5 Fashion Lessons I Wish I’d Learned As A Teenager
Here’s a sad truth about my life: I did not look cute as a teenager. No really. The years between 13 and 20 were, for me (and I’m guessing for a lot of people out there), absolutely and tragically fraught with horrible sartorial choices, bad hairdos and even worse skin. Granted, I’m not a style icon now, but I like to think I’ve come a long way from baggy khakis and t-shirts printed with information about concerts that I never attended. And that’s OK — because taking time to develop your own personal style is a better than having none whatsoever. Still, there are a few things I didn’t know back then that could’ve helped speed the process along — and it turns out, they’re lessons some adults could use, too.
I was once
prevailed upon decided to buy a pair of super skinny jeans that, at that very thin time in my life, didn't look half bad on me. The problem was I didn't want them and they were horribly uncomfortable. But I wore them because everyone else was wearing them. You don't necessarily have to follow trends to look good or even current, and you trend-hopping is no way to build a wardrobe -- because it'll just keep changing. Find what looks good and feels good on you; find it fast and stick with it.
2.Yes, yes: color is important
There's a lot of yellow in my skin, but I didn't think anything of it and wore my fair share of red. (It was a school color, how could I not?) The thing is, every time I wore red, I ended up looking like a jar of Grey Poupon, and that's just not OK. Why did no one tell me these things?!
3.Size is an important thing.
Parents tend to be pretty big on buying their kids clothes with "growing room," the blessing of not having to buy clothes around erratic growth spurts can also be a curse of massive proportions. If, as a kid, you can get clothes that fit, get clothes that fit. You might end up spending more, but you'll develop an appreciation of fit a whole lot faster.
4.Men's fashion magazines can't save you.
I was obsessed with men's fashion magazines just a few short years ago because I was somehow convinced that their pages held the secrets to a better life. But they don't. They've got plenty of pictures of clothes the average teenager can't afford, and when you're 16, stuff like that isn't useful. Sure they can point you in the right direction (or the direction they've decided is right) but getting all the answers laid out for you is sort of like cheating. And cheating, even when it comes to style, is a no-no.
5.Don't buy something just because everyone else has it
High school is all about fitting in with other people, and dressing like those people is one of the easiest ways to make that happen. I wish I'd known sooner that looking like every other kid in class (more or less, anyway, with the same polo shirts and flip flops and khaki shorts combo going on) was a waste of my time and creativity. Dressing just like everyone else is, even if I didn't realize it then, a tacit admission that you'd rather not be an individual. Plus, not everything works for everybody. I probably would have looked better in Oxfords and jeans than I did in whatever else I was wearing, but at the time, my style didn't matter as much as what everyone else thought of me.