Erin Murphy has broken through the barriers of the fashion industry and has learned to dress strictly for herself


Erin Murphy

Senior Erin Murphy posing in front of the camera sporting a beautiful outfit.

Senior Erin Murphy recently purchased an eccentric vest that she absolutely adores.

Adorned with seashells and reflective circles, Erin describes it as very “funky” and “grandma-like.” Unfortunately, she said she has been unsuccessful in creating the perfect outfit to pair with the article of clothing.

In fashion, experimenting is crucial to the process of creating a wardrobe that complements one’s persona. For Erin, putting effort into her outfits is one of the best ways for her to project her personality to others. 

“By looking at someone, you can tell—did they spend time on their outfit?” Erin explained. “How do they care about their appearance?”

When it comes to fashion, nothing is ever set in stone. The fashion industry is constantly evolving, constantly changing. Erin experiences this same thing on a personal level, as her fashion sense alters from day to day. Her aesthetic leans more towards sophisticated and preppy, with different trends from the fifties and eighties sprinkled about. Erin gets most of her inspiration from her mother, who was in high school and college during the eighties. Erin can always be found raiding her mom’s closet to find the perfect finishing touches to any outfit.

If I can feel good for the day, that’s the best thing.”

— Erin Murphy

Along with borrowing clothes from her mom’s closet, one of Erin’s favorite stores to shop at to expand her wardrobe is Urban Outfitters. Though, as she admits, it can be quite pricey, she believes that their eclectic clothing makes up for it. However, as a less-expensive alternative, Erin also loves to go thrift shopping at stores such as Goodwill and Urban Exchange. 

At times, thrifting can be a frustrating experience. Not every single item on the rack will stick out right away. However, as an avid thrifter herself, Erin has one imperative piece of advice to ensure that a trip to Goodwill ends up being successful: be patient.

“You’re not going to find the perfect item the first time you go [thrifting],” Erin said. “If you see something that catches your eye—no matter how ugly it is—if you stare at it long enough, sometimes they become pretty. It’s like it’s so ugly, it’s cute.”

Many people strive to possess the same creative freedom and originality that Erin does. However, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. In order to find out what style fits your personality the best, Erin suggests that the first step is simply to scroll through Pinterest for inspiration.

“[Scrolling through Pinterest would] be the most important then going off of that,” Erin said. “Obviously finding places and clothes that are within budget—thrifting [is a] great option. Don’t get hung up on big numbers.”

According to Erin, Pinterest is the best way to get an idea of what she would like to base her style on. From there, she can start searching online at specific stores and dive deeper into expanding her wardrobe.

The common assumption that comes along with being passionate about fashion is that people are strictly dressing for the public eye. However, Erin has always believed that dressing for herself is all that matters. She does not need to conform to the absurdly high standards set by society; she is the only person who has to like her outfit, and if someone else does not feel the same way, it is not something for Erin to worry about.

Even still, compliments about her outfits make Erin’s day a bit brighter, and simply the act of dressing for herself provides her with a feeling of satisfaction that makes her feel better about herself.

“If I can feel good for the day, that’s the best thing,” Erin said.