Whether sporting sweatpants or Gossip Girl inspired ensembles, Gull Lake junior Abby Stark’s style, according to her, changes every day.
“Sometimes I’ll try to be really fancy and other times I’m really casual–I would say, in two words, [my style is] sweatpants and sometimes I wear heels,” Stark said.
What determines the choice between these drastically different options? According to Stark, it’s time and planning…
“It definitely depends if I watched Gossip Girl the night before, because if I’m watching, all these upper east-siders in cute outfits I’m like ‘Ugh, I should wear that tomorrow’,” Stark said. “But if I get up with five minutes before I have to leave, I’m definitely gonna wear leggings.”
Although leggings remain a lazy day fallback, it once was wardrobe staple for Stark.
“My biggest regret is spending hundreds of dollars on LuLuLemon leggings, and let me tell you why: because leggings are not normal pants, and the fact that I wore those as normal pants is frustrating to me right now,” she said. “Because you can wear leggings as pants, but to spend hundreds of dollars on a brand. I feel dumb.”
Stark has been through many fashion phases, and though she may cringe at some of them, they’ve all shaped her current style.
“When I was younger, I used to wear, wool skirts and little white button-ups,” Stark said. “I wanted to work in an office really bad when I was little, so I would dress like I was going to work in an office.”
Part of this desire for Western Business Attire stemmed from what she thought her father did for a living.
“I thought that to be successful, you had to sit in a cubicle. I didn’t really understand–I thought my dad did that, and he doesn’t.” Stark said. “Like I genuinely thought when I was little that that’s what my dad did every day, so I was like: ‘That’s what I want to do.’”
What Stark regrets most, however, are the dreaded middle school years.
“Then I went through a phase of, like, Ugg boots and North Faces and all that cringey stuff,” she said.
She also experimented with socks and Birkenstocks “because everyone tried it,” though she’s decidedly against the trend now.
Today, Stark leans more towards the preppy style of her youth.
“I think I’ve just full-circled back to when I was little, basically wearing the same things,” Stark said.
Although she no longer wants an office job and has accumulated pieces all her own, Stark still occasionally borrows from her father.
“I will say, every Hawaiian day I go right to my dad and get his Hawaiian shirt,” she said.
But Stark borrows from friends more often. While she usually keeps sharing to shoes and accessories, her relationship with one friend goes beyond these boundaries.
“I have one friend, basically, where we just take,” Stark said. “You come over, you take something, she takes something, you can’t find it, and you know she has it, you get it back, and it doesn’t matter.”
When she’s shopping somewhere besides her friends’ closets, Stark can be found at the thrift store. At Goodwill, Stark is able to recreate looks that inspire her for less.
“I go to the men’s section first, because it’s never crowded, and I look for dress shirts, because I love the whole big oversized dress shirt thing,” she said. “Then I will look through t-shirts–the Goodwill treasure finds–and then I’ll circle back to women’s, and I’ll usually look for skirts or denim, because it’s a good place to find cheap denim.”
Stark has found both skirt and denim in one of her favorite pieces, a classic jean skirt. Her search for denim continues, however, because she has yet to find the perfect pair of jeans at the thrift store. For the items she cannot acquire by thrifting, Stark turns to the Internet, and she has a very specific online shopping process.
“What I do is I got through the entire website, and I open a new tab with every item that I like,” she said. “And then I go back through and I’m like ‘Too expensive. Ugly. Why’d I think that? Oh wow, not $400, stop,’ and then I get down to about three things and I’m like ‘Oh, price range and cute, we’ll buy it!’”
According to Stark, this takes a long time, and she has to be in the mood.
“If [an item is] in the cart, I’m way more tempted to buy it. When you open [an item tab], you have to look at the details, and what it’s made out of, and the size charts, and see it on a model.”
When it comes to the trends she tries, Stark is inspired by social media.
“Definitely the whole new wave of instagram models,” she said. “Like, if I’m sitting in bed thinking of what I want to wear tomorrow, there’s totally a plethora of girls who I will just go through their instagrams and be like ‘I wanna try that, that’s cute, what do I have that looks like that.’”
Stark also takes inspiration from various fashion eras. Though she deems the 50s and 60s as her favorites, she feels that her personal style leans more towards the 70s and 90s.
“I love the Doc Martens and stuff, but I also love, bell sleeves, high waisted jeans, the whole nine,” Stark said. “I’m really into old school skirts…plaid and houndstooth–that’s so good, I love that, and I’m so glad it came back.”
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“Have turtlenecks come full circle? I feel like everyone I know wears turtlenecks, but I also feel like I know a lot of people who are like ‘Nobody wears turtlenecks, that’s disgusting.’”-Stark
Stark is hoping Doc Martens, turtlenecks and jean jackets come back in the same way, as they’re some of her most worn items, and she hopes others embrace them too.
“I want jean jackets to have a come-up, too,” Stark said. “I know that’s such a staple, but I feel like so many people don’t utilize that as much as they could, and boys–I want boys to wear jean jackets.”
She has a theory that students may be hesitant to experiment with fashion in high school for fear of making a faux-pas or regretting a look, but Stark is determined to take those risks. She encourages her peers to follow suit.
“We only have so much time, and it is so fun to be able to express yourself,” Stark said. “So I would say, get on it, because you’re the youngest you’re ever gonna be when you’re reading this, so just start right now, get on it.”
- I'm a senior and an OG student journalist (meaning I did it last year), but seeing as I love all things writing and current events, I figured I ought to combine the two and earn my journalism-legs. I tend to write what I'm passionate about (don't we all), whcih includes art, social issues, politics, entertainment, etc. My articles are primarily features and opinions. (Update: They're still features and opinions. Everything I write turns feature-y. Help.)
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