How do middle school students express themselves through their clothing?


Kenza Kharbouch

This is the style of four WMS students

Kenza Kharbouch, Fall Author

Many people believe the clothing they wear creates an identity. A majority of people also think that they should wear clothes that people will compliment them for wearing, even though they might not feel comfortable in it. What do WMS students think about this?

Four students stated that they like to wear clothes like sweatshirts, sweatpants, and big tees from stores such as Forever 21, Aeropostale, Hollister, and Pink. Stores like the ones that are listed are highly known stores for teenagers to shop at. These clothes create identities for the four students, but do they create similar or different identities? Emily Joe, a seventh grade student at WMS, said, “I wouldn’t care if someone criticized what I wear. I’ll wear what I want to wear.” Haily Stetson and Kylie Rackett, two seventh graders, sided with Joe. “I wouldn’t really care,” they both agreed. However, Jessica Malltell spoke differently. Malltell replied that she would be sad if someone criticized her clothing. 

The students were also asked if they would wear clothes that looked cute, but didn’t feel like their own style, to school, or if they would change back into the clothes that they would usually wear. Stetson answered that she would change back into a sweatshirt and leggings, and Joe said, “If it’s a party or special event, then I would wear the outfit, but if it’s just to school then I would wear what I normally wear.” Malltell responded that she might wear the outfit, and Rackett stated that she also would probably wear it. 

An important question that had been asked was, “Has there ever been a day where you felt embarrassed to wear what you like?” People feel embarrassed to wear what they like because of the environment around them. Many people dress to impress other people and not themselves. Malltell responded to this question with a “yes”, and the place that she felt embarrassed to wear her usual clothes to was our school. Rackett also answered “yes” to the question. The place that she was going to that day was a party. Joe replied “yes” too. She was going to the mall that afternoon and she was embarrassed to wear baggy sweatpants. Although, Stetson was the one person with a “no” to this question.

Now, to answer the question asked in the title, 75% of the people  interviewed aren’t confident in expressing themselves because of the way that people will treat them if they do. A majority of people that took the survey on this topic replied with most of the same answer. Strangely, the anonymous poll suggested that most of them replied that they have never felt embarrassed or not confident about wearing what they feel makes them themselves.