Dress to impress

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Dress to impress

By Samantha Ferro

In the fifth grade, most girls get their ears pierced or shop at Brandy Melville for the first time. I, on the other hand, was purchasing my first blazer. And that is where it all began.

 

Always looking as if I am walking into a business meeting, I’m the type of person to wear dress shirts, blazers, and pleated skirts. People know me by the sound of my heels when I walk through the hall. My favorite stores are J Crew, Kate Spade, Ted Baker, and Banana Republic. My style is preppy and formal, and not everyone is comfortable with that. But why do I do it? To me, style and what  one wears says a lot about someone’s persona.

A person’s first impression of someone else is often based upon what they are wearing. When in a room of unfamiliar faces, people tend to go towards whoever looks the most like them. We gravitate towards what’s familiar, and a lot of it is dictated by our clothes. When I walk into a room, I want to stand out. I want people to respect me and understand the type of person I am without having to say anything to them. I want to be taken seriously. You never know who’s gonna walk through the door and what they can bring into your life.

I’ve always been picked on for what I wear. My style, for the majority, is on the conservative side, and to me, there’s nothing wrong with that. While I understand that some women like to embrace their bodies and show a little more skin and I applaud them for their confidence but I believe that it is equally as powerful when a woman doesn’t need to show off her body to show her strength. Women in society are hyper-sexualized and presented with unrealistic body expectations, creating a false expectation of what women need to look and dress like. Media portrayals just add another layer of insecurity for young girls, which causes them to feel as though they have to dress a certain way in order to fit within societal norms. That being said, I want to reiterate there are a lot of women I respect that demonstrate their confidence and femininity by being more provocative. However, I feel there is also merit in dressing more conservatively.

A lot of people tell me not to wear what I do, that I look too uptight or like their grandmother, but I don’t dress for them. I wear what I wear for myself. If I had to say that I was dressing for someone else, it would be for the adults in my life, not just my peers. Just based on what I wear and the way I present myself, I have earned the respect of many adults that I know. I believe fashion is an art form that has been taken for granted. The clothing we wear shows the movement and color a person brings into their lives like a living, moving painting. Though my peers don’t always support my fashion choices, I will continue to stand for who I am as a person and dress the way I choose.