Over the last decade or so, I’ve gone through some pretty distinct style changes. Some that make me cringe, and others that weren’t so bad. To save you from the secondhand embarrassment, I’ve decided to not show photos from each of these stages in my life, but to write about them instead.
This was the first year that I would consider myself as being interested in fashion and clothes. It was the height of the scene and emo styles where everyone was straightening their hair, My Chemical Romance was on MTV, and “I love Pete Wentz” was written in almost all of my notebooks. This was around the same time where I started to spend a lot of time on the internet where I met people who had the same music tastes I did, which definitely contributed to how I dressed. An everyday look consisted of large skater shoes, gray skinny jeans, an ironic t-shirt (dinosaur and robot tees, anyone?), straightened hair, black eye liner, and some colored eye shadow. I didn’t go all out like some people who dyed hair and piercings, I was only in middle school after all, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I looked like those people who did.
Favorite store: Hot Topic
I consider this to be my transitional year. It was the year where I moved into high school with a group of mostly new people. It was also the year where I ditched my straightened hair and the urge to get a nose piercing. I still had the skinny jeans, but I moved on to Nikes and Vans as well as band tees. Going to concerts was my main hobby at this point (bless my mom for driving back and forth to venues so often), so band tees were a staple in my wardrobe. I remember how excited I used to get the day after a show when I could wear my new shirt to school. But not only did I stop straightening my hair, I also dyed it for the first time. I was tired of my dark brown hair that only seemed to be one shade, so I added some deep red highlights to it. I actually kind of miss it.
Favorite stores: Glamour Kills, merch booths at concerts
Once I got the skinny jeans and band tees out of my system, I decided to blend in with the rest of my school a bit more. I did have some friends who had the same style I did, but after a while, they started to change their styles as well. I pushed my band tees to the back of my closet and I started to fill it with clothing from American Eagle, Pacsun, and Hollister. Gone were the days of giant shoes and skinny jeans, now it was time for ballet flats with bootcut jeans. I also got rid of my red highlights as well, and went for blonde highlights instead. I kept with this style for a couple of years, and even started college like this. It was a good look, and is what I feel represented me at the time, but not so much anymore.
Favorite stores: American Eagle, Pacsun
Ah, yes. The years where college killed me. As my mood changed from an optimistic and bright freshman to a cynical and pessimistic sophomore, my style changed to reflect that. Color in my closet was rare. Combat boots, black skinny jeans, and a faux leather jacket became my new wardrobe staples. I remember sitting in my creative writing class, sat next to my roommate, and our professor asked us if we were going to rob a bank after class since we were both dressed in all black. At this point, I was no longer dying my hair, so the natural dark brown definitely added to the whole vibe. This style stayed with me until I graduated college.
Favorite stores: H&M, Ross, Marshalls
After I graduated college, I got a job in a large corporate office, which meant that I had to put my combat boots to the side and find some more work appropriate attire. I started with introducing color back into my wardrobe. I started with bright, multi colored dresses, but after a while I realized that didn’t really reflect who I was. My current wardrobe has evolved to be some colors (mainly maroon, navy, and hunter green) with black, grays, and white. I try to stick to solids anymore, unless it is a black and white geometric print (hello stripes), so that I can accessorize with jewelry and scarves easier. I still wear black, skinny pants everyday, and try to keep more of that “edgy” side of me in tact with studded flats or shoes with buckles on them.
Favorite stores: Express, Old Navy, DSW
Although I would argue that I was a different person during each of these stages in my life, I feel like my style now reflects my personality more than it ever has. I’m not trying to fit in, and I’m not trying to make people think I’m cool. I style my outfits and my appearance for myself so that when I look in the mirror or at a photo, I think to myself “yes, this is the real me”, instead of hiding the photo of myself in a box for no one else to see for the rest of time (*cough* eighth grade *cough*).