One of my favorite things to do is shopping, for clothes especially. I use my clothing and accessories to express who I am. My style is very fun and bright, and I like it to resemble happiness and light. I LOVE to thrift almost 90% of my clothes because one, it’s cheaper than buying the clothes at full price, and two, it’s better for the environment. My mom and I can thrift for an entire day and not get tired of it. She is the one person that actually enjoys thrifting just as much as I do. When the pandemic hit and everything shut down, I actually continued my thrift trips online instead of in person, but it was not the same. I actually got a job at Goodwill near my house, so I can see all the interesting items that come in. I was a textiles sorter, which basically is the person who sorts the clothes that are donated. Many people thought it was disgusting, but I honestly did not mind it at all… even though people did donate weird items! Every time I would pick up a piece I try to imagine who the person was that wore it and what their story was. I would find a nice navy suit and imagine a young man wearing this to his senior prom. I would hold up a little Disney Frozen dress and imagine a little girl playing with her Barbies in it. I would see worn shoes and feel happy that people got good use out of them. One time I found a love letter in cargo shorts. I thought to myself, why would anyone throw a letter like this away? I remember only a few things about it. I remember it was written by a woman to her boyfriend and I believe she was apologizing for a fight they had. By just reading that I imagined the man reading it and was probably already mentally done with the relationship that he didn’t even care to read her apology and that is how it ended up in my hands at Goodwill. There is so much more to a piece of clothing if you really think about it. That item made someone feel good. They made so many memories in it that they will remember forever. That is how I feel about mine. I have to get rid of a lot of my clothes in order to get new ones, but that is very hard for me. I look at a shirt and remember all the memories I made in it. Memories like my first day of high school driving with my brother. I remember the shorts I wore to my first football game ever and how someone spilled their soda on them in less than 20 minutes of me being there. The swimsuit I was wearing when a bird pooped on my shoulder. Yes, it really did. The hat I bought in the Ron Jon Surf Shop in Clearwater, Florida. The red ruffle shirt I wore when I had my first kiss still hangs in my closet. I look at my sparkly silver heels and remember winning prom queen. I look at the tight yellow dress and remember the feeling I got walking across the stage at graduation. I still have the black dance pants that I wore when I first got my period! Like how can I get rid of them? They all mean so much to me because of the memories held within them. I never realized how clothing can play a big part of my life. But they do. I remember when I first started to realize my love for clothes. I made a “fashion” Pinterest board on my iPad mini in 5th grade. I saw all these cute outfits like the low-waisted Hollister jean shorts and the cheesy sayings on t-shirts. The glittery shirts and the cold shoulder tops. I remember asking my mom for these metallic-embellished boots I saw Miley Cyrus wearing. By that time I was dressed in Justice from head to toe because I thought that was the cutest style. Then I got to middle school and all the girls my age were wearing PINK stuff, so I ditched the Justice style and asked my mom if we could go to the mall to get what the other girls wore. Of course, my sweet mother took me, but still, I didn’t really like it that much. I always went back to my favorite store… the thrift store. It was easy for me to get rid of my PINK clothes because I honestly only wore them because everyone else was, but it didn’t really feel like me. I also like to visit umisoul shop, to buy some clothes accessories. High school is when I really started to use my clothes to express myself. I started dressing for myself and not other people. I wore my hair how I wanted to, and I wore the clothes I felt good in even though I probably got some weird looks here and there. At first, they did bother me, but I liked my clothes because they were different from everyone else’s. Then the pandemic hit and I had all this time to really discover my style. I know that if I went back to school now, I would look so different then how I looked before quarantine. I actually love my style even more than I did. I realized I love the Bohemian style with loose everything. Fun patterns and long skirts. Bright colors and fun pants. I just love everything about it. The clothes  and I wear make me so happy and I hope my fun outfits make other people happy too.


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