Finding Your Style Here’s the thing about having style: It’s all about you! Fashion is often misconceived just to be following current trends, but in reality, it is just self-expression. Wear what you feel good wearing. Becoming more confident in your wardrobe is recognizing that style is opinion based, and the only opinion that matters is your own. Quarantine may not have been what we had all been looking for in 2020, but it certainly helped us have a better sense of individuality. Along with this individuality comes a need to be a bit bolder and break out of your comfort zone. Participating in having your own sense of style and paying attention to trends in current pop culture is a great way to express your personal image and interests.
I love clothes! Some of my recent favorite stores to shop at have been ZARA, H&M, Pacsun, ASOS, and a bit of thrifting thrown in there. Finding affordable clothing has definitely made the style hunt a bit more complicated, but sales are a lifesaver! Looking in clearance sections and receiving emails from stores informing you about upcoming sales are a great way to save money.
Remember that it is okay to change up your style. I have changed mine many times. Try out a bunch of outfits and see what you feel most confident in, and start to explore that style gradually. A common issue that you may run into is feeling like you do not currently have the clothes that complement this new style you have discovered, but do not panic. You may have more than you think and now just have to pair things together in a way that fits into this style. Some current popular style categories are indie, streetwear, preppy, bohemian, casual, and many other subcategories. One of the best ways to figure out what you like is to visualize it. Using apps like Pinterest helps you to organize images of outfits into different folders or “boards.”
Style is never something to stress over. You know yourself better than anyone else does. Don’t doubt what you feel best in because you dress for you, not anyone else. Be open to new interests and suggestions, and go from there. Be you and have fun!
Madigan Wirkus '23
On Fast Fashion I think it’s good for parents to make teenagers buy their own clothes. Even if parents pay for the phone bill, the car, or everything else, allowing kids to save up to buy their own clothes is a good way to teach them the value of their dollar and good ways to spend it, which is an important life skill.
As a teenager whose parents make them buy most of their own clothes, I often look for the cheapest alternatives; I’m always looking to buy as many cute clothes for as little as possible. So when I happened upon a little website called Romwe when I was 14, I thought my prayers had been answered. One dollar crop tops; two dollar pants. I could buy a whole new wardrobe for under twenty five dollars! It’s too good to be true!
But that’s just the issue with fast fashion websites like Romwe; they draw you in with the cheap prices and cute clothes that make you forget about all of the problems they cause. But don’t worry; we’re here to remind you.
Shopping at fast fashion stores (Romwe, Shein, Zaful, or Forever 21) is just outright bad, ethically and environmentally. And many of us have committed the sin of shopping at these places before; however, it’s important to remember that no one person is responsible for the landslide of issues that have concurred and shaming people for shopping there won’t do anything.
With that being said, here are the two biggest reasons why you should avoid shopping at fast fashion stores at all costs:
1. Overconsumption The cheap nature of clothes at fast fashion websites merely contribute to the well-known problem of overconsumption which has become a major issue in the past decade. Seeing a shirt for $2 might make you want to buy 20 of them—twenty shirts that you would likely never even wear. This is known as overconsumption, which is consuming something to excess. But overconsumption raises a number of environmental concerns and contributes to climate change; it leads to more clothes being made, which increase factory pollution, as well as raising concerns for water supply, biodiversity, and the atmosphere. Overconsumption is never okay from any store; however, it’s extremely easy to do it when buying dresses for $3.
2. Ethical concerns You’ve been waiting for your Shein order for almost a month; the day comes around that it’s supposed to arrive and, sure enough, a large box is brought to your doorstep. Excited to try everything on, you’re extremely disappointed to find the low-quality fabric and horrifying stitching that makes the shirt look like it’s already been worn. Alas, it has not already been worn; rather, this is a direct result of the cheap labor used to make these clothes. Websites like SheIn and Romwe are notorious for using child labor and sweatshops with horrifically unsafe working conditions, contributing favorably to the 168 million children engaging in child labor. Even adult workers are grossly underpaid.
I know that fast fashion stores can be tempting; from time to time, I take looks on the Forever 21 or SheIn website and am far too close to grabbing my credit card and placing an order. But then I remember there are far more eco-friendly, ethical ways to obtain cute clothes; I personally have taken a love for thrifting at Goodwill and Savers. I’ve also seen numerous people on the internet make their own clothes. And I know you may feel like your business won’t make much of a difference in the fast fashion industry, just known that only by working together can we combat the issue and make a change.
Talia Fernandes '21 & Samira Lakhiani '21
How to Build Your Confidence Through Your Closet I’ll never forget the day I truly realized the effect of clothes on my self confidence. Well-accustomed to my quarantine sweats and summer camp t-shirts, I began to reintroduce my “going-out” clothes into my wardrobe around the beginning of June– except there was one problem: I hated everything. Staring at the shorts that no longer fit, the shirts that were no longer my style, and the overabundance of dated athletic wear, I began to cry. I sat there, lost, for clothes were never something I consciously thought about. I had no idea how to rebuild my confidence, never mind my closet. Fast forward to fall 2020, I dress up every chance I get (yes, even for the grocery store.) I love to take pictures of my outfits, and watching fashion hauls are my favorite pastime. So, if you find yourself overwhelmed and lacking confidence when facing the task of leaving the house, I've been there, and this is my advice:
Declutter your closet with a purpose The first step to recreating your look is getting rid of the pieces that no longer interest you. It may be hard to let go of certain things, but I promise you, you will not need 10 tees for the sole purpose of cleaning the house or doing yard work. Consider how you spend your time - do you workout everyday, or do you workout less often? Do your activities call for a lot of movement, or are they more sedentary? Do you often dress up, or do you prefer a more laid back style? Asking yourself questions like these could help when prioritizing which pieces will generate the most use; it’s also important to keep climate in mind choosing what to keep and what to pass on.
Get inspired This may seem super obvious, but in order to rebuild your closet you have to know what you like! This is really helpful especially when shopping on a budget because you’ll have an idea of how you can style each item you purchase, instead of buying aimlessly and hoping you have something that will match. For more tips on how to find your personal style and get inspired, check out Madigan’s (insert hyperlink to her article on style and fall fashion).
Wear what speaks to YOU All throughout my middle school career, I was a living, breathing “vsco girl,” (the most basic style at the time; everyone in this category obsessed over scrunchies, ripped jeans, and white vans) which would’ve been totally awesome if that were my style! However, it just wasn’t for me. And yet, I dressed like this for years, blindly following trends and buying the same clothes my friends wore (shoutout to all of my overpriced skinny jeans). Easier said than done? Absolutely, but leaving my personal fashion jail was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my mental health. Can’t pick an aesthetic? Good thing you don’t have to! Don’t like crop tops? Don’t wear them! Love stripes but never wear them because they’re “not meant for your figure?” Throw those social constructs out the window! At the end of the day, what you wear is up to you, and if anyone is judging you for the fashion choices you make, 9 times out of 10 they wish they could break themselves out of their own fashion jail, too.
Stock up on basics, then get creative! “Basics” are essential in every closet, but what exactly are they? Well, that’s for you to decide! Personally, I’m a big fan of baggy jeans, high cut cropped tanks, turtlenecks, graphic tees, tennis skirts, and layering pieces; I like neutral colors and pastels. On the other hand, I know people that would gag at the thought of ever owning a brown turtleneck; it’s just not their style. The point is, even basics are personal to you. Basics are pieces that you can rely on and incorporate into multiple different outfits. After you decide on your basic pieces, that’s when you can shop around for fun items, whatever they may be! Just like when you're thrifting, (make thrifting a hyperlink to the thrifting 101 article) visualization is important when thinking about what is missing in your dream wardrobe. I get creative with my outfits by incorporating fun accessories I love such as jewelry, purses, and masks (yes, masks are now an accessory!) I also love finding funky pieces here and there that I think would go well with some of the basics I’ve already picked out.
Plan ahead My final piece of advice is to plan your outfits ahead. To ensure that you're stepping out into the world feeling like your most confident self, previewing your outfits can be crucial. I often find myself thinking something will look really good in my head, but actually falling out of love with the outfit once I try it on. I’m also the type of person who’s always in a rush, so planning my outfit ahead is one less thing I need to worry about when getting ready.
Although it can be daunting to stray away from the sweats, I highly encourage anyone who’s ever thought “I wish I dressed like them… ” or “I wish I had their confidence… ” to take these tips and tricks into consideration when preparing for venturing back out into the world. If you’ve been looking, this is your sign to break out of your comfort zone and find that confidence you’ve been searching for <3
Olivia Antonelli ‘22
The COVID-19 Pandemic: Tips on Creating a Routine
March 13, 2020. If I recall correctly, it was a Friday. On this morning, you probably had your routine down pat: you probably woke up around 6:30, hit snooze for 10 minutes, threw on your Mount uniform with the sweatshirt you knew you weren't supposed to wear, and stopped at Dunkin on your way to school. All of this before 7:00 AM, and you still had six and a half hours of school to sit through, sports practice, Friday night team dinner, and hours of homework ahead of you.
In these unprecedented times, our days look quite a bit different. Our weeks can get a little rough between the instability of our school, sports, and work schedules to the possible lack of motivation or enthusiasm.
As I am sure you know by now, our schedules will continue to look different each day with the continually changing guidelines we are expected to follow. With the world around us in chaos and new things expected of us each day, we need to remain flexible. However, bringing about some structure can benefit our minds, productivity, and mental and physical health. With that said, let's look at a few tips to get you on your way to starting your own (new) daily routine. 1. Start Simple There's no need to construct some elaborate and unrealistic plan and expect yourself to stick to it right off the bat. Start by waking up at the same time each day, regardless if you're virtually learning or going into school. Personally, I know I started the year setting my alarm at 7:50 for my 8:00 AM classes on Thursdays and Fridays; I'm sure I'm not alone. Try to do everything you would do if you were getting ready to go into school, even when you don't plan on leaving your house. Shower, brush your teeth, get organized, and make yourself a nice cup of coffee before sitting down at your desk. I swear it'll make you feel better than trying to hide that you're still wearing the same shirt you wore to bed to avoid putting a polo on or getting out of bed.
2. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule! Of course, our routines do not have to be the exact same every single day. Even small things such as trying to eat your meals and start your homework at the same time can give us some sense of structure. If you want to get a little more advanced, schedule times for you to exercise, call your friends, or watch your favorite show on the weekends!
3. Making Lists! Making a list at the beginning of every week or even day of everything you want to get done can help you stay productive and focus on a routine. Routines usually have a beginning and an end, waking up and going to bed. However, it's everything we do in between that counts. Whatever you chose to put on your list can give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, even when completing a simple task such as submitting your math homework from the night before.
Savannah Horsfield '22
Delicious Recipes for the Fall Season! Even though there is a pandemic, that doesn’t mean we can’t eat our favorite foods during the fall! Personally, fall is my favorite season just because of the meals we can enjoy this time of the year and the change in the leaves of the trees. I love baking and creating meals for my family and friends, so today I will be sharing with you some of my favorite recipes you can make at home! (most of these will be desserts)
Apple Pie: Every year my family and I go apple picking just so we can make an apple pie with our fresh apples. This recipe is good for when you have a family event or when you are just looking for something a little sweet to have for dessert! Ingredients:
2 slices of ready-made pie crust
4 cups of apples
1 cup of sugar
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
Grated rind of ½ of a lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
A small amount of butter
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide pastry for a 2 crust pie in half, line the pan with 1 half, save 2nd half for the top of the pie. Refrigerate both. Slice 4 cups of apple slices, mix with sugar, salt, cinnamon, lemon grind, and lemon juice. Arrange slices inside the chilled shell, ½” from the edge, working towards the center until the shell is covered. Pile remaining slices on the top. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust slashed in several places. Seal edges & crimp. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and back for another 30 minutes.
Pumpkin Bread:My family uses this recipe every year for Thanksgiving dessert. It can be found online, but this is the one I find the most delicious! This recipe creates three loaves of bread so be sure to cut down the amount of each of the ingredients if you only want one loaf. :) Ingredients:
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
⅔ cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Pumpkin Seeds:This recipe is a great snack after carving pumpkins during the fall season. Instead of throwing away all of the seeds, why not make them into a tasty snack? I use this recipe often during the fall. It can also be found online, but this is the recipe I have been using for years! :) Ingredients:
1 ½ tablespoons margarine, melted
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Combine the margarine, salt, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce, and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and place it in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
I hope you enjoy these recipes for the fall! I certainly do!
Alexia Vercauteren '23
Gratitude As we approach one of the most loved holidays of the year, Thanksgiving, we look back on how this year has really challenged our mental, physical, and emotional health. We also focus on what Thanksgiving means to each of us. To some, this holiday is about being able to eat amazing food around the table and be with family. For others it is a time for reflection and appreciation for what the year has brought our way; both good and bad. However, this year, Thanksgiving is going to look different for many people. While the hope always is that being grateful is a constant given, it seems that Thanksgiving is the time when most actually pause and speak out about their own gratitude. This isn’t selfish or self-centered of us; it is simply life with all it’s moving parts and since life moves fast, Thanksgiving helps us to slow down and think about being grateful. At times, we take some of the small things for granted; spending time with friends and family, being able to play sports, and having a normal school year. We are all lucky to have an amazing Mount family to support us through all of these difficult times. Even though the school year looks different, there is still a small piece of normalcy that we are able to have that some students are not able to experience. Being able to sit in a classroom with our teachers and peers around us is a small thing that we used to take for granted. Covid-19 has made things that we do everyday unattainable. This year, it is extremely important to be grateful and thankful for all of those little things, not just on Thanksgiving, but always.
Isabella Jordan '22
What is TikTok? Understanding the App That has Taken Over the World
TikTok is a space for teenagers to express themselves and interact with other teenagers through comedy in 15 second clips—at least--that’s how many people make it out to be. However, if you take a deeper look, TikTok actually has numerous layers of content that could easily entertain any demographic. Each user has a “for you page” that is specific to them and specially curated to the type of content TikTok knows you would enjoy based on previous videos you’ve liked that have specific hashtags attached to them. So technically, TikTok can be for anyone because it’s always going to be “for you”.
Having joined TikTok in December of 2018, I have seen an extremely wide range of content on my for you page that proves that TikTok can be for whoever dares to download it and risk addiction. While the majority of TikToks that I see are generally directed toward a teenage audience, which makes sense given the fact that I am a teenager, I occasionally see content geared toward different audiences; ones I may not have even pegged to use TikTok in the first place. However, TikTok is an app whose algorithm and for you page makes it incredibly easy to gain a following and find success, so no group is excluded from the fun.
Artists have been able to use TikTok as a creative outlet to show the world their work and receive recognition. I’ve seen so many different types of art—makeup, paintings, drawings, sculptures—all on my “for you” page probably just within the last month. Chefs and bakers can not only show off their talent but also share their spectacular homemade recipes that make your mouth water and want to take a bite through the screen. Teachers can connect with students and teach them concepts they may not have understood before. I’ve seen grandparents get millions of likes for dancing in an out-of-fashion style, and children go viral for merely lip syncing Cardi B. I’ve seen TikToks about boy bands, food, Fortnite, cats, movies, television shows, politics. If you have an interest—any interest at all—it’s likely that TikTok has a “for you” page, well, for you, and it’s just as likely that even you could make a TikTok about it that could do very well.
Even I, a student from Mount, was able to find success on TikTok. Two videos of mine from similar content groups have seen success, which again helps display the versatility of the app. In February, I received 90,000 likes on a comedy tiktok. In March, I received 200,000 likes on a “relatable” Coronavirus tiktok. In July, I received 50,000 likes on a TikTok I made about One Direction. And just two weeks ago, I accumulated 1.3 million likes and over 4 million views on a TikTok of me just dressing up nicely. So, yeah... it’s pretty easy to be successful on this app.
TikTok can provide entertainment to people of all ages from people of all ages. If it’s always been a dying wish of yours to be famous, I’d say the simplicity of TikTok’s algorithm is a perfect place to start. And even if fame isn’t what you seek, TikTok’s “for you” page can entertain pretty much anyone for hours on end. So, if you’ve been thinking about joining TikTok, I’d say go for it. However, a word to the wise: you may never exit the app again.
Talia Fernandes '21
How many liters would you guess it takes to produce one cotton T-Shirt… 100, 200, 300 liters? What if I told you the average cotton tee soaks up about 2,700 liters of water during production? To put that into perspective, the average person drinks around 58 gallons, or about 219.5 liters, of water per year.
Buying second hand is not only exciting and affordable, it’s also an amazing way to reduce water consumption and pollution worldwide. While sustainable shopping has gained mass popularity over this past year, thrifting can still be extremely intimidating for someone who has never stepped foot into their local Savers. With that being said, here are my top 5 tips on getting started:
1. Begin with a plan Thrift stores can often feel very overwhelming, especially when it comes to larger buildings. To combat this, I always make a mental checklist of where I’ll be heading first and what I may be looking for. This method not only allows for prioritization, it also provides a sense of control. When I’m pressed for time, I like to focus my attention on a few sections I may be looking to get the most out of, rather than attempting to rush through every rack. Some of my favorite sections are handbags, men’s knits, and women’s jeans! 2. Don’t skim! Because donated clothing is one of a kind, it’s extremely important to be meticulous! Thrifting is not ideally a 30 minute activity, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to scour the racks in order to find some really special pieces. I like to look at every single item one by one, especially when I’m in the tops section because it’s a lot harder to preview the selection. Some of my best finds have been buried within other clothes, so I can’t stress this enough!
3. Visualize Do you ever wonder how some people can pull off certain items so well? Visualization is key! An argyle sweater vest may sound hideous straight off the bat, but what if you were to crop it, or pair it with a collared shirt and a tennis skirt? Same goes for the worn-out men’s Levi’s on the end of the rack; ask yourself how they’d look distressed, or how they’d look as shorts (P.S., this is exactly how every popular depop seller makes their profits!). Personally, my wardrobe consists of many aesthetics, so in order to save money and keep pieces versatile, I make sure to visualize and think of how I’ll be styling each item I buy.
4. Be patient When thrifting, all expectations should be thrown out the window. There are times where I leave the store with 3 items, and there are also times where I can barely carry everything I’ve bought back to my car. The point is, you need to have patience. It may be frustrating when the trip seems like a waste of time, but when you do hit the jackpot, every other trip becomes that much more worth it. Not only does thrifting take time, but there is also no guarantee that you’ll find what you’re looking for. As long as thrifting is more of a hobby rather than a chore, just knowing you looked through everything is it’s own reward.
5. Keep an open mind Second hand shops are not always easy to navigate, and there may be some aspects of the store, such as scent and organization, that are a little different than your typical fast-fashion chain down the road. It’s important to remember that many low income communities rely on thrift stores, so the resources to keep them up are not always readily available. While buying second hand is a great way to shop, it’s not always glamorous. With that being said, It’s very easy to forgo thrifting all together in exchange for something more convenient; however, it’s very beneficial to keep an open mind before depositing 100 more dollars into Jeff Bezos’ pocket.
Considering these tips, you’ll have no problem building your new, sustainable wardrobe just in time for fall! Good luck — and happy thrifting!