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Expressing yourself through fashion

By Emma Djukic, April 5 2024—

It can be a little bit unnerving to come to campus all dressed up, knowing that there will be people attending your lectures who look as though they haven’t changed out of their pyjamas at all. It can feel strange to wear heels or accessorize with that cute necklace your mom got you, or to maybe wear that bow you think is really cute. Fashion takes courage — and more than that, it takes decisiveness. But it is one of the many great joys of life when the outfit you put together looks perfect and you walk around feeling comfortable and free in your own skin. 

During high school, I was required to wear a uniform, and so my self-expression through fashion was limited to light-blue polo shirts and jeans for four years. Granted, it could have been much worse, but one of the things I was looking forward to in coming to University was the chance to express myself through how I chose to dress. 

If you couldn’t tell, I adore fashion. Dressing well has always been a part of who I am and I take pride in that. Some may see fashion as a form of armour, to protect yourself from the judgement of others by dictating what it is exactly that they are to see. I think it’s also perfectly fine to dress a certain way simply because you like the aesthetic and for no deeper reason than that. Wear what makes you feel good — be it mysterious, comfortable, nonchalant or emulate the vibes of a half-sober poet. Whatever you decide — That’s the beauty of it, you can wear whatever you want to. 

On days that I have a big exam, I will put extra care into how I dress. It makes me feel strong and capable when my outward appearance is put together. I find that I am calmer and more confident in myself when I sit down to write the test. I’ll put on a black turtleneck, a cute skirt, my favourite gold jewelry and the perfect pair of boots to top it off. It’s all one great mind trick, a psychological loophole you can exploit to help yourself. The motto “look good, feel good” has been true on many occasions in my life. Give it a try the next time you have a midterm, you might be pleasantly surprised. If you find that it doesn’t work, then you haven’t lost anything in the pursuit of style. 

When I’m at the library studying, I always like to take a moment and peek at the outfits of the people around me. There is always at least one person who has some special flair, whether that be a leather jacket in an interesting colour or an impressive assortment of jewelry. Hair can also be considered a part of fashion! Cheers to all the girls who curl their hair or do a cute style, I am so glad that bows are back in style. 

I think that people tend to underestimate how much your appearance can influence your life. Of course, it’s not the most important element of who you are, but there is a certain power in how you dress. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that? So if you have something in your closet that you’ve been wanting to wear but haven’t found an excuse to, consider this your sign. I’ll be looking out for you in the library (not in a creepy way but in an I’m excited to admire your outfit kind of way).

This article is a part of our Voices section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet editorial board.

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