Embracing Your Style And Becoming A Fashion Icon

Embracing Your Style And Becoming A Fashion Icon

A basic guide to being the coolest kid on the block.

Embracing Your Style And Becoming A Fashion Icon
Radtastical - Tumblr

Recently a first-year friend of mine has been determined to "steal my look" following my graduation in May. This is one part flattering and two parts existentially horrifying, as it reminds me of the passage of time and that I, too, can be replaced by The Youth of America(™).

In all honesty, it’s hilarious when this friend approaches me, looks me up and down, and says “bookmarked” while making a sweeping motion with their finger as if I’m a post on Storenvy they want to find later.

To think that someone would want to look like me is unbelievable. I was made fun of in high school for not meeting style expectations. At first, because they thought I looked too poor or I wore the same things frequently, and then because my style grew unabashedly bizarre.

This guide is dedicated to that friend and all the other weird people out there who are worried about changing their look.

Today, I spotted someone through the bus window. They were pointing, swaying, and jamming as they made their way down the street. Due to the crowd of people in the rumbling bus, the window and the other physical and metaphorical space between us, I will never know what this person was listening to, but I knew they had their own groove.

I was reminded of my first forays into finding my own style: the white bob wig, the frilled blouses and hand-sewn skirts. In 2011, I was away from home for a few months studying in another town and I decided that, as my mother and peers were nowhere to be found, I could look however I wanted. I found my own groove like and realized that, despite the fact that I never brushed my hair or wore makeup, I could look cute.

(The writer, age 18).

This comes to the first point of advice: find whatever clothes brighten your day and make those the ones you wear.

Collect ends and odds from odd places! My wardrobe is built from donations from the elderly ladies I would talk to at church, from thrift shop visits and bargain bins, from online shops and anime conventions. It's also fun to make stuff yourself. There are so many tutorials on sites like Pinterest and Deviantart; if you dream it and search for it, it will be there.

There is this insidious idea that poor people should look a certain way and that if they dare spend a cent on something they enjoy, they are frivolous, ignorant leeches on society. However, someone who thinks that poor people should not have fun or brightness in life is someone who should not be trusted.

A cool style should also come with a cool attitude about sustainability. The best thing to do with clothes one does not need anymore is to pass them off to shelters and places like Goodwill, or participate in a trans clothing swap to provide for needy trans individuals. Give back to the places that helped you on your way to style greatness.

Upon accepting your weirdness, it’s time to figure out what inspires you. Follow the lead of your favorite filmmakers, designers and fashion enthusiasts and create a mood board. A mood board is a lot like a collage — it’s a collection of images that come together to help you understand your style. Do not worry about cohesion or potential embarrassment. Pictures of cars, frogs, 1950's diners or all three should sit together snuggly at your hypothetical mood board supper table.

(Included in this image are: gothic lolita fashion from fanplusfriend.com, Harry Potter, a space pattern on a skirt from radtastical, the teacher from Over the Garden Wall, Mabel Pines sweater designs from Disney storyboard artist Emmy C, Welcome to Night Vale pins, two star-filled backgrounds from Steven Universe, an old photo of the French Cafe de L'Enfer, a cutout of Gary King from "The World's End," and an image of myself in flannel and a UFO shirt taken by a friend. When posting a mood board online, make sure to credit the artists whose work you have borrowed!)

For example, I have put a mood board together to help readers visualize how they work. I draw inspiration from gothic, historic and urban Japanese styles. I let my choices be influenced by my friends and my love of animation. On a whim, I decided to start decorating my jean jacket when I saw a friend who covered his with pins and patches. It’s okay to be influenced by those around you, current trends, and silly stuff you see in comic books.

A mood board can be made at home using paper, scissors, and glue or produced on everything from Photoshop to Microsoft Paint. I recommend a photo editor called pixlr to those who want something more sophisticated than Paint and less expensive than Photoshop. In fact, it is totally free and works in browser.

Before you go off into the wild blue yonder in your wild new clothes, I have one last piece of wisdom to impart: do not let one idea about your look dominate.

There is this idea that once you pick a style, you can never change. Or that you cannot enjoy two vastly different styles. This is simply not true.

I love goth and emo styles as well as pastels, prints, and cute patterns. I love looking like a stereotypical nerd in round glasses and a sweater vest as well as wearing flowing skirts and fishnets. Some days I feel the best in a look which can only be described as "1800s school teacher.”

You can change and stay who you are are the same time. People may see you as a person with long hair and you may too, but if you find yourself wishing your hair was shorter days in a row, get it cut. If it helps you to doodle ideas on sticky notes and in the margins or notebook pages, cover them with sketches. In my first year of college, I decided to change my hair every six months and have never regretted this decision.

(An abridged history of one dude's hair. Also a green wig from high school).

You aren't one thing. Wear and do whatever you think will make you happy on a given day.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less

It wasn't until I hit 23 years old that I started getting hangovers. It could've been from two glasses of wine or even a margarita at happy hour, the next day, consider me bed-bound until further notice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Air Travel Looks Different Now

If you have to travel, you can — you just have to take a few extra steps.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

As we are learning how to live our lives in the midst of a pandemic, one big question being travel. States that were initially labeled coronavirus (COVID-19) epicenters, like New York and New Jersey, are extra cautious in how freely residents can travel and then come home. Other states may not have the same travel restrictions as the epicenters, but one thing is for sure — no matter where you fly within the United States, that trip will look different than your usual summer vacation. Sure, it can still happen, you just need to take a few more steps to make sure your trip will go smoothly.

Keep Reading... Show less

Top 10 Santana Lopez Performances On 'Glee' That MADE The Show

In honor of Naya Rivera's passing, I compiled a list of her best performances as Santana Lopez as "Glee".


Hearing about the tragic passing of the beloved actress, singer, and model Naya Rivera was tragic to say the least. "Glee" was a huge part of my life, Santana being one of my favorite characters, so it was shocking to hear the news.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Caribbean is a place where people go for vacation, but if you set out from a cruise ship you miss out on all the beautiful culture. Their exotic beaches are nothing without their zinging food and hospitality. Locals in the Caribbean are warmhearted with a zest to live life to the fullest.

This is exactly where most of their words and phrases come from, having a good time. I definitely enjoyed myself living in the Caribbean, but it's not always about lounging. They get work done too and I've learned proper phrases for accomplishments.

Keep Reading... Show less

What's Coming To And Leaving Netflix In August For Your Summer Viewing Pleasure

Just in time for another your end of summer binge-watch list.

Flower Films, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema

August is here, which means we will be losing some of our Netflix favorites but gaining some new ones. Here is a list of TV shows and movies we will be losing and gaining on Netflix during August.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Urban Dictionary, a "simp" is defined as "a man that puts himself in a subservient/submissive position under women in the hopes of winning them over, without the female bringing anything to the table." There are many other definitions for a "simp," but basically it's shaming men who are kind to women without getting anything in return.

Let's just stop attacking nice men. Work out your own issues, don't project your shortcomings onto another man. What happened to the brotherhood? Y'all can lie for each other, but can't raise each other up? You guys can encourage murder, gang rape, and violence against women — or at least stay silent about it — but can't let your brother know it ain't cool when they bring you down for being nice to women with no expectation?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Living With Bipolar Disorder Is An Everyday Battle, But I'm Fighting It

I went from depression, to anxiety, to bipolar disorder.

I've thought about how to write this since my diagnosis. I've thought about what kind of feelings it might bring up from my mom, former friends, and even myself. I've rewritten it a thousand times in my head, but never could quite get the words onto my notepad, but tonight I'm going to sit down and write it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Self-Love Is The Best Love, That's Just How It Is

Do you ever feel like you can't please everyone? Self-love will do the trick.

I've been feeling a little down lately, with the understanding that friends don't last forever and that I can't always please my parents. Life has been rough for everyone lately and it's not easy to stay happy and optimistic during these times. But I promise you, you are on this earth for a reason. You are here because God formed you, to love, and to be loved.

When things are tough, realize that you have yourself always. No one can take that away from you. You will always be you. No matter who you are, what you believe, or where you've been in life, at the end of the day, you are you. You can love you, therefore giving you one reason to stay here on this Earth.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ranking 'The Umbrella Academy' Cast By Their Powers

I'm ranking the characters of Netflix's show "The Umbrella Academy" by how cool their powers are.

With the new season of "The Umbrella Academy" coming out tomorrow, I took the time to revisit the first season to refamiliarize myself with the characters.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments