I attribute much of my style savvy today to the three years I spent pushing the boundaries of my cookie cutter Catholic girl’s school uniform. Uniforms are simultaneously sites of severe conformity, inspired individuality and rife rebellion.
When I, a public school kid, was thrust into this Catholic alternate reality (mid-way through high school) it seemed like nothing could have hindered my personal style more than the dooming sentence of wearing the exact same thing as everyone else every single day. My frequent infractions often ended in afternoons of copying out lines of the dress code in the principle’s office. But I studied the document during these sessions and, like a shrewd detective, uncovered every loophole in that ugly text. (We can wear khaki shorts!)
I made it my personal mission to disguise my assigned garments to the max. While I was disgruntled by the challenge, I eventually learned to embrace my new uniformed lifestyle. In retrospect, I see that this was a unique opportunity to showcase my eccentricity and to exert a clever ability to manipulate my appearance with very few materials. I was a part of this group but Baumhofer burst from every seam of that old polo shirt and pleated skirt.
Motto: Modifications are a must
Style Muse: The illustrious Amelie
- The Uniform: Skirt unzipped and rolled down to hips at slightly disheveled angle (this was before high-waisted was in!) Patterned boxers worn under skirt. Skirt swapped out for long khaki short with top cut (secretly) off to sit at hips.
- Layers: Non-uniform blazer or jacket worn over the designated polo or sweatshirt. Scarves, hats and jewelry added for good measure.
- Hair: 90’s baby bangs and short, darkest-brown, Amelie-inspired flip-out.
- Footwear: Black Converse go with EVERYTHING. Occasionally swapped out for Pepto-Bismol pink slip-ons.
- Accessories: Unending collection of vintage silk scarves and ties. Both can be worn multiple ways, including around the head, neck or waist. Chunky leather watch. Black glasses.
- Makeup: Rosy cheeks and red lipstick (some things never change).
- DIY: Pen doodles on hands, arms and legs.
- Emmism: Never go anywhere without a refillable water bottle and a book.
Crowning moment: Being asked by a friend why I had free dress… when I was actually in my uniform. (Mission accomplished!)
Ultimate eff you dress code move: Shaving my head the first day of junior year.
Motto: Always take advantage of free dress day
Style Muse: The epitome of cool- Erykah Badu
- Renegade: One pierced ear done with a needle and ice-cube at a party.
- Accessories: Chunky, hand-beaded necklaces. Ties around waist. Red “traveler’s” satchel.
- Clothes: Long skirts (dark denim or fabric), track jackets with colored stripes on sleeves, skirts and t-shirts.
- Footwear: Knee-high black leather boots or Converse.
- Hair: Poking out from under cap. Full, un-plucked brows (that I’m still trying to grow back).
- Signature: Red lips.