By: Elliot Boz
While some don’t care, others live to be fashionable.
Fashion. A vague term used to describe the way one dresses. You may be considered in fashion or not, but what does “in fashion” really mean? Fashion is constantly evolving, weaving in new trends with the old. And now in the 2010’s, after the ‘20s low-waisted flapper dress, the ‘40s men’s zoot suits, the ‘60s bell bottom pants, and the ‘80s mini skirts and huge earrings, teens today have decades of inspiration to pull from when discovering their personal style.
The best way to be fashionable is to have confidence in your personal sense of style and identity. In the end, style is a way to express yourself, a way to present yourself, and a way to build connections with others. At Design Tech High School, students have embraced what fashion means to them in many different ways. Senior Tim Gonzales, who was elected “Best Dressed” in his freshman year, considers fashion to be an important value in his life. He says that, “Fashion is an expression of yourself and who you are.” For Gonzales, his style reflects the mood he is in…when he is picking out his outfit. “For example, if I’m in a comfortable mood then [it’s] sweats and a sweatshirt,” he says. “And if I want to flex on kids, then Off White and Yeezy’s it is.”
When looking at fashion at d.tech, it is only correct to look at a broad variety of styles that can be seen during school. Junior Yohanna Konardi brings a simple look to the table and offers the point of view that “fashion is how you present yourself to others,” and “people who aren’t ‘fashionable’ are just more relaxed.” Konardi explains that “fashion is more about your personality than how you are dressed,” and that she feels she is “confident enough to wear sweats.” Many students at d.tech sport the same style as Konardi, opting for comfortable sweatpants and sweatshirts that complete a “laid back” look.
Senior Kat Chu has an original view on fashion and always makes sure to dress in her style. She is very specific in the pieces she chooses to wear, which form her signature looks. “There is a certain style that I am going for. It’s my own style and I’m picky and it’s personal to me” she adds, “I like colors and I don’t like colors. Like I only wear dark pants but I like colored clips. I like a lot of little accessories, but they have to all fit together my way.” Style is extremely important for Chu, and explains that she can connect with people through the way they portray themselves in their outfits. For many, fashion is not about the latest trend or craze, but instead how they express and incorporate aspects of themselves in their style.
Senior Anthony Wang is known for representing the trendy “hypebeast” styles at school. Wang says “Fashion is a lifestyle. I want to look different and stand out. I also wear what I wear to feel confident with my style, because I think it is fashionable and unique.” Not only does Wang feel more confident when wearing his style, he also finds it easier to connect to others, like Chu. How can one connect through style? Wang answers, “If I see someone who has a similar style to me, then I respect that, and I know that they care about how they look. If someone has destroyed clothing than it shows a lot about a person.” Wang feels that he has a unique style, but not only because of his character, but also because of his “ethnicity and cultural background.” Growing up and moving here from Taiwan just a couple years ago, Wang explains how the culture he grew up with influenced his sense of fashion today. In Taiwan, “people care about dressing properly and I feel like I dress properly. Properly meaning you should have style and be neat and commit to yourself. Show people that you care about yourself and how people see you.”
The last student that explained her perspective on fashion is senior Emily Hom. Hom explains that “Fashion is just another way to express yourself, like dancing or painting, and it’s nice to feel more confident in how you look and how you present yourself.” She also explains how fashion helps her be “seen” and how she uses her sense of style to stand out in a unique way. Hom agreed with Wang and Chu’s view that one’s fashion can change the way you’re perceived. “Although I always try not to judge someone just be the way they look, the clothes that they’re wearing is an important part of that first impression. Because your clothing is one of the only ways you can choose how you want other people to see you, I feel like a lot of people, especially teenagers, put their personalities and how they identify themselves into their fashion choices.”
One can see that style is so powerful that it can create friendships without the need for any prior connection or communication. Fashion can be adopted, created, or even learned, but in the end, the most important thing about fashion is that it comes from you.