By Corine Tan

Esteemed Writer & Blogger

Okay, okay. I’ll admit it. I was never the most trendy girl in school. Up until high school I mainly just dressed for comfort, throwing on whatever jeans looked decent with my graphic tees. I even had a set equation for my outfits: jeans, tennis shoes, graphic tees, and sweatshirts. I never really considered myself one for the latest fashion trends. I was what I like to call fashionably challenged. And I was proud of it too.

As soon as I hit high school, I noticed a shift. Everyone seemed to have some unique style of their own. I wanted to have my own style and personal flair too. Not so much that I wanted to blend in with everyone else– okay perhaps partly that, I’ll admit– but I did also find it interesting how people used their clothes as a medium of expression.
It took a while, but I think I finally got it. I established my own trends. I found clothes that represent me for me. I know I’m stylish and classy and my clothes only emphasize that.

Trust me. If I can do it, than you easily could.

Just please know this first. The clothes you wear don’t determine your status or character. Just because you wear expensive clothes doesn’t instantly make you classy or rich. Far from it, really. Clothes should accentuate your best features and allow you to express your interests.

If you do consider yourself a bit fashionably challenged, look no farther. Here are some tips to show off your inner style, without having to spend a ton of money buying a new closet.

Are you the geek? The sporty kid? The social butterfly? Sure, these are just labels, but they can really help with what you might call your personal style.

How so you may ask?

Well let’s take an example. I consider myself as a sort of a nerdy girl, to be honest. I adore representing my fandoms with graphic tees. So I like to rock it.

Whatever you’re into, go for it and rock it. Be you. Find pieces of clothing that represent your interests and put them together. Your outfit should be a way to express yourself.

Not quite sure about that last one? That’s okay. It takes time to find your own style. In the meantime, it’s also cool to go with the flow. It may seem a bit generic to run with a crowd of trends, but don’t worry. You’ll find your own sense of style through trial and error.

Here’s just a quick list of what I’ve noticed trending at my school:

skinny jeans
black skirts
short shorts (I’m not really into booty shorts, but eh.)
plaid flannels
military boots
infinity scarves
If you have one of these items or several, you’re in luck! If not, that’s okay too. These are just a jumping board for dozens of different outfits. Of course, these are far from all the trends. Quite frankly, trends are made by the trend-setter. So whatever you chose to wear, just be confident wearing it.

Stuck for ideas? I love to use Pinterest when I have no idea what to wear. Just search for outfits with what you have and you’ll find dozens of great pictures to inspire your next outfit. You can also use Polyvore to plan outfits, especially if you don’t feel like playing dress up for hours.

A lot of people have a problem with wearing the same thing twice. I never quite understood this dilemma. People rarely remember what you wore for a certain day on a certain occasion. As long as you aren’t wearing it every single day, I really doubt people will have a problem with it.

But even so. There are dozens of combinations to make with only a few articles of clothes. Mix and match them and try new things. Take the same tee and pair it with a different bottom or shoe. Be creative!

And keep this simple rule in mind: Always match your top with one other thing in your outfit (shoes, hair band, etc.). For some reason, it makes things look a lot more color coordinated.

Read more by Corine Tan here.


About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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