Reinventing Your Look: From Teenage to Twenties
Graduating from high school is bittersweet for most. Some people can’t wait to spend the next year living in the unofficial Queen’s University uniform of sweatpants, Uggs, and a tricolor sweatshirt; but school style doesn’t always have to be like that. Personally, I was ready to use the big transition towards university as a way to reinvent my style. In high school, my wardrobe consisted of a few basic pieces that I wore constantly: black leggings, crop tops, and converse. This look was fine when I was sixteen, but when I realized I was almost twenty, I was ready to ditch my previous fashion staples for a more mature and stylish look.
Unfortunately, for myself and for many other incoming university students, I wasn’t financially able to buy an entire new wardrobe. Instead of getting discouraged, I used my resourcefulness to create an all-new look for myself, using my old clothes from high school.
Having a final goal in mind was what helped me the most when trying to create new outfits. For example, what look was I going for? I wanted to ultimately dress to impress- not just for my professors and peers, but for myself as well. At the end of the day, I wanted to look in the mirror and feel good about my outfit and about myself. An easy way to do this was to make sure that I was always comfortable in what I was wearing, making sure that I wore sizes that felt and looked good on me. Nothing is worse than feeling uncomfortable all day, wearing a dress that’s too tight or a pair of shoes that are too small. In the end, the most flattering clothes will always be the ones that fit your body properly.
With 90s style back in full swing, the crop top has become a staple piece in everyone’s wardrobe. In high school, my go-to party outfit was a low cut pair of skinny jeans and a crop top. I wanted to leave behind my “less is more” mentality, yet still include some of these tops into my everyday wardrobe. This time, I wanted to try pairing them with high waisted jeans and skirts. I love wearing this look with simple tennis shoes and an army jacket for everyday campus wear, or wedges or heeled boots for a night out. Taking the exposed midriff out of the crop top look makes it more appropriate for an everyday look, and turns a scandalous outfit into a stylish one. Who thought crop tops and classes could go together?
We all know how difficult it is to change out of your pajamas in the morning, especially when it’s become a norm for students to live in sweatpants (I’ll admit, during exam season, they’re usually my go-to). I try to stay away from sweatpants in my everyday look because of their unflattering shape, and their too casual I-just-got-out-of-bed look. Sweatpants come off as unprofessional, which doesn’t make a great impression on professors or peers. Similarly, black leggings, which by now everyone owns, make me blend into the masses. You’d be surprised at how a comfortable pair of jeans, or jeggings, can create a more put together look.
Graphic t-shirts were never my favorite look, either. Occasionally I might wear a shirt sporting my favorite band or slogan, but I usually shy away from them. Instead, I try wearing simple shirts, or classic blouses and tanks. Blouses may bring to mind images of my grandma in something frilly and decades out of style, but classic chiffon blouses can be bought from stores like American Apparel and Aritzia. These styles of blouses are often looser fitting, making them very comfortable and easy to wear with different types of pants and skirts. They can be easily dressed up or down, making them perfect for anything from meetings with professors to a coffee date with friends.
An important part of trying to change your look is never losing sight of what you actually want to wear. At the end of the day, all that matters is whether you feel good. Embrace your personal style and do you! The best-dressed people are always the ones that show confidence in what they’re wearing- even if it’s not what everyone else is wearing. Wear clothing that makes you feel good about yourself, no matter what that is.
Mia Robertson, Online Contributor
Photography: Sophie Barkham