At-Large: Personal Style


I recently dyed my hair blue, pierced my ears, and thrifted for a bunch of new clothes. For some, this is considered a standard Friday, but for me it was an emotional occasion. My hair has never been dyed, I’ve never been pierced before, and to be quite honest, I’m not really that into shopping. This recent transformation has startled my family and friends, who believe I’m going through some sort of personal crisis. Maybe they’re not totally wrong.

I’m finally starting to feel that my outside is a reflection of my inside, and while I’ve never shied away from loud styles, my obsessions with pastels and punk rock is finally coming to the surface. Personal style is a constant evolution, and, while societal norms will play their part, I like to think that my own personal style is an abundant reflection of who I am as a person. (Also a constant evolution.) I get a lot of questions about my ideologies when it comes to the way I dress. At the expense of sounding self-indulgent, here are some monikers of my personal style and what they mean to me:

Photo by Bryan Whitely

Photo by Bryan Whitely

Tall/Oversized Shirts
I like a long shirt. Long dress-like shirts are a wonderful rebuttal to gender’s politics, giving a flowy and more feminine silhouette. On a completely honest level, I’ve always been self conscious of my string bean thighs.

Bomber Jackets
There’s something timeless about a bomber coat. I also love a bomber coat’s versatility. It can be worn with a button-up and tie or a tee. My bomber coats tend to be lighter weight and crazy prints are a bonus. My favorite bomber jacket that I own is covered in a floral print you might find on your grandmother’s couch, a sweet irony to the bomber jacket’s origins as a military flight jacket in the mid-1920s.

Soft pinks, purples, and blues are my colors of choice when it comes to my wardrobe. It’s nice to wear something soft to dichotomize my abrasive personality. In all honesty, my mom told me pastels really complement my skin tone and it kind of stuck.

Navy Chinos
Dress them up, dress them down. My chinos are a versatile staple to my wardrobe. Finding the right fit is important and it took me a bit, but now my chinos are a huge part of the weekly rotation.

Nail Polish
Another fun f*** you to gender norms, similarly to my wardrobe, I often wear pastel pink, purple, or blue nail polish. Having taken a step back from wearing jewelry this year, my pastel nails are a fun way to accessorize. I always do my nails myself; never been to a nail salon. It’s important to me that they look a little sloppy. I am a man, after all.

Kids’ Backpacks
My laptop, a part of sweatpants, and a bottle of mouthwash travel with me everywhere. Why not keep the Kawaii fantasy going with a backpack that looks like a turtle shell?

My Brother’s Sneakers
My little brother is one of those people who likes to keep his shoes “crispy.” You know the type: the guys who take a toothbrush to their sneakers and will alter their lifestyle to make sure the new kicks stay so fresh and so clean. Meanwhile, I sit idly by waiting for these shoes to expire, swooping in to take them for my own when he deems them too dirty to wear out. With an abundance of free Adidas, Nike, and Jordan, needless to say, beat up shoes have become my thing.

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