Fashion expresses student and staff creativity

Individuality marks style that stands out at school


Photo by Maria Flores

Bold leather pants and shirt make up the kind of iconic outfit that senior Maria Flores tends to wear. She said she often starts with the pants when putting pieces together to create a unique look.

Jalynn Charity, Managing Editor

Walking through the halls at Roosevelt you see many distinct styles and aesthetics, some that you think are cute or stylish and some not so much. But how do the students at Roosevelt express themselves and how do they show their uniqueness in their fashion? How do they use their creativity? 

Senior Maria Flores said fashion means a lot of different things to her, but most importantly fashion “is about identity,” she said. “It’s how we look, how we represent us.” 

Freshmen Camille McDowell agreed with Flores. “I don’t see myself dressing like everyone else,” she said. “My style is me; I have a whole bunch of styles.”

Showing her fashion and style outside of school, freshman Camille McDowell has on a favorite outfit. She said she likes to wear bright colors.

McDowell dresses for herself and not to conform to the standard. She also gets inspiration from Tik Tok and Pinterest. Her Brazilian culture also comes into play when it comes to deciding what to wear every day.  

“Brazilians usually wear a lot of bright colors and patterns,” said McDowell, who can be seen incorporating fun colors like red into her own personal style.  

Junior Brian Anderson said he also incorporates staples from his neighborhood and the ‘D.C. style’ into his everyday look. What is D.C. style to Anderson? “New Balances. They’re comfortable and they look good,” he said. 

Anderson has taken inspiration and influence from his environment and brought a new spin with his own style. Fashion staples in our culture and community help us connect with those around us. These staples are seen in our school with versatile pieces like New Balances, bubble coats, and Yeezys that never seem to go out of style.

You may see hoodies made by Kanye Cheeks worn around school by other students like Junior Brian Anderson.

But not all trends are liked by everyone. “For me I don’t like big pants. Everything got to be fitted,” junior Kanye Cheeks said. 

 Cheeks says that it is okay for other people to wear them if they would like but it does not fit his personal style. So, it is important to choose your clothes wisely. For some people making those choices is a struggle. 

 “Everything aint meant for everybody. So, it’s okay for them not to like how I rock what I rock, but it looks good on me,” Assistant Principal Tawana Alston said. 

Alston said her style comes from the family and culture she grew up in. The powerful Black women who surrounded her taught her the importance of dressing for yourself, being confident, and how to put together a chic outfit.  

Alston chooses her outfits carefully “You know a Monday, I try to pick it out at night because there’s a whole process if I wait in the morning,” she said. “I just try to go for how I feel for that day.”

A simple cute outfit often looks effortless. Her upbringing in New York and her family inspired AP Alston in her fashion choices. 

Alston said she creates her outfits surrounding the day she will have since an interview may require a different outfit than if she were going out with her friends. If her day requires her to dress formally, she may wear a skirt, or if she is going on a field trip she may try to dress more comfortably and wear leggings.  

The fashionable senior, Flores, has a different process to creating her outfits “It’s a big struggle for me. Because sometimes I want to be like ‘Oh, I like these glasses.’ So, I’m going to be like, ‘What can combine with glasses,’” Flores said. 

Flores chooses her outfits based on specific pieces, usually pants, and then builds around them. This creative process helps her create her outfits seamlessly. It also ensures that every single outfit she chooses will be unique and interesting. 

For Flores this is part of the appeal of dressing nicely. “It’s not beauty… it’s a surprise. I like to surprise every time I choose my clothes. I’ll be like, oh, you think they will like my outfit? Or nah?”  

To her, the excitement of choosing your clothes every day, looking into your closet and producing new outfit combinations that nobody else has seen before, is the joy of fashion.  

According to Flores, fashion expression is not about beauty or showing how much money you have. It’s about showing your uniqueness. Style does not have to be expensive. Fashion is not just about showing how much money you have, it is about styling to show your originality. 

“It’s my uniqueness, it’s my creativity. It sets me apart from somebody else,” AP Alston agreed with the students about what makes fashion fun and an interesting pursuit. These stylish students represent some of the fashion at Roosevelt. Next time you walk by someone, take a look at their outfit, and compliment them!