Express yourself: Mikko Puttonen on the importance of being you

By Mikko Puttonen

Photo: Lucas Ruska Martin

Our gender fluidity expert on why fashion rules - and societal norms - are there to be broken

Finding your own personal style starts with unlearning all the rules and norms set and defined by the society we live in.

I mean, we've all heard the old and outdated phrases such as boys can't wear dresses" and "girls should be feminine and wear makeup". There are also so many fashion rules out there telling you: don’t mix gold and silver, don’t show too much skin, always match your shoes and bags. I could easily go on.

But what would happen if we would swap the don’t with a do?

From a very young age, I was always exploring my style and having makeovers with my older sister. I had strong 'feminine' features, and wearing dresses, performing and recreating music videos of my most-loved songs was one of my favourite things to do.

During my coming of age period, my style changed many times and in high school I always felt the pressure that came from having different interests and not fitting in. I felt like my femininity was something negative and something that I would have needed to hide in order for me to feel like I belong. As I got older and moved city, a completely new world opened up to me. A world where individuality and being different is a plus rather than a minus. This mindset is now something I carry with me wherever I go.

When it comes to your own style, rules don’t exist — you can and should create your own.Mikko Puttonen

Gender fluidity allows and offers an alternative way to celebrate you as you want to represent yourself. It has allowed me to understand there is nothing wrong with the way I want to dress up or how I want to express myself. I have learned to love the way I am and I believe that is the most important key for finding your personal style. It is also the best styling tip I can ever give. Style is a journey and it also changes with you.

When it comes to your own style, rules don’t exist — you can and should create your own. We can all start from a blank canvas and we can always change and reinvent ourselves again along the way. Ask yourself the question over and over again: what do I personally really love? Is it something colourful, minimal, simple, avant-garde, or perhaps all of them together? Try to silence the voice in your head of how society tells you to dress and start exploring what you really want to wear.

Fashion doesn’t have to be something serious so have fun with it, follow your instincts, and try new things with an open heart. Fashion and style will follow.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience
Read more