How Style Shapes You

Posted: May 30, 2023

The way people express themselves through style

You may know not to judge a book by its cover, but you still judge a person by their sweater. Style is often seen as an outward expression of one’s personality, but it is also the way people perceive us at first glance.

“I think a lot of people specifically at this school have different styles,” said junior Callie Cupito. “It’s kind of cool when you come to school every day and you see different people wearing totally different things. Not everyone wants the same thing.”

Unlike a number of other private schools, Minnehaha Academy allows students to choose what they want to wear rather than requiring uniforms. This has allowed students to express themselves by what they wear and what they feel comfortable wearing.

“I like to wear clothing that has more of a vintage feel, so clothes closer to the 50s and 60s,” first-year Gabi Jankowski said. However, first-year Violet Wood, who attends Cretin Derham Hall, wears a uniform every day to her school.

“Since we’re all the same, there isn’t much of standing out,” said Wood. “I don’t really mind that much because I don’t really need to stand out at school. Everyone else is wearing the same thing so there’s nothing to be insecure about.”

Private schools with uniforms help to form a sense of community, equality and also facilitates focus on learning among students because everyone is dressed the same.

“I think wearing all the same things kind of brings us closer to each other in a way,” said first-year Maria Odegard, who attends Nova Classical Academy.

Having everyone dress the same creates a more equal experience of school regardless of socioeconomic class. It also makes getting ready in the morning a lot simpler. Being able to wake up and not have to worry about picking out an outfit is a popular plus among students who wear uniforms to school.

“I like that I don’t have to pick out an outfit every day,” said first-year Alex Ritenour, who also attends Nova Classical Academy. “I can just wear what everyone else is wearing so I don’t stick out and have to worry about standing out.”

While most of those interviewed who wear uniforms were generally positive about wearing them, they also expressed a few drawbacks.

“You can see everyone’s style and the truth of who they are because of what they wear,” said first-year Taylor Williams, who attends Cretin Derham Hall. “But with a uniform, you don’t see that aspect.”

While there are many positive aspects of uniforms, many appreciate being able to express themselves through what they wear.

“It’s nice to feel the diversity through clothing and seeing what different people are like,” said Jankowski. “I really feel like evening the playing field doesn’t really matter when it comes to what you wear.”

Being able to express yourself with what you wear shows students’ individuality and expression. At this point in teenagers’ lives, they start to go through phases of self-discovery and want to assert their independence by what they wear.

“My style shapes me because I like to wear bright colors because I feel like I’m a very bright person,” said senior Danae Goree. “I’m always wearing colors all the time, no matter what form it is. And it’s kind of my way of expressing myself.”

Being able to express ourselves is a big part of our identity. Having the ability to see all the students at Minnehaha dress in their own way creates a sense of community in its own way.

We are all part of one body but we each play our own different part in it, which not only creates individuality, but also a place of belonging at Minnehaha Academy.

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