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90% of my clothes are either thrifted or hand-me-downs, but other than that, I have a wide assortment of styles with little to no common theme. I have exercise clothes, flowy dresses, chunky sweaters, and bold items I like to call “one-off-pieces.” Although my wardrobe is very diverse, I tend to play it safe when picking an outfit: matching colorful or patterned shirts with darker, more basic bottoms. This week, I decided to experiment with my fashion sense and mix and match pieces to see how they looked and made me feel. 

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Day 1: Explosion of Colors

On the first day of my fashion challenge, I decided to go out of my comfort zone and wear a laffy-taffy inspired outfit. I love all of these pieces individually, but usually pair them with more neutral colors because I feel like I stand out too much if my outfit is too bold. While I definitely was dressed more colorful than other people on campus, this turned out to be one of my favorite looks of all time. I was comfortable, channeled my artsy side, and felt as confident as ever. After this, I plan on wearing what I feel good in and not based on what others might think of me. 

Day 2: Dressy Athleisure

For this outfit, I mixed two different pieces I would never wear together to create a look I was proud of. For my bottoms, I wore a hiking skirt, which I would only ever wear on vacation or backpacking. My top was a summery tank I got at Goodwill which I would never exercise in. For the finishing touches of this look, I wore lollipop earrings, which, although not exactly a perfect match with a hiking skirt, matched the colors in the rest of my outfit. Pairing hiking clothes with nice clothes is something I try to avoid but now I might explore more in the future.

Day 3: Southern Roots

This outfit was centered around a blouse I don’t really like; it reminds me of something my Southern Grandmother would wear and I channeled her fashion sense for this look. By doing my hair, personalizing with jewelry, and wearing my favorite jeans, I managed to put together a Texas-inspired look I never saw myself wearing. I definitely recommend creating outfits with items you are uncomfortable wearing, like my frilly, church-appropriate pink blouse, because you might also discover a new aesthetic. Who knew I would feel this good looking like a Southern housewife about to bring my rancher husband a pitcher of lemonade?

Day 4: Oversized

On the fourth day of my fashion challenge, I wore an oversized outfit. I tend to either wear loose pants and a tight shirt or a smaller shirt with big pants, so this was a look somewhat out of my comfort zone. I felt a little sloppy in this outfit, but I was comfortable all day, so I can’t complain too much. This was my least favorite outfit of the week, but I would definitely wear something like this on a road trip or to the airport. 

Day 5: Girly

For my fifth and final outfit, I decided to put together the most feminine look I could create. I wore a dress I thrifted, did my makeup and hair, and wore butterfly earrings with flower clips in my hair. I love dressing up but usually wear skater dresses rather than wearing all of my girliest accessories with a sundress. I actually really liked this look, but would prefer to wear it to dinner with friends than to my 3 p.m. Spanish class. 

This week I stepped out of my fashion comfort zone and wore five outfits which challenge my style. I tend to choose neutral colors over funky patterns and bright colors in fear of standing out, but after this week, I’ve realized I would have to wear a leopard costume and loudly play the tuba in order for people to actually notice or care about what I’m wearing. By experimenting with more colors, mixing and matching aesthetics, and making outfits with items I don’t wear often, I feel like my fashion sense has expanded. So, from one fashion novice to another: wear what you want and don’t be afraid to branch out with your style.

Lanaya Oliver

CU Boulder '24

Lanaya is originally from Colorado but has lived all over the world. She loves to play sports, paint, write, and bake. She is double majoring in Psychology and Spanish and dreams of becoming a sports psychologist!
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