By Katie Gomez
Staff reporter

Have you ever walked by someone wearing a hideous outfit and thought to yourself, “What were they thinking?” Unfortunately for others, I do it on a daily basis.

Like most adolescents, I had spent those embarrassing middle school years trapped in an awkward body. My wardrobe consisted of baggy shorts and oversized t-shirts. Fashion just didn’t matter to me. Then I got to high school and a bomb went off. I’d spent my life watching movies and reading about celebrities in magazines so it was only natural that I became interested in fashion. I started experimenting with different styles and clothes. Most of my outfits were original and funky. I absolutely loved coming to school and never having to worry about someone else wearing the same thing.

My philosophy is to never be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life’s too short to blend in. I’m not a model and I’m not a fashion designer, but I read enough fashion magazines and follow enough celebrities to know what’s in style and what’s a fashion no-no. Don’t get me wrong, wearing cute clothes doesn’t stop me from getting those public stares. Clothes that would be seen as fashion forward in New York or L.A. are considered weird in the Midwest. In a small town like Winfield, fashion obviously isn’t at the top of people’s priorities.

If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone wearing jeans, a t-shirt and tennis shoes, I’d have plenty of money to support my very expensive shopping habit. I don’t understand why people can’t add a little style to their wardrobes. It’s not like you have to pay a lot to look good. Stores like Forever 21 and H&M make it easy and affordable to buy clothes that are in style. Even Target features designer clothes to buy on a budget. If you find an expensive BCBG top that you just have to have, pair it with jeans from American Eagle and inexpensive accessories from Forever 21. This way you can afford the whole outfit without ditching the couture piece. Thrift stores, consignment shops, and sale racks should never be overlooked. Some of the best outfits are made from clothes that other people don’t want.  I get the most compliments on a used green cap that I got for $4 at a thrift store that most people assume I paid big bucks for. The trick is to find your own style and work it with fashionable pieces.

There’s nothing I hate more than walking into Walmart and seeing large women in small clothing. Newsflash. If your butt is hanging out of your shorts, you need bigger clothes. There’s nothing shameful about being a curvy woman unless you’re trying to squeeze yourself into jeans you clearly don’t fit into. And guys, if your pants hang below your boxers, buy a belt because nobody wants to see your stuff. You may not know a lot about fashion, but that doesn’t mean you have to dress like a slob.

We all have those days where we just want to be comfortable and don’t feel like getting dressed, but that doesn’t mean we have to do it every day. Eventually you have to pull yourself together and wear clothes that you didn’t potentially sleep in the night before. We are in college, but we’re also adults, and eventually we will have to look clean and professional every day. Why not start now?

Former president, Thomas Jefferson, once said “On matters of principle, stand like a rock. On matters of fashion, swim with the current.” The next time you wake up and think about going to class in your sweats, take a few minutes to pick out an outfit, throw on some cute shoes and accessories and try something new. You never know who you’re going to impress. Life is a fashion show and each day is a runway. Your outfit might suck, but at least you were brave enough to do something different.

In an attempt to bring out the inner Dior in all of us (and because I’m tired of seeing the same old boring outfits around campus), here are a list of Fall’s fashion do’s and don’ts.
Do wear boots. They look great on almost everyone and can be worn with skirts or pants. Fall has fell and shades of pumpkin, navy, brown, mustard, and plum are replacing summer’s brights, such as yellow, pink, and aqua. Do mix black, brown, and cream. The taboo rule of mixing blacks and browns is outdated, so long as you don’t mix a black belt and brown shoes. Cold weather may be coming, but don’t wear all black. Throw in a pop of color, such as a turquoise purse. Don’t match. Try mixing different textures or prints, just don’t go overboard. Most importantly, don’t be boring. Do try new things and have fun with your clothes. Wear the outfit, don’t let it wear you.

Katie Gomez is a junior majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at kathryn.gomez@sckans.edu.