Basic Fashion Trends Help You to Fit in

Michael Pankowski, Opinion Managing Editor

It is a privilege to be allowed to wear (almost) whatever we want here at RHS. However, upon seeing how the students here dress, one would think there was a school uniform policy in place.
On weekdays ending in “y” you are bound to see Average Joe sauntering down the hallway in his Nike t-shirt that claims he “gets buckets” as if he plays basketball, skirt-length Nike athletic shorts, “fresh” Nike Elite socks, and a $100+ pair of basketball shoes that have likely never touched a court before.
Holding hands with Average Joe in the hallway is his girlfriend, Plain Jane, wearing a puffy vest, a long sleeve shirt to slyly cover what the vest fails to cover itself, white high top Converse sneakers, leggings that she swears she has more than one pair of and Nike Elite Socks that match with Joe’s, which Jane excitedly and originally labels “couple goals.”
Clones of the couple roam around the school each day. Why does everyone dress like the smiling youngsters in the back to school ads you receive in late July and angrily throw away?
This is mainly because many students are afraid to bust out of their comfort zones and dress differently than their peers. Instead of creating their own fashion trends, they find it much easier to just go with the crowd and avoid drawing any weird stares from Joe and Jane in the hallway.
It does not have to be this way. There is a way out, Joe, and it is not “copping the newest Js” (those Js were released in 1985, Joe. They aren’t new). It is by taking the more funky, less traveled path into the land of individuality, where a few noble trailblazers escape from the masses and chill in clothing that does not always have a swoosh (or even a little whale!)
Junior Claire Lyhus sees the benefits of ignoring high school fashion trends and enjoys the individuality in dressing uniquely.
“I would describe my style as comfy-stylish with a hint of 90s teen and a twist of mom-style,” Lyhus said. “I choose not to follow fashion trends because I think trying to be yourself by looking like everyone else defeats the purpose of being an individual.”
Some students find their personal styles not in mix and matching modern clothing, but rather by turning back the clock and embodying the idea of dressing “retro.”
Junior Sivan Shafrir dresses in (very) past trends, mixing in trench coats and Ivy caps frequently.
“I would describe my style as somewhere near classic 30s attire,” Shafrir said. “I enjoy dressing that way because it’s both comfortable and I feel I look best in that style.”
Clearly these students enjoy their own styles immensely. Does this mean that all the Joes and Janes in the school enjoy their pseudo-school uniforms just as much? Possibly, but it is more likely this trend-following is a hiding technique. Like cuttlefish changing color to avoid being eaten, students at RHS change clothing to avoid being roasted.
Author Kay Ireland of agrees. In her article entitled “Why Do Teenagers Find Fashion Important?” Ireland writes, “There’s a good chance your teen wants a certain style so that she can fit in with her friends. While some teens like to go against the norm, others prefer to blend in, using their clothes as a type of social camouflage.”
If you are wearing a $300 outfit that looks like everyone else’s because that is what you like, good for you. However, examine if you are wearing it because you truly like it. If not, you are dropping boatloads of your parents’ dough just to gain the acceptance of a bunch of kids who are just as socially uncomfortable as you are.