A showcase of style in our community
October 15, 2021
As Cherry Hill East starts a new, fully in-person school year and our community begins to go back to normal, the prominent idea of style and how we express ourselves has risen again. From local business interviews, to East students perspectives on style, we hope to educate, entertain, and celebrate the everchanging purpose of style. Whether we realize it or not, style is intertwined into our everyday lives. This multimedia package emphasizes and shares that point, and contains new and unique ideas regarding everything that has to do with style in our community.
Importance of style
When it comes to style, a person can reinvent or even build their own personal brand. Style reflects what a person possibly stands for or how they want to be noticed in a crowd. When someone feels great about what they are wearing, their confidence will be boosted as well. Therefore, this “fashion identity” typically matches a person’s personality or typical mood.
For example, the preppy style, worn by country club goers or prep school students, usually includes a polo layered under a knit sweater and paired with khakis or a skirt. For the more free-spirited individuals of the world, the bohemian style is associated with neutral or earth color schemes, as well as flowy clothing. The fashionistas who want a blast from the past typically associate themselves with the vintage style, which includes styles that were popular in previous eras. These looks can range from eras of the 1920s-1970s, and include anything from flapper dresses to leg warmers. The more common styles such as street wear or casual wear are typically filling people’s closets at home.
Additionally, when it comes to personalizing your own style, the key is to dress according to whatever your heart desires! Whether that is sporty, chic, or casual, the most fitting style a person can wear is the one that they feel the most comfortable in. While a certain type of shoe might pair well with a going-out outfit, or a purse could tie an entire lazy-day outfit together, an individual truly does not have a sense of style unless they feel absolutely and utterly confident in what they are wearing.
Although searching up tips and tricks of styling an outfit can seem totally necessary in todays’ society, where “fitting in” is important to many, one cannot truly be happy unless they follow their own fashion path. This is because the different fashion cultures make life a little bit more colorful and provide opportunities for change and new beginnings.
Rather than suggesting how to style yourself, check out a few tips in our infographic on how to feel confident in your marvelous outfits!
Style throughout the decades at East
Style within local businesses
In our area, style is a very important aspect of everyday life. Whether we notice style based upon what people choose to wear or what people feel most comfortable in, is very relevant in our community. I conducted interviews with a few local and small businesses in our area, and asked them their thoughts on style.
Charmed by Jessie, is a local business that is run by a sophomore at Eastern High School in Voorhees, New Jersey. Jessie is both an entrepreneur and jewelry designer who started her own business at age 12. She makes bracelets, necklaces, rings, masks and sunglass chains, and is best known for her personalized bracelets. She has many bracelet collections including some dedicated to friendship, candy, and heishi bracelets. Because Ravitz struggles from an eating disorder she looks to spread body positivity and support mental health through her business. She quotes, “everyone has their something and this is hers.” When I interviewed her I first asked for her to style a stack of bracelets or any pieces of jewelry from her business. (followed by the image below.) Jessie said, “To stack bracelets you need to be simple with some color! This one is my favorite of all time.” My next question to her was, Do you feel that style is important in everyday life? She replied, “Style is of course important because it’s in our everyday life. Studies say that color can actually change your mood. Putting on those bracelets will make you feel on top of the world as I say!” Another question I asked her was, Does your business notice a particular style “changes” or new trends and make/order those particular items? She answered this question by, “Yes! The trend is changing every single day truthfully. We see so many different styles that come and go. What really stays is simple. I of course follow the trends, but remember what my company is about. We stick to what we believe in!” Finally my last question to her was, Do you think self expression and confidence is one of the most powerful things about style and fashion? Jessie wrote back and said, “Being yourself is the most important thing in fashion. I think self expression can be scary. But trying to be someone or something else is not the best idea. It may be awkward at first, but go for it! Wear what you wanna wear and be who you want to be!”
The next interview I conducted was between sophomore East Student Lauren Greenberg. Lauren and her sister Brooke are involved in their local business, Tie Dye Lab in Cherry Hill New Jersey. Tie Dye Lab is a custom made business full of retro Tie- Dye. This business is a hand- dyed apparel that you have the access to design your own lifestyle. When I interviewed Lauren I again asked for her to style an outfit from her business. (followed by image below.) Lauren says, “Here is a look that’s styled by our model Grace, who is wearing a spiral crew + sweats set paired back with classic AF1’s. Transforming the loungewear into streetwear is easy with a matching set and sneakers to bring the look together!” The next question for Lauren was, What do you think the most important aspect of style is? She wrote back with, “I find the most important aspect in style is staying true to your “identity.” As cliche as it may seem, style has an important role on how others view our personality. For instance, it is almost as a reflection to our personality that others may not know through this form of expression. Following up, my next question was: Does your business notice particular style “changes” or new trends and make/order those particular items? She answered this question with, “Owning a business, especially through the pandemic has definitely changed the look of our average customer based on their needs shifting. When we first launched back in 2020, everyone was working from home , and thus matching sets were a must to get through the grueling hours on the screen. Not only did they make light of the lack of work clothes, it was versatile to wear loungewear during the day. Now as people’s lives are getting back to normal, with students and jobs going back in person, the needs have changed. With colleges back on campus for instance, our game day line has spiked in demand. My other question for Lauren was, Do you feel that style is important in everyday life? She replied with, “To me, style is a way to represent your personality in a form others may not know without getting to know you. Ultimately, your style should make you feel your best. Lastly, she was asked if she thinks self expression and confidence is one of the most powerful things about style and fashion? Lauren replied with,
“I definitely find that certain looks can elevate the mood, and even give people a new opportunity to gain confidence in feeling good in what you wear.”
The last interview I conducted was with Michelle Stander, owner of a local store in the area, Mixellaneous in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Mixellaneous is a boutique full of clothing, jewelry and gifts. When I interviewed Michelle, I first asked her to style an outfit from her boutique as shown below.When asked the most important aspect, Stander explained that, “The most important aspect is a personal thing, I think that if you feel good about yourself and you are wearing clothes that look good on you and that you are happy about, I feel that is what style is about.” My next question was: Does your store notice particular style “changes” or new trends and make/order those particular items? Michelle responded with, “Yes, to a point. We are not a real high fashion-forward store. That being said, we still want to keep up with the current trends. We do keep up with current trends. We are not a die heart trendy store because we are not the trendiest of stores. We keep up with current trends and we try to translate the trend for our customers.” The following question is: Do you feel that style is important in everyday life? She answered with, “Personally I do because I am a boutique owner and I feel like I can’t walk around with something that does not look good on me. People come in and I think I represent my business. So for me, I think style is important. The last question was: Do you think self expression and confidence is one of the most powerful things about style and fashion? Michelle’s response was, “100%. I just watched a documentary, her name is Iris; she is a style icon who wears stuff off the runway but she has style and she is very confident and you can tell she is confident because she is wearing things that do not have labels on it and the latest style, she is styling herself and I think that is the most important thing is confidence and the way you wear it.”
To conclude, style is a very important aspect in our community with the various local businesses we have. We constantly see how different people present themselves in what they wear. Overall, style is not only important in our individual lives, but around our community as well.
Styling face masks
Style matters in a school environment
Style: your initial impression of someone, your physical form of expression, what “draws” you to another person. It is one of the most important things you can have in order to meet new people, express yourself, and feel good. This is why it is so important in a school environment. Whether you are sitting in class, walking down the hallway, or meeting new teachers and peers, style is incorporated into our everyday school lives.
Style is valuable in many ways in a school environment, but particularly when it comes to expressing yourself. Besides backpacks, pencil cases, and phone cases, it is very difficult to reveal your personality and to share your likes and opinions with other people during the school day. Clothing is the most visible and noticeable thing that a student can customize. Without style, your sense of individuality and expression are taken away. “Your style can show off you are a sports fan by wearing team jerseys or you might be interested in the arts, and you may dress a little more edgy” said Easts FIDM Fashion club advisor, Mrs. Miller.
In this type of environment, it is very easy to blend in with other people, and not stand out. Amongst thousands of students, style can only positively affect your experience at school. By having a distinct or fun style, you can be recognized, build new relationships, and have the ability to “wear” your personality. Picture yourself sitting in a class full of people you do not know yet, when you see someone wearing a shirt or an outfit you really like. By going up to that person and complimenting their personal sense of style, you not only boost their confidence, but spark a new friendship.“I love sharing new stores and places where I bought my clothes with other people. I also really enjoy talking about fashion and style” said Marlee Petkov (‘24).
Furthermore, style can generate new-found confidence. From my perspective, confidence is one of the key aspects of style, and can positively contribute to your state of mind. When I style an outfit that I feel confident in, my way of thinking for the day is much more positive. This is because I look forward to showing off my outfit to everyone, and wearing what I feel good in. “I always have a little more pep in my step wearing a new outfit to school” Mrs. Miller also shared.
Self-expression, individuality, and confidence are just a few of many reasons why style is important in a school environment. Style is always around you, so why not embrace it? From jeans to flannels, East is constantly filled with a large variety of different styles. Ultimately, I think that style is crucial in a school environment.
Style doesn’t matter in a school enviornment
High school students have a lot on their plates—tests, homework, friends, and … style …? I wouldn’t be the first to say that a person’s style should affect anything about them. With everything students have to juggle, style does not matter in a school environment.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that fashion and style have always been on people’s minds, now more so than ever with the insertion of TikTok trends and different aesthetics. However, style really does not matter in a school environment. A school is a place for students to learn and bond with fellow classmates, but that’s really about it. School is not a fashion show.
For those students who are really into fashion, I think they should be able to express themselves in every and any way they want, but that is not to say style matters at school. Honestly, I think if someone were to ask a person who was really into style, they would most likely agree with me. Style, for those who are not interested in it, can sometimes be a distraction during school. So, to say that style matters in a school environment is putting a lot of pressure on those who don’t care about it to care. Why not just let everyone do what they want and not judge people based on their appearances?
Building off of my previous thought, we should want to be a part of a school environment that allows people to be comfortable while learning. Now that’s not to say jeans are not comfortable. But, for those of us who just want to show up to school in pajamas and let that be socially acceptable, please let us and take into consideration the different clubs and assignments we are each juggling.
I understand that creating an environment where style is important would be beneficial for students because it would prepare them for the real world, where casual wear is not appropriate in many places. However, just like the time we start our day will change, so will a lot of other lifestyle choices. So, I don’t think it’s really necessary for students to prepare for how they will have to dress in five years now.
Also, many students may not have the time, energy, or money to buy these trendy clothes. For them to walk into a school environment where clothes matter, would be like walking on eggshells every day. Making the executive decision that style matters in a school environment would be making a lot of people feel uncomfortable when they could really just be content in their own clothes. It’s not necessary to alienate certain students just because a portion of the student body likes a certain art form (fashion).
East students and alumni perspectives on style
Style can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Style can help an individual express themselves freely and feel confident in their own skin. Take a look at what East students and alumni have to say about what style means to them!
Remy Abrams (‘21)
Style is an expression of personality, attitude, and confidence. Like Cher
in Clueless, deciding what to wear can be stressful. Yet, the decision impacts the way in which one presents themselves to the world. Similar to how a character is written into a movie or a novel, the description of their style, clothing, and persona as a whole is worded simply through their expression. Whether it be through the
way one walks, the clothes they wear, or the shoes on their feet, style is purely the manner in which one reveals their personality. However, style is not entirely referencing one’s choice of clothing. I mean, I wore sweatpants to school for two years straight and somehow still was considered stylish. Style can develop alongside maturation and interpersonal discovery, as stylistic preferences evolve through character growth and exposure to the outside world. Simply put, style allows me to express myself and illustrate my identity with pizzazz; a feature in life that is specific to every individual.
The majority of my fav clothes are from adika, misguided, princess polly, tiger mist, and asos
Darren Zhou (’22)
Style is definitely a form of artistry where people can express their
interests, personalities, and feelings. I first discovered my style in late sophomore year, when I took a look at what I was wearing all day in bed and realized how it impacted my mood. Since then, I started to see style as a first impression indicator to yourself and your peers. Even if it’s just a sweatpant and sweatshirt set, the small intricate details and accessories in an outfit can make a huge difference in
how people perceive you. I think it’s important not to overlook style because at the end of the day, it should be what you feel comfortable in and what people will recognize you for. Something important I want to talk about is how fashion has changed over the years. When I first came out and felt more comfortable in myself, I realized that clothing is universal. Gender- neutral. The colors, lengths, and styles we wear shouldn’t be assigned to specific genders. They’re just articles that we use to cover and express ourselves. So yeah, that’s my perspective on what style means to me: a form of self-expression.
Alena Zhang (‘23)
What is fashion? Is it the softness of a loose sweater, the metal clink of necklaces, or the smooth coolness of a silky shirt?
When our eyes catch on the neon blur of a shirt in a crowd, is that instantaneous glimpse what we deem fashion? Is it the constant cycle of “what’s in” and “what’s out”?
Oftentimes, there is the conception that money buys worth; that what shimmers on the covers of magazines is what we should buy. And in some sense, that consumerism is partly true; fashion does stem from a constant culture of trends, but it can also be the way we express ourselves without the expectations of current trends.
For me, fashion is about style and comfort and making decisions. Small habits like switching out my earrings, buying patterned socks, and repurposing my mom’s old sweatshirts to incorporate into my wardrobe are all part of it.
When I wake up and decide what to wear, it’s not just about what I deem as “pretty”, or “cool”, or “trendy”. Instead, it’s about having the ability to start off my day feeling rejuvenated and comfortable in my own skin.