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You can transform yourself through fashion.
You can be anyone you want through fashion.
After all, you are what you wear.

I always felt out of place growing up. I always yearned for what the other kids had, but as my father would say, we couldn’t really “keep up with the Joneses.” New clothes became more special than birthdays and each item was cherished and worn till it was simply a rag. These clothes, however, did nothing but help me fit in. Inside, I still felt like a blank slate itching for the possibility to become anyone I wanted. The girl next door, old money, new money, bohemian, Y2K, the list goes on. As I got older, my closet was the least bit cohesive.

The idea that I could become anyone I wanted was gifted to me by my mother as she always made it a point to say, “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or how much money you make, to look good, presentable, and memorable.” I then took this lesson and ran with it, turning to fashion to build myself an identity that didn’t include my insecurities of the past.

By the time I was 14, I started to work and make my own income. For the first time, I was able to buy my own clothes with the freedom to splurge. By the time I was 15, I started working at Brandy Melville and the employee discount transformed not only me but my wardrobe as well. My first real sense of identity. I began to put in an effort to what I wore to school and started to hear comments like “only you could wear that.” I finally transformed into the way I wanted to be perceived at the time: unique.

It is now a noticeable trend that each new stage of my life comes with the urge to overhaul my wardrobe. A new aesthetic or vibe would hopefully portray the person I want to be. Whether I bought my clothes at the thrift store or at the boutique, my personal story is the last thing to be reflected in my style. Instead, I intend to use the transformative power of fashion to reflect my current self. There are more people who see you than who know you, so only you can control the perceptions made from afar.

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