Gender and fashion

By Grace Helmke 

Our society entirely revolves around judging a person based on how they look. We attempt to discern who this person might be through the things they wear, the style of their hair, or the makeup they put on.

Since the day we are born, we have been taught to think a certain way about these choices in style. If a person wears a dress, then they’re a girl. Men can only wear pants. Only women can wear makeup.

Stereotypes surrounding gender and fashion, that have captivated society for centuries, are shifting. Slowly, generations are breaking the bonds of traditional ideals, questioning what is taught, and making their own rules. 

As we are discovering more and more about gender as a social construct, we are learning about fluidity in the fashion world; an industry that has long been the source of exclusion on all spectrums. In a lot of places, websites and stores are continuing to play into the binary definition of gender.

However, there has recently been a wave of gender fluid, or gender inclusive apparel companies. Runway ready brands like Rich Mnisi, Eckhaus Latta, and Older Brother, lead the pack of designer wear that does not conform to gender norms. They have disregarded the tradition of categorizing by gender, and have placed merchandise under types of clothing (trousers, sweater, blouses, etc…) 

The Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, has also questioned the idea of gender stereotypes through a garment exhibition called “Gender Bending Fashion.” The exhibit discusses gender identity as a spectrum, and explores clothing in history that has challenged what was widely accepted in society. 

This movement of discovering one’s own identity in clothing, and disregarding the norm, is present in the stars. Billy Porter (he/him) is an actor and singer who has defied any and every societal standard. He questions what masculinity and femininity really is through his own self expression.

Porter has captured the attention of many in a number of ensembles. He has graced the red carpet in ball gowns, glistening onesies, and golden winged garb.

Another celebrity who defines his own dress, is Jonathan Van Ness, a gender nonconforming (preferred pronouns are he/him, but is okay with being called she/her or they/them as well) influencer who gained recognition through the Netflix show ‘Queer Eye.’ His signature style revolves around heels, skirts, and a handlebar mustache. He is melding attire traditionally associated with men and women, and creating his own definition of fashion as it relates to his own identity.

Like many issues that are faced in America, and around the world, there is still a lot of progress to be made. But with gender becoming an increasingly talked about topic, stores are beginning
to shift more and more towards gender inclusive branding.

Exhibitions are being created to get it out to the public that clothing is fluid, and there are historical fashion rebels that have defied society in order to be themselves. Figures such as Billy Porter and Johnathan Van Ness are just two of the many leaders who challenge what is considered normal, inspiring others to wear what they love, instead of what is accepted. 

Fast fashion is bad and here’s why

By Anna Hisle

If you’re like me, you love to shop. But do you really take the time to think about where and how that cute American Eagle top was made? While that shirt may be cute, it is being made in sweatshops who hire underpaid workers (sometimes even children) to make hundreds or even thousands of the same clothes.

So, you may be asking yourself what is fast fashion? Fast fashion is cheap trendy clothing.

These clothes are produced quickly while they are still in style and sold to shoppers who snatch them up right away. While these clothes are sold at the height of their popularity, they are quickly discarded once they are no longer in style. Sometimes these clothes are even only worn 1 or 2 times.

Impacts

Fast fashion has a very bad impact on the environment; there is a lot of pressure to speed up production and make costs lower.

Producers also use very cheap and toxic textile dyes. According to “Good On You,” using these cheap dyes makes the fashion industry one of the largest polluters of clean water globally.

According to “Mamoq,” it takes 2.70 liters of water to produce one cotton t-shirt. Now think about how much those t-shirts cost.

Because there is so much clothing being produced, and so quickly, there are overwhelming amounts of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions distributed polluting the air. The microfibres in polyester also shed and contribute to ocean pollution.

Alternatives

Instead of buying clothes from fast fashion brands start buying sustainable clothing, going thrifting, or even just buying from small or local businesses.

By buying from sustainable clothing brands, you are not only helping the environment but you are also not supporting the employment of underpaid workers.

When you buy clothes from small or local businesses, you are supporting the people who are trying to make a name for themselves as well as just helping out a business that is not horrible for the environment.

By thrifting, you are buying people’s used clothes. This means that you are not buying directly from fast fashion brands but from second hand stores.

Sustainable clothing brands VS. fast fashion brands

While you’ve read this article and learned what fast fashion is, you probably still don’t know what brands are sustainable and which are bad for the environment.

Some fast fashion clothing brands include:

  • Forever 21
  • Zara
  • Fashion Nova
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Topshop
  • Gap
  • And many more.

To start shopping sustainable, check out some of these shops:

  • Patagonia
  • TOMS
  • Free People
  • SKIIM
  • Veja
  • And many more.

Reading this article, I hope you thought about your clothes and whether they are sustainable or not.

So, maybe next time, drop the brand name and go for something more sustainable!

Fast fashion

By Charlotte Lane

The fashion industry is one of the most powerful industries ever, and so many people contribute to it everyday: celebrities, designers, and the typical consumer. With such a powerful industry, there is a downside. 

What is fast fashion? 

 An inexpensive trend that produces clothing quickly. 

The fashion industry before the 20th century ran on 4 seasons: fall, winter, spring and summer. Fashion designers used to work for months in advanced before product would come out.

Now, after the Industrial Revolution, the industry has only quickened in pace…and lower in cost.

According to The Good Trade fast fashion basically copies trends at a fast production rate, and are all made out of low quality material. This is all in order to lower prices, and offer inexpensive styles to the public.

Why does fast fashion concern me?

You should care, because of how thin of ice these companies are skating on. For any product to end up in stores at Zara, forever 21, or H&M there are inevitable consequences.

All of these brands easily make billions just by how much product they sell day to day. All this means fast fashion garment workers assemble pieces at extremely low minimum wages.

“Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone, somewhere is paying for it.”

– Lucy Siegle

Not to mention all of these clothes add extreme environmental waste to our planet. Fast fashion brands use hard chemicals, synthetic fabrics and damaging dyes all ending up in water systems in low income countries where these clothes are made. According to the New York Times more than 60% of fabric fibers are now synthetics, derived from fossil fuels. This means that when these clothes end up in a landfill, it will not decay.

There are also micro plastics and micro fibers that will end up in the ocean, and will never be able to be filtered out. Because of these effects of the earth, overall fast fashion is causing climate change.

Another alarming consequence of fast fashion is that it kills people. Yep, kills people!

In April, 2013, in Bangladesh, a factory collapsed and killed over 1,100 people.

The movie True Cost deeper explores this epidemic, exposing the ugly truth of fast fashion.

How can you make a change to fast fashion?

STOP BUYING

You may think not buying any clothes for a long duration is impossible, but really it isn’t. A great challenge to try out is the 333 project, which is where you only have 33 items of clothing for 3 months. The 33 items do include accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.

If this seems unreasonable try altering the rules for yourself, but really the whole point of this is to not buy for 3 months. Learn more about the 333 project here: https://bemorewithless.com/therules/

Instead of not buying, start supporting sustainable fashion brands

Some good ones are:

And last but not least THRIFT

Be conscientious about what you buy, and what you throw away. A true cost will forever remain.

 

Girls fashion trends coming this Winter

By Charlotte Lane

Sweaters have always been a classic in my wardrobe, but this season beiges, whites, tans and cream sweaters are it.

These soft, warm tone colors are perfect to pair with any winter jacket. Thankfully, sweaters are a very versatile clothing item and are super easy to transition from fall to winter. They are also really easy to accessorize. So investing in one now would be in your best interest. 

Surprise surprise, the iconic 80’s plaid blazer look is back! 

Bet you never thought about wearing these anywhere except to an interview but look where we are now…

Plaid blazers are making a comeback and every boss woman should have one in her closet. They can dress up any outfit, and can be paired with jeans or trousers. Not to mention, they are extremely comfortable and forgiving.  

Whether you have a busy day ahead or just wanna look cute, try out wearing a blazer! I guarantee you’ll fall in love.  

This is no surprise but the “lazy look” is here for women. Personally, this is my go to style because it’s so comfortable. 

I’m happy to throw the skinny jean craze away in favor of loose fit, classic jeans. Jeans can be worn on any day of the week with a simple tee shirt or sweater. Definitely expect to get great wear out of these this winter.

Last year’s trend of the jogger is dead but it brought comfy sweats on to the racks. This winter bet on staying warm and comfy in school/the workplace, while still looking “acceptable”.

Chelsea boots have been in for some time now, but I truly think they are going to hit the spotlight this year. These boots are super practical but perfect for any winter outfit. The easy slip on boots will keep your feet warm on long walks and blend in well at school or the workplace.

If the typical Chelsea boot isn’t really your style, you can definitely bet your money on some snakeskin boots. 

Honestly, when the animal print style was booming I wasn’t really in love with it. But these subtle snakeskin boots will make you feel like a million bucks as well as keeping you warm throughout the cold months.

Now get out there! And use this as a foundation and have fun with your fashion.

Where students are buying their prom dresses

Prom is just around the corner, and many students are trying to find the perfect prom dress to wear. I went around asking people where they are thinking of buying their dresses. Of course, some students are planning on ordering their dress and then just getting it tailored if the dress turns out to be a different size.

If you are planning to go to a store, and try out some dresses, here are some of the common places that students are looking at: David’s Bridal, Von Maur, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Raffine Bridal & Formal Wear. There are many more stores out there that sell beautiful dresses, but the ones listed are the most commonly mentioned.

For online shoppers, some students suggest: Fashion Nova, TOBI, Lulus, and Ericdress. There are many more shops online, and the ones mentioned earlier also do have websites if you would rather purchase online.

Students are also roaming around the Mall of America, and Rosedale Shopping Center for dresses.

Here are some students comments on buying prom dresses!

Elizabeth Vang: I actually already bought mine. I ordered mine from Fashion Nova. Overall, it fit me well but it was a bit longer and since I’m really short; I’m just planning to tailor it. But yea, the dress fit perfectly and I’m not stressing over a prom dress because I bought mine early!

Julissa Martinez: I haven’t bought a dress yet but I have been looking for one. I checked out some of the stores already and there were many that I really liked but I couldn’t make a decision on which one I like best so I’m just still looking around. Macy’s had some really pretty dresses.

Ava Courneya: I haven’t actually looked for a dress yet but I have heard about all those stores mentioned earlier. For me, I prefer to buy a dress at a store so I can try on the dress physically, but since so many of my friends are ordering their dresses online, I might just try that this year.

Hopefully, students who are still trying to find the perfect prom dress are able to find the one they’re looking for. Prom is an exciting part of a high schooler’s life, so hopefully all the dresses they choose to buy turn out perfect!

The history of Supreme

Supreme. The now famous store started out as a small skate shop in 1994. It was opened by an American born, English raised, 30-year-old fashion enthusiast James Jebbia. The first Supreme store opened on Lafayette St. in SoHo and there are now 11 stores worldwide: two in New York, one in Los Angeles, one in London, one in Paris, three in Tokyo, one in Osaka, one in Nagoya, and one in Fukuoka.

If you don’t already know what Supreme is, it’s a clothing brand that sells their clothes in limited quantities, at relatively cheap prices, that then resell for massive amounts. This large resale prices increase the hype around the brand, and it just keeps growing.

In the beginning, the Supreme store sold skate gear such as decks, trucks, wheels and other skate brand clothing, along with a few of their own signature tees. In 1995, Supreme released its now famous box logo t-shirt consisting of the word “Supreme” printed inside a red box, on a white t-shirt, in Futura font. Over time, Supreme stopped selling other brands in their stores, and on their website, to make room for their own products which were rapidly increasing in popularity.

There have been several big events in Supreme history, such as when they were sued by artist Barbara Kruger because of the extreme similarities between the logo and her artwork. Supreme also received a cease and desist from French fashion house Louis Vuitton for selling fake Louis Vuitton print Supreme shirts. Another memorable moment was when Supreme and Louis Vuitton worked together to make a collection that included pieces that are now selling for thousands of dollars.

A huge part of Supreme is their high profile collaborations with other brands. Over the past twenty years, they have worked with a number of other high profile brands such as: Nike, Louis Vuitton, BAPE, The North Face, Vans, DC Shoes, Timberland, Oakley, Playboy, Budweiser, Brooks Brothers, and Rolex. Supreme has also collaborated with more niche brands such as Anti-Hero.

Supreme is also known for working with artists such as KAWS, and Nuptse, who designed the extremely popular “By Any Means Necessary” collection.

Another Supreme classic is their photo tees in which they take a photo of a celebrity in their famous box logo shirt and put that photograph on a shirt. Nas, Gucci Mane and Kate Moss have all done this.

Finally, Supreme wouldn’t be Supreme without their accessories. The accessories range from the practical to the ridiculous. Some of the more practical accessories are the: Supreme Zippo, the blanket, the towel and the tools such as the ax and crowbar. There are some expensive and ridiculous Supreme accessories though, such as: the motorcycle, the tent, the guitar, and the pinball machine.

Last year Supreme famously sold a brick that resold for hundreds of dollars and made many wonder why. The only answer to that was because it was a brick made by Supreme.

How to put on a full face

When preparing your face for your next make up look, the first thing that needs to be done is to start on a clean face. Remove any makeup, cleanse your face, and make sure you prime your face as well; primer is really great at enhancing makeup and making it last longer.

Next, add on foundation. Make sure it’s the right color that matches your skin tone, more so your neck. You could apply foundation with a beauty blender, or a brush, making sure to pat it on, not dragging it.

After the foundation, you want to apply concealer. The purpose of concealer is to brighten and conceal (covering up any dark marks or scars). Apply concealer underneath your eyes, on your forehead, and also on your chin. Concealer is suppose to blend in with your foundation.

Next, you want to do your eyebrows. Fill them in and shape it to your liking with a brow pencil or powder. Set your eyebrows with a jel.

You want to set your face next. If you want long lasting, crease free makeup, set your face with a translucent powder, or a powder that matches your skin tone. It’s better to use a brush to apply your powder.

These next things are pretty optional:

Get some lotion, before they start roasting

Winter is now approaching, weather is changing, and skin is getting dry. Walking outside is a constant struggle for people with sensative skin. As the weather temperature drops, the water in your skin starts to evaporat, and this leaves your skin feeling dry and tight, giving your skin a white flaky look.

Although having dry skin can be a hasssle, there are ways around having it and giving you that sensation of smooth skin again. If you are dealing with dry skin, bring moisturizing lotion to school. Some lotions that will keep your skin moisturized during the day include brands such as: Palmers Cocoa Butter, Tree Hut Cocoanut Lime Shea Body Butter, and Cetaphil Moistirizing Cream. These brands are great for hydrating and shining your skin. If you have dry lips try Carmex; it always does the job.

Never be embarrassed for having dry skin or asking someone for lotion – everyone deals with dry skin during the winter. Being in Minnesota, a very cold climate does not make things easy for anyone. To find reasonably priced moisturizers you can go to your local Dollar Tree, Walgreens, Cub Foods, and Bath and Body Works. They have great deals and more for your bank.

Let’s start off to a good winter feeling moisturized and soft.

Morphe grand opening

Morphe (a brand of makeup) just had its biggest in-store launch at the Mall of America on Nov. 3rd. To celebrate the grand opening, makeup artist and beauty blogger, James Charles, made an appearance at the ribbon cutting, and also announced his first collaboration with the beauty brand.

There was also a meet and greet, on a first come first serve basis, and only the first 250 people received a wristband allowing them to join the festivities.

Some of the festivities included getting autographs, taking pictures with Charles, and getting some makeup advice from him.

The store in the Mall of America is the first brick and mortar mall store for Morphe. They started as an online company, and had one stand alone location in California. So the opening of this store was kind of a big deal.

Charles, is well known as the first male cover model, and he has used that fame to start a Youtube channel with over 5 million subscribers. He is known for his makeup tips and tutorials.

 

Halloween tips

Halloween is one of the more spooky days of the year, but do you want to know what the real threat during Halloween is? It’s not ghosts or killer clowns, it’s being unsafe. 

It’s believed that Halloween started as a Celtic holiday with pagan origins. People believed that on one night of the year, the veil between the spirit world and our’s lifted, allowing spirits to visit us. People would leave food and drink offerings, and would wear masks so the ghouls would believe that they were also a spirit. It was also believed that deceased family members would come and visit their family.

But now that you know a little bit about the history, you should also know that safety on Halloween isn’t just for little kids. So, here are some ways you can be safe on Halloween.

Crime rates spike up on three holidays; New Year’s Eve, Independence Day, and Halloween. In Boston and Canada, they had a 50% increase in crime on October 31st. Drinking rates don’t go up during Halloween, definitely not as much as on Saint Patrick’s Day, but even then don’t go out late at night in all black.

That being said, make sure you don’t get distracted while driving if you plan on going out on Halloween. Most kids are instructed to wear reflective gear, but you never know. Just follow basic safe driving tips like don’t text and drive, and don’t get distracted in general.

Also, if you’re getting candy, make sure it’s safe for you to eat. Especially, make sure it’s free of any allergens that you might want to be aware of.

If you’re wearing a costume, make sure you can see clearly, that you can breathe, and that you won’t overheat easily.

If you’re going to a haunted house, make sure you don’t assault the workers, or ruin the decorations. If you’re a jumpy person, and you think if someone jumps out at you that you’ll bop them right in the nose, maybe don’t go to a haunted house. Don’t even punch a worker or break the spooky decorations just for fun.

Lastly, know your limits. Don’t do anything if it makes you too scared. It’s totally okay to stay inside during the night of Hallow’s Eve, and not do anything remotely spooky.

But the most important thing is to have fun. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing if you’re not having fun.

Have a fun Halloween!