My Fashion Yearbook
What is a Fashion Yearbook?
Well, as many of you know, a yearbook is a collection recalled events in the past year. We can consider a fashion yearbook to be the same thing but involving clothes. However, I plan to make a yearbook for each school I attended. The rules are that I create an outfit I wore for that certain period of my academic career. There are 4 outfits in total: elementary, middle, high school, and college. After showing what each outfit is, I will provide more context about the outfit and explain how it had affected my sense of style. Now that I have explained what I plan to do, let’s jump right into the first outfit!
Elementary school was the time where you socialize with other kids your age. Recess, coloring, and field trips were a few of the many things I remember doing in elementary. Being a kid, I never stopped to wonder what I would wear to school, nor did I care. My mom was the one who was the one who picked out what I wore. She also went shopping without me, so I had no choice. What she picked out for me, however, were clothes that I could look back on and approve of.
The picture above accurately resembles what I would wear in elementary school. I wore basic articles of clothing. A t-shirt, regular straight jeans, and some tennis shoes. My backpack was also very simple, but it did its job.
To summarize: elementary school was a very simple time. I worried about missing the after school cartoons than what I would wear the next day.
As the days of elementary school quickly ended, I waved goodbye to my childhood. What waited for me on the other side is one memory I wish to forget: middle school.
The Dark Ages
I don’t know about your middle school, but my middle school had a dress code and a very strict one at that. Students were to wear uniforms for all the middle school years and have a specific backpack if they wanted to attend.
Now, you may think, “Nicole, uniforms aren’t so bad. What’s the big deal?”
And my response to that is, yes. You’re right, uniforms aren’t so bad, but when you’re a preteen, changes start happening and they can be good or bad. Unfortunately for me, it was terrible. I wanted the way I dressed to reflect my interests. The problem was, we couldn’t dress outside of 3 colors. Each year, students had to wear a different color to show what year they were in. Sixth graders wore a navy blue uniform, seventh wore gray, and eighth wore red.
As you can see from the picture above, I chose an outfit (which is a uniform) from the seventh grade. I hated it. Gray was my least favorite color (I have grown to tolerate it), and my uniform was baggy. It didn’t flatter me and made me develop low self-esteem. I hid under a jacket, and because of my lack of confidence, the way I dressed outside of school started to reflect. I thought I wasn’t as pretty as the other girls and that I never would be pretty.
As a middle schooler, the craze to be a scene kid was at an all-time high. Luckily for me, I wasn’t all too interested in being a scene kid, so I saved myself some embarrassing photos. However, I dabbled in the music since most of my friends at the time were emo and scene kids.
Summary: I hated middle school.
However, in the blink of an eye, I finished with my nightmare and off to high school, which was a better experience.
After being in uniforms for three years, it felt refreshing knowing that I could wear whatever I wanted. The problem was, I didn’t know what I wanted to wear.
Here’s a little context. My freshman year of high school was in the same district as my middle school. In high school, there still existed a strict dress. So, to avoid problems, I started to wear the same thing over and over. As much as I hated uniforms in middle school, I ended up wearing my uniform. In the image above, you can see that my outfit comprised a hoodie, joggers, and some combat boots. All black was the color choice. Although I enjoyed other colors, I didn’t have a lot of self-esteem to wear them. Middle school had made me feel as if nothing would ever look good on me. As a result, I started to dress in a way that hid my body. It didn’t help boost my confidence, but it helped me stay comfortable.
Then something great happened, I had changed school districts. My parents thought it would be a good idea if I transferred school that specialized in engineering if that’s what I wanted to study at university. With the change in environment, I found that my new school had a laid back policy in their dress code. When I saw freedom in the way kids dressed around, I was excited. However, it took me a while to change the way I dressed. Not only did I have to dress, but I also had to think about myself. I switched out my joggers for skinny jeans, tried to wear my hoodie less and less. I started to be less harsh on myself. It took a very long time to gain some confidence, but it was a rewarding experience.
By senior year, I had experimented with colors and switched out my hoodie for a bomber jacket. I started to accessorize by using caps and joggers disappeared from my life. The way I dressed had changed, and it was for the better. At the end of graduation, I felt that some self-love was necessary. That meant cleaning out my closet and fill it with clothes that I would use.
Summary: Some self-love can go a long way.
I thought I found my favorite fashion sense, but little did I know that college had something else planned for me.
Off to the Real World
When I was in high school, my cousin, who was visiting, introduced me to K-pop. Me, being the curious girl I am, I looked into the genre of music and enjoyed it.
Although I fell into the rabbit hole of K-pop, I never paid attention to what the idols wore in their music videos nor their music performances. It took me a while to look at their outfits and think “Hmm, that’s pretty cute!” I remember that I was watching a music video by the group TWICE, and since I’ve heard the song plenty of times before, my mind started getting distracted by their outfits.
If you’re curious to know which it was that piqued my interest, it’s called ‘Heart Shaker’.
I fell in love the moment I started to focus on their fashion.
It had been clear to me that Korean fashion was something I found interesting to me. The different styles and combinations of clothing pushed to look further into what the ‘K-fashion’ world could bring to me.
The summer before I began my first year in university, I had the curiosity of searching up the term Korean fashion. That day had been a stepping stone on how I wanted to dress. I only scratched the surface in K-pop, and now I want to keep finding new trends in Korean fashion. As you can see in the image above, I try to choose a mixture of casual and preppy clothing to wear in college. Even though I want to wear Korean fashion, it’s difficult because I don’t have the funds for it. What I do is to use different apps such as Pinterest and Codibook to save articles of clothing I like. Then, when I save up, I can find clothes similar to the outfits I have saved.
Summary: Korean Fashion is my new favorite fashion sense.
Although these outfits seemed to be eye-catching, they had a big impact on the way I felt when I was growing up. If I didn’t like my outfit, I didn’t feel pretty or confident. So when I found something that worked for me and that made me feel good about myself, I was excited about the different outfits I can wear on a day-to-day basis.
The lesson is to find your style and own it. It might take some time before you find something you enjoy, but when you do, don’t let that excitement die because of others. Just do you, and you’ll find that everything will fall into place.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Nicole Val