Where Stuff Meets Style


Walking through the halls of any ordinary high school, anyone would be able to decipher the different styles and ways that teens express themselves. Some may express themselves through their clothing, some through their jewelry, and others through different accessories that make them stand out from every other high school student. What many do not realize is the industry that allows for teens to express themselves is the illustrious fashion industry. Although some may think that they have nothing to do with the hottest styles, and newest looks, the fashion world is something that surrounds us every single day.

For example, we see the so-called “stylish” girls in the corner covered from head to toe in the newest and most expensive brand named clothing, these girls live in a world of competition, at constant battle to see who can look the most fashionable, and dress the most similar to what they see in their favorite fashion magazines or on television. On the other hand, there are girls who could care less about fashion— or think that they don’t care about fashion. Dressed in a baggy sweater, juicy sweatpants, and Ugg boot, some people might say that these girls look like slobs, or just rolled out of bed.

However, what is not visible in the lazy and “slob-like” look of this style is the amount of fashion history that each of those items have. Take the juicy sweatpants for example; baggy velvet sweatpants that look like anything you can buy in basic department store. Now, what people don’t notice is that in the Middle Ages, wearing velvet was a sign of having a highborn status and living an opulent lifestyle. As time went on, velvet became a fashion icon in women’s clothing. It showed up on runways, magazines, and even expanding its horizons into the furniture industry.

In the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada,” Miranda Priestly, a very serious and well-known woman running Runway Magazine, scoffs at one of her employees as she refers to clothing as “stuff.” While describing to her the history of a simple blue sweater that the employee is wearing, she says “it is sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of ‘stuff’.”

So, while these so-called “slobs” think that what they are wearing is in no way fashionable or stylish, it is true that in the early 2000’s, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander Wang, Tory Burch, and Christopher Kane all featured velvet in their collections at New York Fashion Week. Then, in 2009, Fendi had a velvet collection. Today, velvet is one of the most innovative and trendy fabrics used in almost all clothing articles such as skirts, dresses, jackets, pants, and shoes. So next time you’re looking through a pile of “stuff,” just remember that any lousy article of clothing could embody the traits of a fashion icon, shown in famous designers collections, and worn around the world for many years.