Throughout fashion history, there have been many garment innovations that have revolutionized the way we express our identity and reflect the changing socio-politial climate within various societies throughout the world. From pants-wearing Western women of the 1930’s to the socially-rebellious Ganguro subculture that exists in Japan, people all across the globe recognize the power that fashion has in generating waves of discussion and drawing attention, both positive and negative.
Just look at designers like Rick Owens, who last Fall for his 2014 Spring Ready-To-Wear show during Paris Fashion Week he had the members of a mostly African-American step team model his clothes, which were tailored for plus sized bodies. Among the heat of controversy, when asked about the runway show, Owen said he’s taking a step towards “rejecting conventional beauty, [and] creating our own beauty”. It’s a movement that, while not completely supported by the mainstream fashion industry for various reasons, is definitely something that’s difficult to ignore.
But even if you’re not a fashionista, one can just take a look around at everyday people and come to the conclusion that mostly everyone wears the same thing. Yes, admit it’s true. Now, there’s nothing wrong with wearing those Converse sneakers until they’re practically in shreds or choosing to slip on that Hollister hoodie, but let’s be real here: where’s your sense of adventure? Do you really want to be a walking billboard ad for corporations that only care about your money and not who you are as an individual? Seriously, there’s only one reason why we wear logos on our clothing and that’s because it’s a language we can all understand. A language of wealth.
If you’re anything like me (or you’re a self-proclaimed anti-Capitalist, anti-American red-bellied Commie , basically), you should already be aware of the pros of wearing clothing that’s not sold at big-name retail stores. Besides standing out and saving dollars, you can often give money directly to people who actually spend time crafting and customizing clothing and accessories. And who doesn’t love supporting small businesses?
Try out these five style rule-breakers and be prepared to turn heads in all the right ways!
Most people think that there are only three reasons to ever wear a wig in public: to cover up hair loss, when cosplaying your favorite character at nerd conventions, and on Halloween night. In fact, the farthest most people will go when it comes to hair pieces is sew-in weave or clip-in hair extensions. But why should that be the case? Take it from me, wigs are a ton of fun and can be an easy way to switch up your look without having to permanently change your hair with risky cut and dye jobs. If you have curly, long brown hair but have always wanted a short, pink bob, or you have frizzy, black hair but have envied full-body, blond curls, wigs are the perfect solution to fulfilling your inner hair dreams.
So, where and how does one start acquiring wigs?
Through my own personal experience, I learned everything I know about wigs from Cosplay bloggers on Tumblr. Yeah, it’s weird. If you don’t have a blog, the next best thing would be to search the web on your own. With a simple Google search, one can find thousands of websites geared towards wig care and video tutorials made by beauty professionals on Youtube. Ebay sells a lot of really nice quality wigs from overseas. However, if shopping in person is more your style, stores like Sally Beauty Supply have expert employees that can help you find the perfect wig color and style that’s right for you.
As far as pricing goes, the better quality fibers or human hair, the more dollars you’ll be shelling out. It’s best to start with wigs ranging from $20 to $40, so that if you discover that you’re not really into the trend, you can back out without having wasted hundreds of dollars. In addition to the wig itself, one must also purchase a proper wig brush, a wig cap (which sometimes comes with the wig), bobby pins, and a wig stand, at minimum. The bobby pins and wig cap are especially crucial, as they will help you braid, pin and tuck all of your thick hair into a neat, flat shape over which your wig can fit comfortably.
A lot of you might be concerned that other people will be able to tell if you’re wearing a wig and think that you’re weird. First of all, you really shouldn’t care what other people think in the first place! Besides that, trust me. When you become an expert at styling and choosing wigs that aren’t shiny and appear the most natural in texture and length, literally no one will be able to tell the difference. There isn’t a day that goes by when someone says, to my amusement, “Wow, I like what you did to your hair!”, thinking that I went to the salon the day before.
There are so many more benefits to wearing wigs besides just looking cute! You can wear them on particularly humid days to protect your natural hair from frizzing out, disguise yourself so that you can avoid certain-someones, and even just to piss your family off by adopting a different persona for fun.
So if you decide you want to switch up your “do”, don’t be surprised if others take notice of you … in a flattering way, of course!
Unusual Lip Color
I’m a huge fan of a Ravishing Red matte or Pink N’ Peachy gloss, but sometimes it can get a little, I don’t know … boring? And when you think about it, why should we be limited to a hundred shades and textures of the same two colors? Wearing lipstick isn’t just about being traditionally pretty. It’s another aspect of how we express ourselves and our personal creativity. There’s a whole rainbow of colors to choose from and just as many cosmetic lines that offer unusually colored lip products.
One of my favorite lip products is by Lip Tar / Matte, which you can find at Sephora. In addition to more conventional shades, Lip Tar offers RX cyan blue, Pool Boy, Traffic yellow, and Feathered white. Besides looking super hot, you’ll also find that Lip Tar is long lasting and hardly needs retouching over the day. If you don’t feel like spending $20, Manic Panic also makes dark blue, acid green, and shimmering gold and silver matte lipsticks, which are just as bright as their popular array of teenage hair dyes.
A growing concern in the makeup industry is the possibility of toxic substances found within popular lipstick brands. In some cases, traces of lead and carcinogenic chemicals have been found in specific shades sold in convenience stores, which have been pulled off the shelves. If you’re worried about the possible health risks of wearing chemically produced lipstick, a cute and unique craft video made by Youtuber Ms. Toi provides an easy and fun way to make your own lip color using nothing other than Shea butter, Castor oil, and non-toxic Crayola crayons! With an entire box of 64 colors to choose from, what’s stopping you from experimenting with your lip color? You could have the Magic Mint or Razzle Dazzle lips of your dreams …
There’s a popular saying in our culture that’s meant to express a feeling of incomparable happiness. When we say we “feel like we’re on top of the world”, it’s often accompanied by a sense that nothing can bring us down and that we’re standing tall above our enemies and failures. Wouldn’t it be nice to, quite literally, be elevated above the rest? No snobbery intended … well, maybe a little.
Girls, I know what you’re thinking. You don’t like being too tall, because let’s face it: there are men (and women) out there who have a totally unfair prejudice against taller girls. Unless you’re a professional runway model, a heavy weight champion, or are resentful about being under 5’ feet, almost no one wants to be a towering 5’10” or taller. It’s a sad reality. But being the little style rebel I think you are means that you’re super willing to say “screw the boys” and adopt a trend that will take you to the next level of fabulosity.
By far, the most popular platforms around are made by T.U.K. footwear. Their platform, lace-up loafers called “creepers” are often worn by those inspired heavily by goth and punk-esque looks. Relatively affordable at an
average of $50 dollars, T.U.K. has signature colors that include pristine white, black suede, and fuzzy leopard. However, there are as many varieties of creepers as there are real, live creepers! Yeah … be scared.
If you’re more of an old-school, preppy kind of person, check out Maxstar Shoes for Converse-type platforms. With Maxstar, you get a lot more in the way of customization. Their more basic colors of red, black and white and heights of around 1-inch are only $40. The higher you go in height and details, the pricier it gets; be prepared to spend $300 if you want those 3-inch, studded babies! Totally worth it, in my opinion.
Looking for something a little more obscure? Daring, even? Allow me to point you into the direction of Buffalo platforms. Based in Germany and establish throughout Europe, these one-of-a-kind, chunky, sporty platforms are a must if you want to turn heads. The company has been around since the dawn of the 80’s, a decade when platforms were nothing to sneeze at. What they refer to as their “Classics” include what appears to be strappy, cyberpunk moon shoes worthy of the Spice Girls. In fact, Baby Spice herself rocked a white pair and orange pair in the 90’s!
Nowadays, they have risen in popularity over in countries like Japan, who remains the rulers of bizarrely creative street fashion. My psychic instincts tell me that they’ll be making a comeback in the near future, when hella rad females take over the Earth!
Shh … just let it happen.
To go along with those platforms, you’ll be needing some equally awesome leg wear in the form of tattoo tights. Popularized in Asian countries like South Korea and Japan, these sheer stockings feature designs that are obviously meant to emulate tattoos, without the commitment. Ranging from patterns of hearts, ribbons and stars to our animal friends kitty and rabbit, you can pretty much find tattoo tights all over eBay for mostly under $8 dollars (plus free shipping). I typically buy them in bulk because they’re so cheap!
One concern you might have when it comes to stockings is the matter of size. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes we need a little extra room to accommodate our curves. Have no fear, because there is a solution: Etsy. With a quite search, you can find hundreds of listings of tattoo tights made in L-3XL sizes. Actually, some of the designs are way cooler and more unique than the ones available overseas.
Almost triple the cost, however, these tights will have you spending more than you would on eBay. But think of it this way: you’re paying to have custom stockings made by professional crafters, who spend more time on individual pieces than the factories overseas do when mass producing tattoo tights. A few of the pairs that I own have already disintegrated back to regular, sheer pantyhose after a ton of wears, so quality is definitely a concern. For as little as $3 though, the chance to wear some super unique tights completely justifies spending measly Frappuccino money. Or hundreds of dollars just to get that dragon racing up your leg. No offense to those who are tatted.
Has there ever been a time in your miserable, young adult life when you’ve thought to yourself, “Ugh, don’t ask me about college or drivers licenses or jobs or romantic interests actually just don’t talk to me okay?” Of course there has! And with the magic of the Internet, you too can wear snarky shirts that broadcast every one of your sassy Tweets and blog posts.
Redbubble or Zazzle is the place to go if you want to customize your own t-shirt or even find popular ones that have similar phrases to the above one. You’re not limited to shirts, either. You can get hoodies, tote bags, pillows, mugs and even socks, in practically any size. Say what!
Some of my favorites include:
“Can u not?”
“I put a bra on for this.”
“I’m in a very committed relationship with pizza.”
“Don’t come any closer or you will notice that I am actually just a giant swarm of extremely well organized bees.”
“Bird School, Est. 2013, For Birds.”
“Please do not touch me, I am a service dog.”
“I’m sorry, it’s just that I literally do not care at all.”
You might get called an attention whore or a whiny teenager by your parents, classmates, haters and other jealous individuals, but who even cares? Haters make you famous. Get that on a shirt, actually. And pro-tip: the next best accessory to a sassy shirt is a sour face of indifference. You’re never too young to look jaded.
Loco readers! What are some other ways in which you express yourself that others might find out-there and over the top? Share your story below in the comments!