Students express identity through unique clothing, street style

Julia Patterson and Jack C. Davis

Among the swarm of Lululemon leggings and Vineyard Vines quarter zips, there is a small group of students that push what is commonly accepted style. Their style, a means to express their individuality underived from the mainstream, is known as street style. 

Street style is an umbrella term for a variety of distinct styles, original combinations, unique popping, muted colors, particular patterns and more. Several students at South have used the vagueness of the term to let their styles represent their personalities and individualism.

Sophomore Erin Nukk says she pursues a heightened interest in her style by watching fashion videos and following blogs on the topic. According to Nukk, she utilizes a fashion app called ClosetSpace that helps her select outfits through her own wardrobe for the day. She takes these steps because, to Nukk, fashion is a way for her to express her personality.

“I’d say I’m edgy but with a classic twist,” Nukk said.  “[I wear] more outgoing pieces that have a modern silhouette. I think I can be very bold, but I’m also very quiet at times, and I think that my style is very representative of that.”

Students find other sources of fashion inspiration. Among them is junior Reo Jorgenson, who draws inspiration for his unique style from music. Jorgenson describes his style as thrifty, muted and naturally-colored.

“I use style to express myself because it’s cool to show who you are before you say anything,” Jorgenson said. “[With choosing outfits], I think about what inspires me, like music or movies. I was really inspired by music, that’s what got me into fashion in the first place.”

Jorgenson says he hopes to take his passion for street style further by pursuing fashion as a career. However, he says that dressing outside of the mainstream often comes with stigmas attached to it that he would like to change.

“I think that when people in the limelight, like celebrities, dress more androgynous, it shows a lot and inspires people to do a little more [with their style],” Jorgenson said. “I know the rapper Young Thug wore dresses at one point and that was crazy and I think that’s inspiring for people.”

Senior Emily Joseph, who will be attending Parsons School of Design next fall and is looking to go into fashion, encourages more students to push the boundaries of their clothing and wear what they think embodies who they are, even if it brings them out of their comfort zones.

“I’ve overheard some people say, ‘Oh I wouldn’t wear that because that’s too much, or, I’d get made fun of’,’” Joseph said. “It sucks that someone wouldn’t wear something because of that.”

Joseph says that, while much of her wardrobe fits a specific style, many of her outfits depend on her mood for the day and how she wants to express herself. Joseph says this self-expression she finds in her clothing has been something she has always carried.

“I would describe [my style] as somewhat edgy, but me,” Joseph said. “I don’t really know how to describe it, I just wear what I enjoy. My mom always told me that when I was younger, I would always put together my outfits, like whenever she would try to dress me, I would do whatever I wanted instead.”