A Shirt is Worth a Thousand Words

August 9, 2012 § 1 Comment

So I’m sorting through all of my clothes to prepare for the upcoming school year and the first thing I think is “Why the hell do I have so many stripped shirts?

This discovery takes me back down memory lane to freshman year, when a shirt would always catch my eye if it was stripey.

Then I come across the plaid flannels and button downs from the eighth grade, a style that I recently rekindled a love for. I sorted through the floral print dresses, the pencil skirts, the (yes) cloth and lacy ponchos. But why am I writing about this?

If you’ve checked out about ‘About’ you’ve noticed that I am an ever changing person. By taking one look at my closet you can confirm this within seconds. Although I am not someone who is going to peruse fashion, my personal style has been something of great importance since I was in first grade and my mother told me that I could dress myself.

Needless to say, I looked like a mess.

So I think to myself: Wouldn’t it be interesting to analyze my style for the past sixteen years and see what I find?

Like I said, my expression began in first grade when my mother handed me the fashion reigns. Clearly I’ve always been an expressive person, as I landed in the performing arts department, so you can image how I was as a kid. I think I made up for my painful shyness with my loud clothing. I wore the light up shoes, mismatched colors, and high pigtails every day.

Sometime during the second grade, like many others, I encountered the “Tom Boy” phase. During this time I destroyed my barbies and rejected all thinks pink my deeming it my least favorite color. I’m guessing that this was my desperate attempt to stop being viewed as a little girl, and establish myself as a “big girl” instead.

In third grade my mother chopped off all my hair so my brother and I had matching hair cuts, I still think it was one of the most traumatizing things that has happened in my life. Needless to say, it brought an end to the pigtail era.

Fast forwarding to around middle school, my fashion choices were still a little behind. Matching definitely wasn’t my fote. However, in seventh grade my fashion choices became increasingly bold. This began the era of florescent jeans and converse.

I prided myself on my bright clothing, insisting that it reflected my bright and bubbly personality, which it did. In seventh grade I had an amazing group of close friends, I was asked out for the first time, I adored my swimming teammates, and was beginning to be recognized for my voice by our amazing new music teacher. I was happier then I had ever been and let my clothes show it.

These clothes consisted of baby blue high tops, star patterned low tops, a cropped jacket, and (my personal favorite) flamboyant bright pink and aqua skinny jeans. I was thirteen years old and going on thirty. I’m pretty sure there was even a day I wore rainbow knee socks. I rejected my mother’s best wishes and purchased shirts that said “aeropostle,” and even one shirt that she deemed too low cut to wear out. I remember feeling incredibly rebellious by wearing underneath sweaters that I’d take off once I was out of the house, as if I had the breasts to fill something like that out.

In the beginning of eighth grade I told myself no bright colored pants, and returned to strictly denim jeans. As spring approached, I discovered a love of skirts that I still possess, and insisted on wearing them more often than shorts. The store “delias” made its way in to the mall, and I purchased many graphic shirts along with my other friends. This is also when plaid button downs and flannals were introduced. All of these choices were significantly lower key than the year before, and with good reason.

In addition, I underwent a life changing experience when I discovered how to do my hair. It took me until middle school to accept that my hair just wasn’t straight, and all of middle school to figure out what that meant. I tried putting it up everyday, but the frizz was unbearable. I attempted leaving  it down, but it looked like a birds nest gone astray. A friend with similar hair shared with me how she did hers, and I never suffered again. My wavy/curly hair was tamed.

Now, we arrive at freshman year, this is the big one. I arrived at school after what was easily the worst summer of my life. In addition to the nerves I carried going in to high school, I harbored deeper nervousness about my parents marriage. I was no longer as bright as in middle school, but never dark enough where people noticed anything was wrong. As a freshman, the goal was to “dress to impress” so everyone seemed to give their all every day. Pencil skirts were big too, and I purchased my very first. The goal was to come off mature and grown up, as we were finally in high school.  During this time I also was introduced to the push up bra, embarrassed to be an A cup. I wanted cleavage like the other girls, but it wasn’t physically possible.

I was an awkward freshman, with acne and braces, who desperately wanted a boyfriend. I had many close friends, but I wanted more. I had never been kissed or drank or smoked. This must have been why I dressed to impress so much, because I wanted to be noticed.  I superficially wanted guys to like me.

I retired the push up bra in the beginning of sophomore year as it was too uncomfortable and I didn’t care anymore. The braces and acne were both gone, so I could tone down my outfits. A close friend of mine said “I only dress for me,” and I took these words to heart. I stopped trying to impress people and settled in to my personality. This was also around the time I scored a supporting lead in the musical, and my confidence sky rocketed. I was surrounded by amazing theatre people who didn’t judge me, and made many close friends without even trying. I wore whatever I wanted, which consisted of many floral patterns and brown shoes.

I can’t really define my current style. It involves bandannas and large earrings though, and lighter colors. I’m still evolving, and I’ll let myself without worrying about how others see my style. I think that thinking like a 7th grader may actually do me some good here.


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