The Rise of People Lacking Personal Style

Are you one of them?

Paula Le, Editor

Answer this honestly, do you only buy clothes because you see other people wearing them or because an article of clothing actually interested you? I will most likely come off as passive-aggressive, but I have to get this off my chest. Disclaimer: I’m NOT generalizing the human population when as I am dragging people through the mud.

You can tell whether a person has their own self-driven style that differs from the next person or they follow the next upcoming trend.

I understand the difference between seeing an outfit and wanting to obtain a similar piece, but replicating your wardrobe with someone else?? For example, I know for a fact many girls were begging Emma Chamberlain for what she was wearing in the summer of 2021. Guess what? She uploaded a video called ”WHAT I’M WEARING THIS SUMMER” not too long after. Don’t get me wrong, Emma Chamberlain has popularized a couple of clothes in the past, making her an icon of this generation. But come on guys, we can do a little bit better. I’ve seen the comments, no need to deny anything. You can get inspiration from others, but certain things just gave me vibes of ‘I’m not going to wear this unless this person is.’ Admire clothes from runways or celebrities, but don’t blindly buy a bundle of items.

I appreciate many aspects of fashion from punk to techwear streetwear, so for me to dislike something, there’s something fishy in the air…

Algorithms on social media affect how individuals perceive fashion. In 2020 in the midst of when TikTok was at its peak, Shein, an online clothing company, was and still is the rave. The reason? There is none. Long story short, Shein is a fast fashion brand that makes the majority of its profit from brief fashion trends. I’ll let it slide if a person bought a few clothing pieces because larger brands overprice certain stuff or cheap clothes are the most accessible for some people. But seeing people projecting how they spent 500 dollars on Shein—no exaggeration—I don’t know about that one, chief. At that point, you might as well spend money on something of better quality. It doesn’t help how people want to joke about companies like Shein exploiting child labor and say things such as, “The kids be working hard on my order.”

With the constant conversation of climate change, retailers have recently “greenwashed,” displaying their supposedly ethical production in vague language. In the world of trying to be more sustainable due to certain issues, you’ll most likely come across someone lying for their own benefit. Let’s also not forget Shein are not subtle in stealing designs from smaller businesses, so why continue to support?

Speaking of fashion trends and TikTok, the social media platform has been a source of the rise of overconsumption. I love watching hauls, but I feel posting a haul of apparel fuels overconsumption. BUT NOT ALL THE TIME. There have been trends, aka micro-trends, that have come and gone way too quickly. Very strange patchwork, tie-dye, over-the-top animal print, tees that are meant for children, e-boy/e-girl “fashion,” the list goes on. If I ever get called a “coconut girl,” I will cry on the spot. These. Are. Not. Timeless. I don’t see these trends having a comeback in the future. And where do these garments end up? Probably in the landfill. Trust me when I say this, I already have seen Shein clothes at Goodwill.

With fast fashion in general, it further encourages environmental damage. Ways to avoid any sort of damages are to be more sustainable and buy second-hand clothing. You are not obligated to follow this because if everyone actually shopped at thrift shops, prices will increase, making it less available to those who need certain items. ALSO, to the people who buy clothes from thrift shops and then overprice them on Depop, I dislike you and your intentions.

Here’s some advice, instead of buying clothes that’ll be worn twice because you got bored of them, obtain timeless pieces. Leather jackets, button-down shirts, jeans of your comfort, jewelry of your taste, etc. You can wear basic pieces but have a staple piece that elevates your outfit. I’ve worn a plain white t-shirt way too many times but worn an article of something that tells the story. Find what YOU want to wear, not your friend or an influencer. The beauty of fashion is that the options are endless.

It’s not the end of the world if you wear trendy clothes, and I won’t be hovering over your shoulder every time I see something unpleasant. I may jump on the bandwagon as well. Wear what you want. If you can care less about how you dress and wear what your mom buys you, respect. But next time, think twice and be conscious when looking at what you are consuming.