A Passion For Fashion

The halls of EHS can be to likened to fashion runways–with each exhibiting his or her own unique style.

A Passion For Fashion

Elena Krueper, Staff Writer

Fashion photographer Bill Cunningham once said, “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.”

“Fashion,” however, means something different to each. For some, it is a way of expressing their inner feelings and boosting their confidence. For others, it is simply a matter of appearance. In fact, the interpretations of fashion and style are as unique as the individuals themselves–which is definitely clear at Elkhart High School. 

In a place where hundreds of people congregate, it’s no surprise that there’s a contrast in the way that everyone dresses at EHS. For example, Trenton Jacobs, a sophomore, describes his style as “care free,” since he tends to “wear more flowy clothes that can move around a lot and/or clothing that is pastel based.” Meanwhile, Ruby Delgado-Sanchez, also a sophomore, explains it this way: “I like to wear a lot of Parisian clothes, since it makes me confident, and I want to wow people.”

Although their styles aren’t very similar, it doesn’t mean that fashion isn’t important to the both of them. In fact, for Jacobs, it helps define him. “Fashion has impacted my life in a positive way,” he asserts. “I can wear what makes me feel not only happy but also like myself.” Delgado-Sanchez shares similar sentiments. “[It means] everything! It’s my way of expressing myself without words.”

So, how is it that clothes can alter a person’s life and mood so much? Surprisingly, there’s actually a reasonable explanation for that. Studies show that when people wear clothing that they enjoy, it releases dopamine in their brains and makes them feel happier. The more positive associations that people make with their clothing, the more confidence and pleasure they can partake in the next time they wear it. Some studies also show that clothing and fashion can be used as a form of escapism and ease people’s anxiety. Thus, fashion isn’t just about aesthetic appeal; it is also about the psychological aspects that come with it.

That’s not all that fashion can do for people, though. Dressing up and wearing special clothing has been shown to boost people’s moods and improve their outlook on life. It can change people’s perspectives about others, as well as their perspectives about themselves. It can inspire others and also be used to make statements. Just as Delgado-Sanchez says, “It represents our history, our diversity, what we feel, and what we contemplate. If we acknowledge it or not,” she continues, “we all dress according to what we feel that day.” Summing up her thoughts, Delgado-Sanchez adds this: “Fashion has the ability to shape our lives–and every piece of clothing we purchase represents a personal choice.”

Sadly, peer pressure has caused students to be scared to dress the way they want. People have become far more concerned about what others think of them in recent years. In fact, around 9.1% of teens in the U.S. now suffer from a social anxiety disorder. “People can be hurtful with comments on what you wear or even bully you,” Jacobs notes, “and that also plays a part in being impactful when it comes to fashion.”

Many teens may feel this way, but the reality of it is that an equal number of people like seeing others express themselves through fashion. Within reason, people shouldn’t have to feel that they can’t wear what they want just because others don’t like it. Everyone’s entitled to his or her own opinion, but they shouldn’t be rude or judgmental just because they don’t agree with someone else’s sense of style. After all, dressing in a unique way, using statement pieces, and incorporating individuality is what makes fashion so interesting.

EHS is clearly a breeding ground for creativity and design. There are all kinds of people walking these halls–and that is certainly reflected in the outfits that can be seen pseudo runways. Students should embrace the fact that they have excellent tastes in clothing and remember that fashion is what they make of it. Wearing clothing that has meaning to them just might make them happier, more confident, and more at ease in the long run, so they should feel free to do it (within the dress code, of course!) Students should encourage each other and sport their outfits with style.

Just as Bill Cunningham said, it is their armor after all!