Keeping up with the Kar-fashions

My artistic outlet: fashion

More stories from Kar Wei Cheng

To be honest, I was feeling uninspired to write my column this week. I don’t know if seasonal depression is hitting me or if it’s just too cold to do anything. I sat down and thought, “what is something fashion-related that still makes me excited?”

What is fashion anyway? According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is “popular, or the latest style of, clothing, hair, decoration, or behavior.”  To me, however, fashion is art. It is a unique concept that is left to interpretation. I might think my leopard print sherpa jacket is the most fashionable item I own, but it might be atrocious to someone else, which explains the thousands of designers in the industry. They produce pieces that encompass their ideas and passion, just like musicians, painters, actors and other artists.

The evolution of fashion is fascinating. The various trends that came about through the ages capture the essence of different eras. Chokers — are they still a thing? Bell-bottom jeans? They’re coming back. Many different factors contribute to fashion trends media and culture are two significant components. I learned that European fashion is generally more elegant and posh through social media, while Asian fashion, like Korean street style, is getting more popular due to the rise of K-pop, while American fashion is influencing the world through Hollywood. Let’s not ignore runway fashion — a whole different world with eclectic, couture clothing pieces.

Fashion can also be personal. There are individuals, like me, who express their mood and personality through outfits. It’s difficult to explain my style; my taste is a blend of everything. From preppy to bohemian and from grunge to casual, one category just does not encapsulate it all. There are days where I feel edgy and want to wear my leather jacket and others where I wouldn’t mind a bit of delicate lace trimming, which brings me back to my current funk.

Winter fashion I see online does not apply to the Midwestern winter at all. I can’t just wear a turtleneck with my denim jacket and head out the door — I  forgot my beanie today and had to defrost my ears for a solid five minutes after crossing the foot bridge. Trust me, mittens, scarves and winter hats are crucial. Looking and feeling like a toasty marshmallow with layers upon layers is my aesthetic, but there are also days where oversized sweatshirts are the only thing I want to wear after getting out of bed. Who cares about cute sweaters if they are solely for aesthetic purposes? I prioritize comfort and warmth.

 I call this the effortless and cozy look. What does one need to rock his or her pajamas? Confidence. Feeling good is the best way to look good. Nobody cares if you don’t look stylish, on the other hand, I’m jealous when I see people wearing glorified blankets to class. Iconic.

Cheng can be reached at [email protected].