Evelyn Meeker, Editor-in-Chief

Back-to-school season is a marketing phenomenon. Just as we push open the doors to summer vacation and throw our papers in the air, Target is advertising all the essentials for September. It’s the peak of capitalism, and honestly, I love it. Well, one part of it. The screaming children grasping for sparkly notebooks certainly cause me anxiety, but I endure it and find my peace elsewhere: back-to-school fashion.
There’s nothing like a fresh outfit on the first day of school to feel like a fresh start. It’s your chance to come back in style and show the world who you are or how you want to be seen.
I ate this up from the time I was little. I would drag my mother to the mall, and if I was lucky, we’d go to Justice, where all of the cool girls shopped. If you thought those notebooks were sparkly, then Justice was guaranteed blindness.
Looking back, I’m not sure there’s enough glitter or punny graphic tees in this world that could have completely masked my eccentricity. Now, that’s not to say I’m a Boo Radley type who sends the neighborhood kids running. If that were the case, babysitting would be a little problematic. It’s just that blending in simply isn’t in my blood.
A part of me always embraced this fact, while another part used to hate it. Dressing a little strange or being a little loud felt natural, but the judgement that came along with it did not. I couldn’t change who I was—nor did I want to—but I was deeply uncomfortable with the fact that people might think of me as weird. So, I got quiet.
It’s an identity-based limbo or purgatory that I still somewhat exist in. I’m sure many of us do. It goes beyond the clothes you wear. It lives beneath the flesh hidden by your new dress.
Yet, the only way to feel the freedom and confidence you crave is to do what’s uncomfortable. It’s counterintuitive, but you do what’s hard until it isn’t anymore. For me, it was leaving the house in my cat creeper shoes as a scrawny, sheepish seventh grader. Now, green platforms are my everyday kind of shoe, and if it means anything, I’m not so quiet anymore.
To many, discussing clothing as anything deeper than what stands between you and nudity may seem futile. To me, though, fashion has and always will be a defining aspect of my life, for better or for worse. It’s not only on the first day of school that what you wear sends a message. Every day, the way you dress is still showing the world who you are and how you want to be seen. But, you know what? I don’t care. When I get ready in the morning, the only person I need to prove anything to is myself.
So, I’m not going to tell you my fashion dos and don’ts or what you should wear on the first day of school. I’m going to tell you to wear green platforms. Or, don’t. Wear what you want. The world will get over it.