Branching Out of The Style Stereotypes

As we grow up, not only do we grow as individuals, but our style grows with us also. I can still remember being a fifth grader and buying my first A&F shirt, thinking I was the coolest kid in school. Style defined us when we were younger, the popular kids wearing Hollister and Abercrombie, the goths wearing Hot Topic and skaters dressing in skinny jeans from PacSun. The clothes you wore were a way to fit in and give people a sense of belonging. 

As we get older, I wouldn’t say style has become less important but it has transformed into a whole new meaning. Style is a form of self-expression, a chance for you to be whoever you want to be just by what type of clothes you wear. In college, I have noticed that everyone dresses so uniquely and nobody is judged by their personal style. Being in college, I have experimented more with my clothes and wear things I wouldn’t have normally worn in high school because I was too nervous about being judged.

On an average Monday morning of high school, I would get up, brush my teeth, straighten my hair, and go into my closet and pull out the closest Polo Ralph Lauren Button Down I could find. My closet was an assortment of button downs from stripes to solids, to polka dots to florals. I guess you could say I was part of the “preps” at my school. I wore a similar outfit like this everyday, simply because I knew I would fit in by wearing Polo or J.Crew. All of my friends wore similar outfits also so why wearing anything different? Thinking back to my high school style, I wish I could tell myself how naive I was and make myself understand that there is more to fashion than simply fitting in. 

Here are some Style Seflies of mine from Junior Year of High School:

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As you can see, I stuck to the preppy trend.

Now that I am in college, and have always had a love for fashion, I see myself trying new styles that I could never have imagined trying in high school. I see myself buying things with studs, and leather, and more tighter styles, things that I have always wanted to experiment with but was always too scared to try. I purchase things more from Urban Outfitters now and Topshop than before because I like the edgy look they give. Of course, J. Crew and Banana Republic are still my favorite stores but the things I buy from them now are because I truly love them, not because I feel like I need to wear it to fit in. Did I mention, I always kept my hair long in high school because everyone else did and then I decided to chop it summer going into College because I simply needed a change. I’ve never been happier with my look than I am today. To be honest, I couldn’t even tell you what my personal style is today because I wear things that are considered to be preppy and things that are rock/chic. This just proves that I have my own personal style now that is simply my own, because it can’t be defined by a stereotype. 

Here are some style selfies from College and see if you can tell the difference: 

 

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What I am trying to say in this blog post is that style and clothing is supposed to be a fun way of expressing yourself and it is supposed to be as simple as that. It shouldn’t be a way of fitting in and it shouldn’t help you climb the social ladder. You should wear things simply because you love it and it brings you confidence and happiness, not because you think it will help you gain friends. Also, I am advising everyone to try new things with their style. Branch out from your usual button downs or denim jeans and try something new and different! Fashion is all about experimentation and figuring out what you like and don’t like. Through my experimenting, I realized that the flowy dresses I used to always buy do not look good on me compared to tighter formfitting dresses that look better on my petite figure. Fashion is all about being who you are and not shying away from that, so I encourage everyone to dress the way they want and feel and not worrying about anyone else when choosing their personal style.

 

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