NOELLE AVENA & JULIA WALKER
Insecurity in personal style is a disease rampant at ELHS. Fighting against the cookie-cutter are students pushing the fashion norm.
“I find inspiration from colors, seasons, artists…When I feel small, it helps to know that I look good and feel good about what I’m wearing. I use them as a way to feel empowered despite what I might feel,” said senior Rain Fulcher.
“If you have an article of clothing or outfit that makes you smile and you’re worried about how it will be perceived, then you’re stressing about something that isn’t in your control. There isn’t enough time in the world to spend waiting for other people’s approval,” said Fulcher.
Sophomore Mariah Riley also employs clothes for confidence.
“Years of trial and error made me realize your style is something that changes with you,” Riley said. “Fashion is a form of expression that tells people who you are before you’ve even met them.”
Junior Leila Bakilana-Ritz agrees that clothes are self-expression, not a defining feature of who she is. Bakilana-Ritz finds confidence in her friends, dance, and painting.
“That’s how you feel most confident- when you look like yourself,” she said.
Senior Branden Matias’ style is inspired by 80s and 90s trends, and he specifically gets inspiration from Jerry Seinfeld, who he is often compared to.
“I started out by taking some of my dad’s old clothes and it progressed from there,” said Matias. “So many people wear the same brands every day, when there are so many other things to wear.”
Matias also explained how people attending ELHS might not express their style because they are not completely comfortable.
“I feel like a lot of people hold themselves back from expressing themselves around here. For instance, my best friend Matt and I wouldn’t necessarily wear the clothes we wear in New York here. The culture is a lot different here than in other areas, and I think that has a big impact.
Even if it isn’t the norm to wear bright colors, 90s inspired looks, or plentiful accessories, these four students encourage others to wear whatever makes them confident.
“You just have to not care about what other people think. Once you’re confident in yourself, the only person’s opinion that matters is your own,” said Riley.