Fashion As a Form of Self Care

It’s always easy to opt for the grey sweatpants and pair it with a college sweatshirt. Or maybe you stick with your favorite pair of leggings (that you may or may not wear a couple of times before throwing in the laundry) and a crewneck. Walking through campus, you can't help but notice a bunch of fashion clones opting for the same comfortable look to get through tiring days filled with lectures and labs. 

Feeling good doesn’t always have to mean wearing the comfiest outfit. As much as feeling at home in your favorite sweatshirt can make tedious lectures bearable, fashion is another version of self-care that’ll make you feel amazing. You don’t always have to sacrifice comfort for style, but experimenting with stylistic expression can help boost your confidence and mood! Following the same routine can get boring every week, so why not spice it up by incorporating color, pattern, and personal style into your wardrobe? 


1. Explore style, find yours!

We’ve all stalked our favorite fashion icons on Instagram and Twitter and wondered how we could pull off the same looks. However, we're stopped with our college student budgets (or lack of)  from exploring our favorite fashion trends from NYFW. So how can we be fashionable and not break the bank? 

The best way to start from scratch and build a new wardrobe is to find what you like. Are you into monochrome outfits? Mixed patterns? Remember that fashion doesn’t have any rules. You can take inspiration from different worlds and make it your own. Thinking about the trends you don’t like also helps make it easier to find out what styles appeal to you and what's worth focusing on.

When you’ve figured out how you want to dress, try to hit a thrift store! Although it takes a lot of patience to dig through mounds and racks of clothing thrifting is the best way to save money and the Earth! You might feel a little hopeless if it’s your first time at a thrift store and all you’ve found are oversized shirts with semi-offensive or cringey sayings, but remember to stay patient and keep your eye out for what suits your style. Whether it be a bright, flowery maxi dress or an orange blouse that looks like something my grandma would wear,  I always surprise myself with what I pick at thrift stores. With a thrift emporium in front of you, don’t get overwhelmed and be open to outfits you’ve never thought of wearing before. 

2. Incorporate COLOR!

When I started experimenting with style in high school, the first thing I did was ditch the thin black leggings from Aritzia. These semi-transparent leggings that I religiously wore weren’t even that comfiest option and I wanted to look like more than a Mii character with a different-colored shirt every day. Ditch the fifty shades of grey pants and sweaters in your closet and experiment with color. (we've all spent a little too long jamming ton the Mii song on our Wiis back in the day right?)  You could either opt for a monochrome outfit (I suggest getting some inspo from the GOLF WANG collection by Tyler the Creator!) or mix bold colors to make a statement (inspo from stores like UNIF and Dolls Kill). When creating outfits, you may want to consider color theory: humans perceive color in different ways that affect mood and mental health. Bold colors can send reflect your mood and send messages to people around you. Stand out and don’t be afraid of color. 


3. Look good, feel good

Just as exercise, spa days, meditation or taking a mini-vacation is seen as self-care, fashion is a way to make yourself feel good about your style and image on campus. Not only is fashion a form of self-expression, but it’s also a form of self-care that can uplift your self-esteem and mental health on a shitty day.