The power of fashion


Blessing Kalabase

Blessing standing outside of the Library at CCAHS.

Blessing Kalabase, Reporter

To me, fashion is like water to a goldfish. I know it sounds extreme but it’s true. I feel like fashion is the only way I can artistically express myself without actually having to say a thing. People may think fashion is just the best, most expensive, designer clothing but it is beyond that. You don’t need to own Prada to be considered fashionable. 

First off, I’d like to start off by explaining how I construct my day-to-day outfit. I start from the top: hair first. If I can’t immediately decide what hairstyle I want for the day, I go straight for the outfit. How do I feel today? How do I want to be perceived today? Do I feel bright or dim? Am I the moon or the sun? It only takes about 10 minutes for me to decide what to put on each morning. Typically if I can’t decide what to wear I’ll just go with something dark and simple. If I’m feeling motivated or happy, I might add a splash of color to my palette for the day. I like to start with a solid foundation; meaning, a simple top or bottom and from there, I begin to add texture, pattern, and dimension. I’m not a big sneakerhead (shoe lover) so I’ll put anything within the range of Dr. Martens to Demonias to Nike Air Force 1’s on my feet depending on the day. 

Now that we’ve set a base, it’s time to accessorize. Accessorizing can bring your outfit from a five to a ten, at least in my opinion. I start off with my bracelets which are all from DivineRaee which is an online company based here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They also sell rings, necklaces, and occasionally earrings. That is by far my favorite online website to purchase from, and I assure you, you’ll get the best quality jewelry from there. After I put my bracelets on, I move to my rings which I sometimes purchase from Amazon or any thrift store I go to. After that, it’s time for necklaces which are now my absolute favorite accessory to put on. I like to layer a lot of my jewelry whether it’s having more than one ring on each finger or wearing multiple necklaces. I don’t have a problem wearing both silver and gold jewelry but I know a good amount of people who have a serious problem combining the two. I like to finish off with my hair which really depends on what protective style I have.

I shop pretty much everywhere. I don’t like to feel like I have to be dressed in the most expensive clothes, shoes, or jewelry. I spend a lot of time thrift shopping which is so looked down upon. People think thrift shopping is for the less fortunate or for people who can’t afford a brand new Gucci belt, but I feel like a majority of people who thrift don’t fit into those categories at all. Throughout the last several years, thrift shopping has become more popular which I’m very happy about. When I was younger a lot of people would make fun of people who openly shopped at thrift stores. I never understood why it was ever such a big deal to shop in a thrift store. 

In the 2nd grade, there were classmates of mine constantly getting made fun of because they didn’t own “the right” branded clothing. They openly spoke about where they got their clothes and shoes from and they were ridiculed. Being younger, it was difficult for me to understand what it was like to grow up less fortunate because my parents are well-off. They’ve never openly spoken about having any difficulties paying bills or buying me and my siblings the brand new Jordans we wanted. So it was hard for me to understand why people had to shop in thrift shops or only be able to get their food in donation centers. 

Many people don’t know the importance of thrift shops and investing in them. Many of the clothes that are in thrift stores would’ve ended up in landfills. The fibers in many clothes take over hundreds of years to decompose and since the fibers aren’t compostable, the dyes and chemicals drain out of the clothes and eventually wind up in soil and groundwater, further polluting the planet. So instead of throwing clothes away, people are now donating their clothes to shelters and thrift stores such as Stuff Etc, Goodwill, The Family Store, and so many other places. There are so many other things you can donate other than clothes. Things you might find useless can be very important and useful to someone else. I personally love thrift shopping, and I’m always open to finding new places to donate and shop. I hope everyone can grow to be more comfortable with the culture of thrifting.