Let me be the first to admit that fashion wasn’t always my best friend. My closet was once an explosion of pinks, corals and fuchsias. I’d like to say that there was also a dash of blue or yellow in there somewhere, but I’d be flat out lying to you. You must be thinking that this seems reasonable because girls like pink, right? They look adorable in it! Well, let me assure you that my pink-dominated wardrobe never came together in a sensible way. I paired suede sweat suits with black cowboy boots, tucking in my pants to give my outfit that extra sass. In my eyes, that Christmas sweater my mom got me when I was seven went wonderfully (and by wonderfully, I mean hideously tragic with a side of ugly) with the worn-down Teletubbies overalls I had since I was six. Fashion just wasn’t my forte.
As the years went by, I stumbled through the awkward stages of puberty and realized that perhaps fashion wasn’t all that bad. The rocky relationship that we once had could possibly turn into an actual all-out love affair, and it did. While artists have their pencils, athletes have their respective sports and musicians have their instruments, fashion became my way of expressing myself. At first, I went for the country-club look, because it was always classic to me. I rocked the popped Polo collar and always had on a pair of pressed shorts. I even played golf and dabbled in tennis to make it more legitimate.
As time went by, I ventured into new territories of the fashion world. By the time I entered high school, everything was new and fresh for me. There were even vending machines in the school commons that I could spend my lunch money on, so naturally I went through a neon phase to express my excitement and eventually turned my wardrobe into a visual representation of an eighties rave. After my wild wardrobe permanently damaged my mother’s eyes, I went through a metallic phase, and then a neutral-colored phase in which I always carried a Tide-to-go pen just in case.
Fashion and I have had a lot of history, but that’s how it should be for everyone. It takes a while to develop your own personal style, and I’m still searching for mine. Nowadays, I opt for what I like to call a “slightly updated” vintage style. Floral prints and leather jackets are a must-have and I never shy away from accessories that have the potential to “make” an outfit. Freshly painted nails are always preferred, and I swear by Peter Pan collars and embrace the modern sophistication of a properly tailored blazer.
As I enter my spring semester as a freshman at the University of Notre Dame, I can assure you that fashion is now an integral part of my life. As a Biology major, I can tell you how to properly electrophorese a DNA sample with some ethidium bromide and agarose gel. As a CollegeFashionista, I can tell you why color-blocking is genius, and how you can recreate that runway look you saw in your favorite magazine the other day. By the end of the day after I’m hanging up my lab coat, however, I hope to inspire others that need help in the fashion department like I once did.