The common ~back to school~ fashion piece will often resemble a title such as, “What to wear this upcoming fall”, or “what’s trending at the moment.” The issue with blatantly telling others what’s ‘in’ this season is the resulting difficulty to distinguish one flare-wearing, Barbour-equipped student from another. It’s understandably unavoidable to follow the mainstream in one form or another. Whether you’re on a budget or replenish your closet weekly, we’ve all bought into what major companies like H&M or Zara have put out for us. We also tend to follow the trends that we see others modelling, be it from cheaper fast fashion corporations or name brand companies.
The issue doesn’t lie in buying a few items from popular shops, it’s about going overboard. When you realise you’re a walking mannequin and you’re painfully used to hearing “I have that top!” (Quick disclaimer: being in on every trend slightly ahead of time, aka the “I wore cheetah print months before it exploded,” mentality does not equate to being a fashion icon.)
It’s easy to overindulge when it comes to clothing. In turn, that over-indulgence in ‘fashionista’ brands and trends doesn’t really cry out fashion forward, it’s more-so equivalent to a lost identity. SO, go into your closet. If every tag reads Zara or something like it, and you feel somewhat lost, here’s how to rehabilitate your wardrobe. Determine what is a necessary basic, versus what items are actually basic. Keep your black and white tees, good jeans, and go-to boots. Additionally, try to limit the items that are “trendy” and cheap. See below.
Starting with a good selection of somewhat simple items is the basis of creating an interesting closet. It’s hard to dive into a ‘different’ look without a good base. After basics are found, search for the fun stuff. While thrift shops can be overwhelming, they’re also cheap and are full of quality items. Too lazy to go through the motions? Shop Depop, Etsy, or Poshmark online. There are also interesting sustainable websites such as Miista and re/done that make quality items. They could be worth the investment depending on your budget.
The point of this article isn’t intended to bash students who shop at similar stores or wear similar things. It’s meant to help out those who are sick of looking like everyone else, and want their clothing to reflect their individuality. Becoming independent in the fashion world isn’t easy, but you might find that reflecting yourself through means of style can be an extremely liberating change.