Stop being clothes-minded

Photo+by+Natalie+Sandlow

Photo by Natalie Sandlow

Lauren Dyer, Managing Editor

I walk through the doors of Glenbrook North at 7:30 on a Friday morning and heads turn. I catch a few people’s eyes and see the thoughts churning in their heads: “What is she wearing?” “It’s too early for this.” Their reactions are understandable. I’m decked out from head to toe in green and gold, from my yellow scrunchie and GBN baseball cap to my green and gold striped socks and yellow sneakers.

I love GBN, but dress-up days aren’t about school spirit for me. They’re just about spirit, being myself and being bold. If there’s one piece of advice I could give to my fellow students before I graduate, it’s this:

Always go all out on dress-up days.

Every school year, I’ve spent the majority of my time in boring outfits surrounded by people in similarly boring outfits. It’s a hassle to assemble some over-the-top look in the minutes between rolling out of bed and leaving for class. But I’m a firm believer that our clothes reflect who we are. Although I don’t have the motivation to do it daily, dressing up in crazy outfits on the outside lets me be more free with myself on the inside.

I haven’t always been confident and outgoing. During middle school and even my freshman year, I fit squarely in the definition of “quiet kid.” Dress-up days sparked a slow but definite process of learning to push myself.

There’s nothing wrong with being quiet, but don’t let your quietness diminish your confidence. Going all out on dress-up days helps to build self-assurance. No matter who you are, there’s something incredibly empowering about putting on a stack of five or six hats for Hat Day and walking into school saying, “Yup. This is me and this is my outfit. I’m having fun and no one can stop me.”

If you’re still scared of getting weird looks, here are some tips to deal with judgmental classmates:

1. Turn it around on them. “Where’s YOUR outfit for Beach Day?”

2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Make a joke about why you’re dressed up. If someone tries to take a picture of you, strike a pose.

3. Share the fun. If you’ve got an extra set of green and gold beads for Loyalty Day, let them have it.

When you’re in a peerpressure cooker like high school, it can be easy to feel like having the right lululemon leggings and UGG boots is a social necessity just because everyone else is wearing them. That’s why taking dress-up days as an opportunity to be weird and have fun is so important. It might not be the cutest outfit, but wearing polka dots, stripes, checkers and argyle on Pattern Day or a two-piece pajama set, robe and Ebenezer Scrooge-esque sleeping cap for PJ Day pushes you to be more comfortable with yourself.

Next time spirit week rolls around, don’t hold back!