Student Fashion: Inspiration and Individuality at Minnetonka High School


Sophie Moore, Staff Writer

Walking the halls of Minnetonka High School, it does not take long to spot a student or teacher rocking trendy new styles, popular street fashion brands like Supreme or Thrasher, or vintage finds from a thrift shop. In light of the recent closing of the annual Milan Fashion Week, now is a timely opportunity to explore the individual styles of students at Minnetonka High School.

Both Minnetonka students and teachers seem to agree that what a person wears has a significant impact on how they are viewed by others.

Qian Yongju, an online fashion merchandiser based in Shanghai, believes that “fashion represents the inner part of each individual. […Someone] can tell whether an individual is formal or informal, liberal or conservative.”

Lucia Hill, ‘20, also agrees that “the first impression you give someone is [usually] based on how you look.”

Despite the fact that clothes play a large part in the first impressions that people give their peers, students also unanimously agree that confidence and individuality are equally important.

As Lucia, ‘20 states, “I like what I wear and I wear what I like […] so no matter what clothes I’ve picked out, I’m wearing [something] I feel comfortable in.” Anna Sagrillo, ‘20, also argues that an outfit should bring satisfaction to the wearer and not just others.

“I always hope my peers will appreciate my outfit, but I always try to wear something for myself, not for classmates,” she said.

While designers–such as Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and Moschino–at the world-renowned Milan Fashion Week draw inspiration from profound themes in life such as love and innocence,  Minnetonka students tend to take inspiration from much humbler, albeit influential, sources.

As Kyli Nault, ‘20, notes, “I get my style inspiration by seeing what other people are wearing around me.”

Many other students also get inspiration from influencers in the media and beauty industry. Noelle van Wagenen, ‘20, says she finds inspiration in “fashion bloggers on Instagram and in fashion magazines.”

Celebrities can also be a source of style inspiration. Bella Tabor, ‘20, laughs, “I get my inspiration from Rihanna. Who doesn’t get their inspiration from Rihanna?” Tabor also considers casually cosplaying (the practice of dressing up as characters from movies, television shows, or video games) one of her favorite “styles”.

Other students’ fashion is inspired by “YouTubers, musicals, movies and anime”. It seems that in the age of social media and the Internet, sources of inspiration have grown significantly.

Lastly, many would agree that one of the biggest worries of a typical high school student is how they are perceived by others. The teenage years can be an insecure time for many people, as students grow as both learners and human beings. The medium of fashion can play a big part in how teens express themselves to their peers and how their peers perceive them.

Many students would relate to Chelsea, ‘20, who says, “ [My outfits] convey […]  things I enjoy to other people… If someone recognizes the character my outfit is inspired by, [that creates something] that we have in common, [which] makes starting conversations a lot easier and less nerve wracking.”

In the end, all students were in agreement that embracing individuality, regardless of what they or their peers choose to wear, is crucial to creating an environment that everyone can feel comfortable in.