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Evolution of fashion

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Fashion Advice to Live By: “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” – Gore Vidal

Each of our lives are individual, full-blown novels. They may not be number one New York Times best sellers, as affectionate as a Nicholas Sparks romances, or as heart wrenching as Marley and Me, but through each chapter, our identities continue to develop.

Prior to publication, the author must revise it countless times. Similarly, our styles develop through our journeys. According to the Huffington Post, in the duration of her lifetime, the average woman will spend three years of her life shopping for clothes. Obviously, self-expression through fashion is fundamental to our stories.

When we were children and the world was new, our parents made the decisions for us. They dressed us girls head-to-to in studded, sparkled, and spotted arrays of material. As we transcended into adolescence, we began to develop a sense of what we presumed to be fashion. My mother referred this stage as one in which I shopped in “pitch black stores that smelled like cheap perfume and featured half naked men standing outside,” or popularly known as Abercrombie & Fitch.

Those were my junior-high years. Like many, I was not completely sure what activities to participate in, who to be friends with, or what morals I wanted for myself. This was reflected in my fashion. Other girls dressed daily in outfits ranging from baggy sweatpants and athletic wear, to chestnut Uggs and bedazzled A&F t-shirts. These years were far different from the elementary-school scene I had grown accustomed to. Girls were now meaner, less accepting, and material-obsessed. If one did not dress in popular name brands, clearly she would not be welcomed into the “in crowd.”

Those pressures caused me to develop a style that was not truly my own, but one my peers deemed THE style. As I walked through the halls, several girls strutted past in the same attire, so obviously we were all-knowing style gods, right? Not exactly.

As I finished my last year in junior high, I started noticing other people changing. The girls who were stick figures were developing curves and could no longer squeeze into size double zero booty shorts. The girls that were once a single clique scattered themselves between different friend groups. Personally, I was starting to rely more on myself than on others. As I walked the halls, I noticed that I no longer looked like photocopies of the other girls, but that I only looked like myself. I was starting to develop a fashion sense that was truly my own.

Realizing that the opinions of others were losing importance, I was able to break away from the expected into a world of the unpredictable: exciting designers, cutting-edge and intriguing collections. I dove head head first into the world of Michael Kors rose-gold timepieces and Steve Madden leather combat boots.  Entering high school, my fashion sense was reborn. Although there were still photocopy girls from previous years, some of the others had broken their shells and now donned contrasting apparel.

Fashion transforms from something expected and worn by many in adolescence, to a creative way of self-expression in our early adulthood. With our own developed fashion senses, we can create a look that will convey emotions and that we will feel comfortable in, all without replicating several others who roam the building. Helping us outgrow the formulaic expectancy of what style should be, we add color to the black and white pages of our day-to-day  and truly become the authors of our own lives.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Evolution of fashion”

  1. Hannah Novak on March 11th, 2014 10:00 pm

    People at North have a surprisingly diverse fashion sense. I know everyone jokes about the “Naperville uniform”, which is a totally valid point, but at least we have SOME variation from that.


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Evolution of fashion