Finding My Sense of Style
A constant work in progress.
I was sparked to write this article after I bought a bunch of new clothing over quarantine. I started thinking about my sense of style and how it has grown and evolved over time.
In elementary school and middle school I definitely did not care about what I was wearing. I would mostly wear the clothes my mom bought for me and occasionally asked her to buy me some Aeropostale since that’s what everyone else was wearing. Once I went to high school, I started making some of my own money and ever since then I have almost always spent my own money on clothing. This is when I started to develop a sense for what I liked and didn’t like.
Forever 21 was probably the gateway drug for most Gen Z girls today. I remember buying a cart of 7–8 items every season that added up to exactly $50 so that I could get free shipping. At this point in time I really really loved to shop for clothes. I found it to be a fun challenge. Most of my clothing in this era was somewhat bohemian. I really liked fun patterns and prints and bright colors. I’ve realized this is the base of a lot of my style. I really like wearing colors and I like wearing colors that don’t necessarily “match”.
Another part of my style is definitely classified as comfy, sporty clothing. I straight up do not wear tight things or low cut things. I find it to be extremely uncomfortable and will never wear it if I buy it. Over the years I have accumulated a lot of Patagonia sweaters and leggings and joggers. I also think I dress somewhat conservatively in terms of necklines. It almost doesn’t make sense but I like to think that I have a bohemian-preppy-comfy style. None of those things really overlap but I end up combining them together.
Towards the end of college I started diving deep into sustainability as a concept. I learned about how incredibly wasteful the fast fashion industry is and it really shook my core. This period of time overlapped with the pandemic and I completely stopped buying clothes. I was so frustrated with everything and was pretty content with the clothing I already had. It took me a while to get back into enjoying shopping. I learned more about sustainable companies and buying secondhand which made shopping a little bit better. To this day I still struggle to buy clothing. I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to because of the negative impact of fast fashion.
The biggest thing I learned through my sustainability journey was that trends and micro-trends are some of the worst things fast fashion companies have created. I try really hard to not buy trendy clothing, but inevitably some things land up in my wardrobe. If I do buy something that is trendy I like to ask myself if I could see myself wearing this in a couple of years. I’m also an extreme outfit repeater and there are a lot of clothes that I wear that I wore in high school. I don’t think trends are bad at all but it makes me sad that some things don’t make it more than a couple months in the fashion cycle. The last biggest thing I learned through reading about sustainability is that it’s so important to buy high quality clothing. I’ve started trying to invest in higher quality fabrics and brands that have been known to last longer periods of time. I also feel like the higher quality clothing just looks better!
Around a year ago I remember thinking that I didn’t have a style. I wasn’t really sure what I wore and why I wore it. The more that I’ve reflected, I’ve realized that I do have a style and even though it has changed throughout the years, there is a core group of things I am generally attracted to. There is also something to be said about how a person wears a piece of clothing and how much general body acceptance someone has for themselves. Over the years I have definitely also grown more confident in my body and that has contributed to my sense of style which is really exciting. I’ve learned what types of fits flatter my body more and which colors enhance my features. It’s all a slow work in progress but it’s an exciting journey to be on.