How to discover a sense of style


Yohanes Goodell

Katherine models her grandmother’s shirt, a silk corset style off-shoulder top from Etsy, braided belt from Etsy and slacks/hat from Goodwill in Ellensburg. Shoes are reflective gold boots from Old Skool’s record store on Main. Photo shot in front of McConnell Hall.

Katherine Camarata, Columnist

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  • Katherine Camarata wears a mirrored dress with one-of-a-kind chandelier cowboy hat and Sand-colored Doc Martens.

  • Katherine models her grandmother’s shirt, a silk corset style off-shoulder top from Etsy, braided belt from Etsy and slacks/hat from Goodwill in Ellensburg. Shoes are reflective gold boots from Old Skool’s record store on Main. Photo shot in front of McConnell Hall.

  • Katherine Camarata looks upon the heavens as they shine down upon them.

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Trying to establish your own personal sense of style is not an experience so easily pinned down in words, because in my eyes, it comes more from a feeling. An affinity toward one color or another, one texture over another, one silhouette over another, stemming from some innate inclination whose origins may never be traceable. 

It’s all subjective; no matter if something is trending or out-of-style, whether something appears as beautiful to an individual is such a unique experience. Suffice it to say, there is no true definition of what can be considered beautiful. 

So if you want to wear colors or patterns that clash, I say, why not? You are the only one who is seeing what you’re seeing right now, so honor that inner sense. That’s how you’ll find yourself styling unique outfits where people can look at you and know this is something you would be wearing.

Style is a great way to create an image for a project, particularly in performing arts. We all have aspects of ourselves we keep more private from the world, and in this vein, living every day life may feel like somewhat of a performance, striving to maintain whatever status quo needed to fit into society. That doesn’t mean the performance has to be boring. 

Wear electric green chaps with gold gogo boots and a cowboy hat with a third eye if you want to and the occasion calls for it (and even if it doesn’t, critically examine these parameters.) Nobody is stopping you from living out your style fantasies. 

Be lofty with your visions. Pair the unexpected. Mix gold with silver with bronze jewelry if that calls to you. Wear a crystal crown to the grocery store. Wear a ball gown to Taco Bell in a Micarah Tewers-esque fashion. Show a lot of skin, or wear clothes from head to toe. Maybe you’ll get a few extra looks, but it’s usually a conversation starter to wear a strange statement piece. It attracts a vibrant energy to you.

If you want to be a gender bender, shop in the men’s section if you’re a woman (or vice versa.) Some of my favorite clothes come from my dad’s closet or the men’s department. Don’t let the confines of labels stop you from exploring your expression! 

If you like straying off the trampled path but are afraid of being your fullest self, I encourage you to let go and allow yourself to be weird. Indulge yourself in your own brand of oddity. Be somebody that’s wholly you, by showing yourself love and support when you have out-there ideas and dreams. It doesn’t matter if people don’t understand it or appreciate it. There may be people who think you look awful in your favorite outfit. Let them have their taste without losing your own! 

Your sense of style is just as valid as anybody else’s, and if you’re acting from creativity, there will be an element of pushing boundaries in a way that won’t be palatable to every old body. If an outfit is polarizing, that means it inspires emotion, and feeling emotion is one of the most beautiful aspects of being human. 

Fashion is an art like any other and can be used to make political and social statements. It can be sourced with ethics in mind through buying second hand or upcycling. How we choose to consume is a statement in itself, and this extends to how we dress ourselves. 

Many of my favorite items I have purchased from various thrift or consignment stores. Buying vintage or handmade items on Etsy, Depop or Ebay is another route if you want to invest a little money and find exactly what you’re looking for with the click of a button. 

Evolve Clothing & Jewelry on Pearl St. and Old Skool’s on Main St. are some stylin’ local picks. Habitat for Humanity stores, Value Village and yard sales occasionally offer clothing items. You’ll likely want to leave Ellensburg for the best thrift pickings. I have found lovely items in thrift stores on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Finding that stand-out item that you never expected to see is the paramount thrill of the thrifting experience. 

Avoid fast fashion when you can. Sometimes you can find brands like Forever 21 or Shein in thrift stores new with tags, so stay wary if that’s something that interests you but you don’t want to support those businesses directly.

Don’t ever be down on yourself for being extra when it comes to aesthetics. Be extra with a side of extra extra! Or tone it down and go full minimal or monochrome with varying shades. If you want more dimension, contrast colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, like blue and orange. If you’re Morgana, our color blind news editor, disregard this comment. 

Steps for styling a fresh fit:

Start by choosing one statement piece with an intriguing color, material or pattern to center your outfit around. Choose other layering pieces around, over and under it. Then add another accent color or two that contrast well- black and white work for this in contrast with bright colors. 

Match different elements of the outfit in multiple areas. For example, my Doc Martens have a gold-ish hue to them, so I might wear a gold top. Then I might wear black everywhere else!

Don’t be afraid to accessorize! Stack those bracelets. Slather on those necklaces. Wear that scarf! Throw on that hat and tip it to your friends. Don’t forget a pair of sunglasses that match some accent color within your outfit already. Cheers!