some, that’s the entire point. For others, it happens entirely by accident.
The ‘Custom Characters in Cutscenes’ online community shares impressive and hilarious photos of people standing out all too much with their clothes and costumes. Pretty much like custom-designed video game characters would in otherwise atmospheric and serious cutscenes. Check out all the fun and silliness below, Pandas. Upvote your fave pics, tell us which of these you loved the most, and be sure to tell us about the time you made a huge contrast with your outfit.
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Bored Panda wanted to have a chat about unusual styles of clothing and feeling confident in our skin, so we got in touch with fashion expert Lynn Taylor, the CEO of Behind the Buckle, a bestselling author, as well as an expert featured on Psychology Today. For Lynn, fashion is all about creativity and making personal statements.
"When debating whether to wear something unusual or off the beaten path, a great Dr. Seuss quote comes to mind: 'Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.' Fashion is all about being creative and making a personal statement. Never let others dictate that," she urged people to be more confident and embrace what they want to wear.
"While there may be societal norms and general dress codes in the office (albeit more casual than ever), this is a key opportunity in life to be yourself. How wonderful to have choices and create a distinctive look for yourself each day. Remote work has certainly given people a chance to dress the way they feel," she said.
"Being able to pull off an unusual look not only involves placing less importance on what people think and making yourself happy. It also requires you to be confident in yourself and your choices. Your mindset should be, 'Hi, this is me. I hope you like it, but if you don’t, that’s okay, too!'"
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Fashion expert Lynn, the head of Behind the Buckle, said that it would be "a sad day" if everyone was forced to wear "vanilla clothing" all the time, in all aspects of their lives. However, that's not to say that it's 'easy' to stand out. Many of us know from experience how nervous we can get when we're about to meet our friends or colleagues and we've got a new set of clothing on. Especially if it's far from conservative.
"Fashion was always designed to be fun, not drudgery or compliance. In fashion as in life, where there is risk, there is often reward. If you’re concerned, you can always look at this as an experiment. See how you feel in the apparel and accessories… and listen to the comments IF you’re interested in changing things up," Lynn told Bored Panda. "When other people judge, what is the worst that can happen; can their comments kill you? Likely not! If you do get a negative comment, you have a couple choices. Fight back or adopt the high road. The latter is always the one that will give you more peace of mind."
Lynn, from Behind the Buckle, was also kind enough to share some ideas for being fashion-forward this autumn and winter. "This fall and winter, you can expect to see a lot of creativity in the fashion world. The pandemic triggered the need for designers and all of us—to step out of ho-hum attire and get a little rebellious!"
Here is Lynn's advice for women: "Retro, BoHo, and Vintage may be here for quite some time as it’s such a popular look that’s been growing in popularity. This means everything from earthy colors and dressy denim, to cowboy boots, floral prints patchwork (including denim), fringes, crochet knits, and more. The sustainable movement triggered a resurgence in the artisan look, which was part of the bohemian boom."
She suggests looking for baggy jeans, dressing in layers, vests, blazers, oversized sweaters and jackets, and bright colors in coats and jackets. "You’ll see blazers paired with mini skirts, as well as pleated skirts, plaid, crop tops, corsets, cargo pants, and colorful accessories. Platform shoes, but also ballet flats are in. Interestingly, this fall and winter, skirts are everywhere on the hemline, including midi, maxi, and micro mini. Lots of choices, and super hot when paired with a cool belt," Lynn told Bored Panda.
"You can never go wrong with a time-honored, classic look, also popular this fall and winter. For example, button-down shirts, blazers, classic nice accessories, and even ties for women. That masculine twist is in vogue, as a gender-neutral trend takes hold. Belts are having a resurgence, including when worn in creative ways: thin, medium and wide, over a dress or jacket, even a couple layers of belts!" Lynn gave an example of a popular Western-style waist belt from Behind the Buckle's Instagram page as well.
"Athluxury has also emerged since the pandemic. Designers are collaborating with athletic wear companies to make a bold new statement. Finally, your gold jewelry still has a future, but silver is reemerging. Think mainly clunky and statement style."
Meanwhile, for men, fashion expert Lynn suggests going for shoulder pads, double-breasted jackets, a classic tie, baggy jeans, patterned lounge sets, chisel-toed boots, sweater vests, geometric-designed knit sweaters, faux fur, leather (and pleather) jackets, plus varsity and safari jackets. Expect to see everything from polo shirts to turtlenecks… and a lot in between."
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Halloween’s just around the corner, so some of these pics might actually work to inspire you if you haven’t got your costumes picked out, Pandas. Us? We’ve got our eyes glued to the silly shark costume and are seriously considering donning Darth Vader’s armor.
Though the beauty of it all, and the mark of true confidence, is dressing up this way when it’s nowhere near costume season. Far from everyone has the guts to wear whatever they like… and it’s a sign that they definitely value fun over what other people might think of them.
Founded nearly 5 years ago, in mid-December of 2017, the r/CustomPlayerCutscene subreddit is currently home to 62.8k members. They are pretty loose on the rules, so just remember to post pics related to the topic and try and be polite to other community members.
When it comes to ‘pulling off’ an item of clothing or an elaborately experimental new style, at the core of it all, we feel, is whether or not you have enough confidence. If you move with conviction and grace, if you believe in yourself, you can convince practically anyone that you definitely have a ‘right’ to wear what you’re wearing.
Of course, having a deeper understanding of how cuts, fabrics, and colors work and resonate with each other can give you more tools to work with. That way, your outfits can be at the cutting edge of fashion yet stay grounded in the ‘rules’ of style. It’s often a question of how well you can balance your desire to be daring with what might be considered to be ‘objectively’ good at this point in time.
A while back, we spoke about fashion and style mistakes with talented fashion designer Oyinda Akinfenwa, the founder of the Janore brand, from Nigeria. She explained to Bored Panda that when designers make outfits, it can be hard for them to see where they went wrong without outside input.
"It’s hard to notice your own mistakes on your outfits until someone points them out because to you, it seems amazing because it is your work and you want to be proud of it, without realizing it may not be exactly as good as you think," she said that seeking someone’s opinion on your outfits, whether you’re designing them or simply wearing them, is often a good idea.
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"It’s really hard for creatives to give themselves criticism most times because of how hard we work to create the pieces we have, so most times we tend to not try to over-analyze the result,” she said how clothing designers tend to think.
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For fashion expert Oyinda, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) mistakes that people can make is over-accessorizing. They simply focus on accessories far too much, and the end result isn’t very pleasing to the eye. Less is more.
"People tend to add too much on when the outfit they’re wearing already has a lot going on which makes it seem tacky. Also, it takes away from the outfit because no one will be looking at the outfit, just be confused about what is going on with the entire dressing," the designer said.
Something else to keep in mind is the type of shoes you’re wearing. Many people don’t put enough emphasis on their footwear. However, they can make or break the entire outfit!
"This is very common as people tend to wear the wrong shoes for certain outfits which really brings down the whole look, by the time you start admiring them and get to their feet and you’re disappointed by their shoes,” she said.
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According to the fashion designer, some quick ways to appear more stylish include wearing knuckle rings to “elevate your look no matter what you’re wearing,” and getting your nails done. It’s the small details that can really help bring the entire look together, no matter what you’re wearing.