Star-Bulletin Features

Monday, September 24, 2001

Windward Mall Teen Board members Chelsea Kojima, left,
and Kristy Romero, model campus-ready clothing from
Sears. Kojima, a senior at Moanalua High, wears a
cropped top ($19.50), and jeans ($48) with an
American flag belt ($29.99). Romero, a freshman
at Kamehameha, wears a sassy T-shirt ($18)
and long sweater ($27).

Students bring
personal style to
campus, and uniforms

Find style in glitter, a lot of
denim and a little attitude

By Rachel Gibson
Special to the Star-Bulletin

For years I have had an insatiable addiction for which there is no known cure. I am hopelessly addicted to fashion, and now that school's back in session, all around me I see classmates indulging in some seriously sassy trends.

Glitz, studs and sparkles appear on every item of clothing imaginable, and glitter seems to be appropriate for any occasion. I love glitter jeans that can be worn anywhere, day or night. Pleated, plaid skirts reveal legs, and attitude and rock glamour has invaded every facet of fashion from jewelry to T-shirts. In-your-face sayings make simple T's edgy. Denim, a traditional favorite, has morphed into a huge fashion statement with a variety of styles dominating almost every store.

Chelsea Kojima, left, and Kristy Romero are ready
for their closeups in graffiti and camouflage designs
from Jeans Warehouse. Their T-shirts are $9.99.
Kristy's shorts are $14.99 and her bag is $13.99.
Chelsea's skirt is $39.99.

However, school dress codes often make dressing for school difficult, and many schools are switching over to uniforms.

So what is a person with style to do? Get creative! Bottom line is that schools want you to dress appropriately, so save the cleavage-revealing halter for the weekend, and if you absolutely have to wear it to school, throw on a cute cardigan or denim jacket.

There are plenty of ways to stretch clothing guidelines without forcing school officials to make even more rules. If you have to wear uniforms, accessories take on new importance in your wardrobe. Jewelry, shoes and even book bags offer plenty of style options.

Kiyomi Gibson, an Iolani School senior, rushes
to class in denim shorts and striped rugby top.

But don't push school authorities too far, lest they find one more thing, like ultra-low-rider jeans, to ban.

Fashion can be an expensive habit, especially when you're a student, so how does one afford it? I, for one, have gotten a part-time job. It can be difficult to juggle work with school, family and friends, but for me it's worth it. There are other, less drastic alternatives. When you shop, stick to the basics. Get a simple silhouette, then splurge on fun accessories, like thick, studded belts or long sweater jackets that fall at your knees.

I'm still able to wear clothes I got in eighth grade, although maybe I shouldn't admit to that. Solid colors and a good pair of jeans are essential. It's common sense, but I'd like to reiterate the importance of waiting for sales and shopping wisely.

Windward Mall Teen Board member Venus Lee,
a junior at Punahou, shows a denim jacket ($48),
denim skirt ($38) and tank top ($18.50) from
The Gap. Denim is everywhere this fall.

Go shopping with people you know will be honest with you, and don't blindly trust salespeople. My mom is my favorite shopping buddy. Unlike some of my kind-hearted friends, my mother will be brutally blunt about clothes and how they look on me, quickly pointing out if they're too wild, too revealing or too expensive, and in the end I can usually get her to split the cost with me.

I have always looked at fashion as a form of self-expression. Unfortunately, many people judge others solely on how they look. If you are able to convey a little of who you are through the way you dress, you can combat stereotypes. Trends are fun but individuality is sublime. Make your own style and start your own trends. Use what you see in stores and catalogs as inspiration, and create your own look. Be comfortable in what you wear, and stay unique!

Rachel Gibson is a senior at Iolani School.

Our reporter Rachel Gibson wears her own
Pucci-inspired skirt and rose-sequinned T-shirt,
red leather rock 'n' roll belt and wedge platforms
to class at Iolani.

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