ANERI, SHE / HER
Growing up as a first generation American, oldest to two immigrants, everything that I wear or do with my physical appearance comes under direct scrutiny of my parents and extended family. I am held to a fairly high standard of modesty, which is what I think encourages me to dress differently.
Allowing myself the freedom of self expression has not only improved my relationship with myself and my culture, but it has helped me to appreciate the nuances of fashion. Growing up with a strict standard of dress, the little things I could do to “rebel” were huge for me, and that has definitely translated into the way I dress now. I wear the same nose ring, necklace, and six rings every single day. The small details have become a part of my personal identity.
For my first look, I was inspired by my mom and the way that I used to dress. I kept it as simple as possible because I used to be under the impression that your clothes should never be loud, or too much. I was trying to blend into the background.
Look 2 is me. It has individuality and structure, but isn't too overwhelming. I love pairing unlikely fabrics together, like a check with mesh. I like a pop of color, since most of my wardrobe is full of neutral or muted colors. I also wear white sneakers with EVERYTHING. I wear them with short dresses, dress pants, sweats, jeans, skirts, anything you can think of. With this look I was trying to be as close to my personal style without over-styling. I wanted it to be fun and fashionable without mashing too many trends together.
It's the ability to express what my clothing means to me, and what I think others might perceive of me or my style. It is also an important conversation, because clothing is something we wear every day, and whether or not we like it, everything we wear has an impact on what other people think of us and how they decide to treat us.
I would say that styling is my main and most important form of self-expression. Wearing your personality on your body is such a powerful and fun way to make an impression.
I usually start with a specific piece I really want to wear, and then I build an outfit around it. I usually grab a pair of statement pants and add complementary pieces that don’t take away from the statement piece.
I learned what goes into my own styling process. I have never sat down and considered why I pair things, or what an outfit means to me or how I would perceive someone dressed like me. It was a super fun, and an introspective experience looking into something that I tend to not think about as anything other than natural instinct.
I think that clothing is so powerful as a personal statement. I truly believe that everything you put on your body has the opportunity to be a statement. I love wearing something that makes me feel good, but my favorite outfits are the ones that send a message, whether that be one of protest, or a personal reflection.