“Also remember that when people look at you, most of the time it’s because they’re looking at you, not judging you.”
We know that personal style is a journey (I’m looking at you, Tumblr years), so we’ve introduced a new series Hi, I like your style! dive into the fashion psyche of our favorite designers. We talk about the good, the bad and 2007.
As the internet has brought our fashion icons closer than ever, even the simplest outfits have come out of a closet with (well-dressed) skeletons. Clickable product labels, photo archives, and lives told in 30-second clips just don’t tell the whole story.
For more fashion news, shoots, articles and reports, visit our Fashion section.
These are the stories behind the cabinets, exploring how we develop our own personal style. There’s a brilliance behind the way we choose to express ourselves and at FJ we know that every outfit has a story.
This week we step into the eclectic Melbourne wardrobe of multi-talented designer and model, Mon Barton. A friend of some of the city’s most beloved stylists and designers, Mon’s style fuses local favorites with high-end luxury and shop op finds.
Effortlessly shifting from oversized trouser suits to silky slips, Mon uses fashion to play with modern notions of femininity. Leaning into the “male section” brought her to a breakthrough in her style journey, coupled with a significant achievement. “It turns out most of the time people are too busy caring about themselves to judge your outfit.”
Who are you and what do you like to wear?
My name is Mon, I’m 26 years old and I’m a marketing consultant, artistic director and model. When it comes to dressing, I waver between masculine and feminine. I literally always think about what I have in my wardrobe and how I can wear it differently the next day.
What does your style evolution look like? Do you feel like you’ve gained confidence in the way you dress?
I grew up being so obsessed with showing off my body when it came to hair and dress. It stemmed from deep-seated insecurities, a lack of self-esteem, and an inability to feel truly comfortable. I remember when I started seeing quite feminine women wearing what is usually called “masculine” clothing.
I was so happy to see this because I had always been obsessed with menswear and really envied the outfits they could wear – and yet I never felt like I was “authorized”. to wear their clothes. I remember thinking about a thought: when you see someone on the street and you love what they’re wearing (whether it’s super simple or extremely extra), you’re just in total awe, not judging them .
So one day, I started browsing shops for men’s shirts, blazers, and pants, because that realization made me feel so comfortable dressing how I want, when I want. It turns out most of the time people are too busy caring about themselves to judge your outfit.
Personal style is a journey. Have you ever felt the need to fit into a particular fashion box?
Oh yeah, that was a big deal for me. I’ve literally always believed in having an iconic style and sticking to it. I think it grew because I always put older characters on the pedestal that had a really distinct and solid aesthetic. For me, it planted the idea that to “know yourself” in clothing, you have to commit to a style.
Over time, bending over to express myself in so many different ways through my style has helped me know myself better. Some days I feel like strutting around in my little prairie dress and some days I want to wear my Jordans, jeans four sizes too big for me and a blazer. So I should!
Take us back to those difficult teenage years. Do you have any fashion regrets?
Far from it, I wish I could dig up the archives for you! Let’s just say I was second in charge of Supré when I was 16.
What are the most expensive and least expensive items in your wardrobe?
The most expensive would be my two (soon to be three) Frisson knits, Comme Des Garcons archive pieces and my Acne items. The least would be my base jerseys. I’m sorry but the Target kids section does the best singlet cuts I’ve ever come across.
What is the most significant fashion piece you own?
Honestly, some of the best pieces in my wardrobe come from the op store. I love the uniqueness of second-hand shopping and think that to me, these pieces have such sentimental value. When you shop, you work.
I am a very serious shopper and have spent hours browsing my favorite stores, looking for particular colors, fits, shapes and brands. It’s a part-time job that pays off totally.
Do you draw inspiration from anywhere or anyone in particular?
Oh, 100%! No aspect of my style is original – but isn’t that something anymore? I go between super simple and elegant, clean outfits with solid colors or neutral palettes and very rogue and colorful fun cuts that are a nod to past eras and trends.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get out of their fashion comfort zone?
Always remember one thing…your anxiety and insecurities are lying to you! You’ll never look bad in anything if you wear it with confidence. Step back, trust that first inner voice that told you to put on this outfit. Also remember that when people stare at you, most of the time it’s because they’re watching you and not judging you.
What wardrobe items do you wear on a loop?
My Filippa K Hutton pants, my Helmut Lang seamless double bra, my Adidas x Human Made Firebird trackies, my Tony Bianco knee high boots, my white Super Birkis and, of course, my Frisson knits.
See more of Mon’s killer looks here.