Let your clothes say who you are

Patricia Rocha, Editor in Chief

It’s really hard sometimes to think about other’s reactions to who we are as people, but fashion is a great way to break the ice. Our clothes don’t tell people who we are, but it’s a great way to showcase what you think is special about your personality.

Personally, I’m crafty. I love sewing and altering clothes, especially ones I find at thrift stores and yard sales. I’ve spent countless hours dying fabric, replacing buttons and chopping up discarded dresses so that my wardrobe is as diverse and complicated as I am. It’s such a rush when someone compliments me on something I’m wearing and I get to say, “Thank you. I made it!”

It’s my love of taking chances and not being afraid to be myself that I base my outfits on.

My most complimented outfits are the ones I’m almost always unsure about. Just the other day I was wearing a dress that I had gotten at a yard sale that I had cut and sewed myself into a fishtail dress. I paired it with a pair of polka dot tights, a black blazer and red flats. The pieces on their own were nothing special, but all of it together was my own take. I try to aim all of my outfits in a very retro or vintage-inspired direction with just a splash of late ’70s British punk, and this outfit was no different.

In all honesty, I sort of felt awkward in it. I love taking fashion risks but sometimes I do go home, look in the mirror and say to myself, “Man. This looked way better in my head.” But that’s OK, because at least I tried. At least I didn’t stifle that creativity that I love about my fashion.

It was when I was stopped by two young men to compliment my outfit that I felt that awkwardness leave me. They recognized the rockabilly inspiration and we had a quick conversation about ’50s music and where I purchased my black, thick-framed glasses.

If I hadn’t worn that outfit, that little moment of human contact would have never happened.

Just imagine all of the conversation and human connection that has been lost because you’re not expressing your personality through your clothes.

I’m not saying you have to wear a “Hey come talk to me” pin on your person, it’s just interesting to see how that type of non-verbal communication can open up your life to new people and experiences, and connect you to complete strangers. I cannot even count the number of times someone has commented on or given me an approving head nod in response to a band T-shirt.

I’m not saying we should all dress to get a compliment or acceptance from others, because I’m sure there are those who don’t agree with my choice to wear red fishnets over sheer black tights with a mini skirt to school, but a compliment is not always a bad thing.

If we all took a moment to actively express who we are on the inside, who knows who we may meet in the process.