Students take a confident stance with unique style choices in their lives

DIANA stood in front of her bed for the fourth time, another outfit laying before her. She had ten more minutes until she had to leave if she was going to be on time. The clock was ticking…

“I have to think about everything because I go through like three different outfits in the morning every day,” senior Allison Luce said.

With her self-proclaimed style declared as a “chameleon,” Luce said it is a unique fashion sense.

“It changes daily, weekly, all the time,” she said. “It is never the same look. I think I act certain ways when I dress in certain ways and maybe my personality is what I reflect in my clothing.”

Some students have other reasons for a non-defining fashion style.

“[My style is] Goth/alternative because I don’t want to be in one stereotype or style,” junior Ashley Speers said. “Since fifth grade, I’ve dressed in all black [couldn’t really do all the metal in my face then].”

There’s a reason for many people’s style choices. For some, it’s a part of their personality while for others it’s just something to wear.

“It is the way I feel comfortable, I feel like myself,” Speers said. “It’s expressing, and it’s kind of something different every day. I think what everyone else wears is beautiful, but it’s just not me.”

Style may even take a more western turn for some.

“I’m pretty well-known for wearing my cowboy boots,” senior Bailey Swearingen said. “I think I’m the only girl who wears them regularly. Towards the ending of middle school and since high school I’ve always been wearing cowboy boots and blue jeans [at least I try]. I think it really helps define who I am – country related.”

Students may even be influenced by the older style of past generations.

“I would describe it as old school,” senior Blake Marshall said. “Mostly because it consists of jeans, boots, a t-shirt with an old band on it, and an old leather jacket that’s been around since the 70’s. I tend to stand out in a crowd a little. I listen to the old music, and no one ever gets the references that I make because of the time period they come from. I’m just strange, like my style.”

The opinion of others may influence or even encourage a style. It may even project an image.

“I’ve always just worn what I liked, never mattered what other people wore or thought,” Marshall said. “But you can never completely know someone solely based on the way they dress.

I like to judge someone based on the quality of their character rather than their appearance.”

Marshall has learned this important ideal first hand with his relatives.

“That quality comes from my entire family, they made sure that’s something I learned when I was little,” he said.

Sometimes people change their styles for different or needed reasons.

“When I work, I dress business casual, either formal with a flare of country in bits or more of a city type look,” Swearingen said. “It’s more of a suit up country look.”

To an extent, the style change can have different effects.

“To a point, it makes me feel a little pretty, and really professional and almost like an adult,” Swearingen said. “I still like to wear my casual country outfit. With my business clothing I can’t tumble or get messy like in my normal clothing, it makes me feel like I have to be an adult.”

Sometimes the image a person’s style represents may not present the personality.

“I am very bubbly and chill,” Speers said. “I’m not death, depressed, despair. I fluctuate between listening to Slipknot, or Marilyn Manson and then Bruno Mars or Eminem. I’m shy and I don’t talk, and everyone thinks I’m mean. But I like the look. I am giddy, and I’m pretty much Bubbles off the PowerPuff Girls.”

Speers has even thought of changing her style in the future.

“[I’ve thought about going] Hippie,” she said. “I have already thought it out. I am very into nature, crystals, and trees. I love the spiritual, like how nature is one with us and all that, which is very hippie-like. I would be a tree hugger, which also doesn’t fit my image.”

Such a style choice can come with truly negative responses from other people.

“Every time I go down the hallway I hear ‘ew what the blank is that’, but I don’t care at this point,” Speers said. “It’s not an every single day thing but it mostly happens on my worst days so it’s really just annoying. It’s not as bad as it used to be, like last year there were rumors that I was a Nazi because I shaved the sides of my head.”

These kinds of reactions can either boost or hurt someone’s self-esteem.

“That confidence just happened over the summer,” Speers said. “I was just like, ‘you know what, who cares?’ Before I would have panic attacks at school if someone said ‘ew, what is that’. Now I’m like ‘I don’t even know what is this’.”

For some students like Speers, it may be caused by a reality check of how much time they have left in high school.

“Like I have the rest of this year and the next year and then I’m done,” she said. “Then it’s over, and who will care? I have a job, I’m making money, I’m financially stable, I’m going to college and I even have $700 saved back – I’m doing fine.”

Some people may even prefer those with different stylistic choices even if it contradicts their own.

“I like people’s different styles, I actually think I’m drawn to them more,” Luce said. “People think I’m snobby, and that might be a part of the way I dress I guess. Like I look rich, maybe.”

In those situations, people tend to have stereotypical viewpoints and look with weird glances or comments.

“I’m kind of a judgemental person, sadly,” Luce said. “I try not to help myself but it just tends to happen sometimes. I’m like ‘they’re wearing slippers to school… I don’t know about that’.”

With that aspect, style may take a role in friendships and even potentially more so.

“I go for guys who dress nice like if you wear the same clothes every single week I don’t think I like that,” Luce said. “Friend-wise, it doesn’t really matter because they’re cool people. It’s all about their personality.”

For all and any style, it is best to just be yourself and be comfortable.

“Stay lookin’ sharp,” Swearingen said.