Students find their true style through experimentation and getting out of their comfort zone


When it comes to shopping, sophomore Abby Zhang believes that she is anything but an average shopper—in other words, she is obsessed.

With online shopping becoming popular now more than ever, Abby has found an even greater temptation to buy clothes that may or may not be necessary purchases. Being stuck at home has only expanded Abby’s temptation, and she has noticed an increase in how many purchases she makes weekly. But despite how many outfits her shopping cart holds every day, Abby finds gratification with every new package that arrives on her doorstep. 

 “The [packages] all come and it’s [like] a present for yourself,” Abby said. “I [also] like experimenting with different [styles] while trying to see what [my favorite style is].”

Although Abby is excited for every package that arrives at her front door, she finds pure joy at the items inside the boxes found on her doorstep.

“[I buy clothes] I feel comfortable in,” Abby said, “but [I] also try to step outside of my comfort zone. Recently, I’ve been [online shopping] at Urban [Outfitters]. [They have] a very big variety of [styles], and I feel like anyone can find something that fits their personal style [there].  The only downside is [that] it is on the [more expensive] side, but the [clothes] are good quality.”

Luckily, Abby has found a good majority of the online shopping world to be fair; however, she has found a few challenges along the way. While browsing through countless stores and boutiques, it is always a hit or miss on whether or not there will be good finds or deals. It all depends on the store, but Abby finds that Urban has a lot to give. Furthermore, Abby expresses her style more often than she used to and knows that it is important to expand her horizons while also feeling comfortable doing so.

Thrifting is a big one [for me] because it’s good for the environment and my wallet, and I think you can always find a unique piece [of clothing].”

— Sofie Brown

“Some certain items can open up so many options for outfits,” Abby said. “I think you have to think through how [much] you can use that [piece of clothing] and how versatile each piece is. I [also feel like] there is certain logic on what you should shop for because [there are] some items in your closet that you should invest in because some certain items can open up [more] options for outfits.”

Although styles constantly change in this day and age, Abby has found that sticking with the trends can get boring after a certain amount of time. Abby has found herself hopping on a few trends that she legitimately admires such as jackets and shirts that feature graphics.

Overall, her style all comes down to whether or not she is going out or staying in. Abby loves to dress up even more than before because there are not many opportunities to go out. 

“[I try to find] classier [styles],” Abby said. “If it’s to school, it’s way more casual. I [also] wear a bunch of graphic [t-shirts].” 

Shopping for clothes and keeping up on trends can be fun, it is also pricey. This dilemma of investing a great deal of money into what is bought can lead to having no money left in the bank account. However, students like sophomore Sofie Brown have found a solution to this obstacle.

When it comes to budgeting, Sofie does not have any issues. She has found that thinking about whether or not her purchase will be beneficial in the long run helps keep her spending low. When she uses this method every time she shops, Sofie finds that her style and price range fit perfectly for consignment shopping. 

“Thrifting is a big one [for me],” Sofie said, “because it’s good for the environment and my wallet, and I think you can always find a unique piece [of clothing]. When you thrift something, it’s completely yours, and no one else will have it most of the time. I think it’s also rewarding when you find something cool. My favorite thing that I have thrifted is a pair of Levi’s.”

Sofie is fond of going to places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill because of the reasonable prices and amazing finds she has discovered. Another reason is that places like these are usually in-person shopping. Sofie feels that it is more enjoyable to a consignment shop in person and with friends, and she appreciates being able to have that bonding experience with friends while also helping them find their style and pick out clothes for each other. 

“I’m more obsessed with finding a good item while thrifting,” Sofie said. “I enjoy finding good deals, and I really have fun with that and expanding my style in general.”

Even though Sofie may stick to the thrift shop side of the shopping world, she also continues to shop at other places as well. 

“There is a huge variety of brands and styles [at Urban Outfitters],” Sofie said. “I [also] love Patagonia; I think they’re environmentally friendly and very ethical.”

Nonetheless, many make impulsive decisions, but when it comes to purchasing, sophomore Caroline Logan always takes into consideration how well her pieces are made before she buys, especially when her height plays the main role in what she can and cannot buy.  

“Most of my shopping is done at J.Crew or Madewell because they make tall versions of clothes,” Caroline said, “and most of their clothes are fairly comfortable.”

Caroline sometimes struggles to find stores that make clothes that are fit to size, so when it comes to style, she dresses more casually and finds herself sticking to jeans and t-shirts to play it safe, but she also admires looking at other styles and trying new ones every once in a while. 

“I like seeing what’s out there, and it can be fun because [there are] different trends,” Caroline said. “As long as the material doesn’t look weird or tear, I’ll buy it.”

Even though Caroline sticks to the familiar styles, she still focuses on rather or not the material is satisfactory. In the summertime, she tends to find herself filling her shopping cart with flowy dresses purchased from Madewell which makes for a serene midsummer day, and with comfort being one of Caroline’s top priorities, this makes her like them even more. 

“[I like] cute and comfortable clothes,” Caroline said. “You don’t want to be uncomfortable, but you also want to dress cute.”

While finding stores that aren’t as expensive around this area may be challenging, there is no doubt that there are always little hidden consignment shops or thrift stores that hold surprises for Caroline, Sofie, and Abby. At the end of the day, these shoppers are looking for two main things: finding their styles and finding well-made pieces. 

“I can’t really fit into one category [when it comes to style],” Sofie said, “[but] I think it’s really fun to experiment with styles and figure out what I like best and what [is] most comfortable.”