Change-up: styling the opposite sex

The Oracle staffers take on the challenge of dressing each other for three school days.

Girls’ Perspective

By: Samantha Donat

Let me make this very clear that I rarely allow other people to give input on what I wear.  I pride myself on my unique sense of style, and although imitation may be the highest form of flattery, I absolutely hate when others wear similar clothes to me.  So being dressed by not just someone other than myself, but someone of the opposite sex, made my skin crawl, to say the least. How would I survive three days of being dressed like everyone else? Knowing Boot and his sense of style, I figured that I would be wearing painfully simple outfits that might possibly be a bit too tight.

You could describe my style as edgy, monochromatic and chic. Yes, my closet contains an exceptional amount of neutral-colored items. I own an unusually high number of leather jackets, and I have an extensive collection of oversized rings that I feel naked without wearing. I’m one of those annoying girls who sometimes wears heels to school, and whose giant floppy hats and fedoras block your view of the board in class.  I don’t even own a North Face jacket, and Uggs are the bane of my existence. Essentially, my style is wildly different from that of the typical high school student.

As a fashion-forward member of society, my one wish is that the entire population would dress stylishly as well. Boot dresses decently, but I definitely saw room for improvement. For our first day, I opted for a simple outfit. I’m not a big fan of guys wearing anything more casual than jeans and a hoodie—it’s always nice to see them still put-together even when dressing for something “super casual.”  For the second day, I thought it would be nice to see Boot in something a little more preppy, but still not too dressed up—I decided on casual jeans, a henley and a maroon cardigan.  On the third day, I really wanted to push Boot out of his comfort zone by putting him in something really stylish, but still cool and easy-going.

Obviously, being forced to wear yoga pants, flannel and—gasp—Uggs on the first day of our trial essentially went against all of my morals. My very minimal make-up for the day was also a new experience. I felt extremely uncomfortable for the first few hours, wishing I could have the mental comfort of one of my leather jackets and cat-eye eyeliner again. But I soon realized that I was actually really (physically) comfortable in the yoga pants. It breaks my heart to admit it, but I have the teensiest bit more respect for them now.

I felt slightly more at home in the next day’s outfit, but the irony of the situation is that Boot dressed me in that ensemble for a “typical school day,” while I would normally have only worn something such as that while, say, lounging in front of the television. I do, however, have a new-found appreciation for my old, worn-in jeans again. The third day allowed me to wear an outfit that was up my alley, but again, it was much more similar to something I would wear on an average school day as opposed to “dressing up” for a night out.

In the end, I was pleasantly surprised in that I didn’t completely suffer from a temporary loss of individuality. True, I didn’t particularly like being taken away from the usual spectrum of clothing that I wear, but it was nice to take a break from my fashionably rigorous routine for a few days.  I can’t guarantee that I’ll make more appearances in yoga pants, but I will try to remind myself more often that dressing down can still have its benefits.

Boys’ Perspective

By: Boot Bullwinkle

When tasked with dressing Samantha I was both excited and anxious for the upcoming week of fashion that lay ahead. However, I was even more eager to see what she had in store for me. Samantha may have won this year’s pop poll for Best Dressed, but I was skeptical of how far she would incorporate her edgy, trendsetting fashion sense into my laid-back, relaxed style.

I appreciate Samantha’s style. It reflects her personality of being a fun and sassy person. However, my overall goal for dressing her was to tone down her outfits in a way that would be less fierce than her normal leather jackets, studded pumps and gladiator rings.

For the first day’s theme, I pushed all of Samantha’s boundaries by making her wear yoga pants and a flannel shirt. She wasn’t a very happy camper. However, I was more determined to dress her in a way that we could both compromise on for the second day. Her jeans and Toms offered a simple base that I enhanced with a tucked bat-wing style shirt and a cute pendant necklace. I thought the outfit was fashionable without being too eye-popping for a normal school day.

When Friday came, I decided to channel the fashionista within me. I was supposed to dress Samantha in clothes I would want her to wear to a party, so I went for a sleek and sophisticated look while still being fun and flirty. The straightened hair and bandage skirt was perfect, and I got a solid “not bad” from Samantha. Success!

However, dressing Samantha was only half of the battle. For every boundary that I pushed with her style, she pushed right back. I can pretty much guarantee that the clothes I wear on any given day are Vans, blue jeans, a T-shirt (maybe a button down if I’m feeling fancy) and a sweatshirt, so I knew I was in for a ride when Samantha handed me a leather jacket. But let’s back it up to day one.

Everything was normal about my clothing: Nikes, jeans and a T-shirt (quintessential me). But there was a slight change: I wore a purple hoodie over the whole piece. I can honestly say that I’ve never received so many compliments on my outfit at school. And it was all because of the jacket! I was befuddled by peoples’ reactions.

I was overjoyed by my peers responses.  Until I was handed a cardigan for the next day, I was extremely nervous. I was completely out of my comfort zone—I felt like everyone was silently judging me, but once again, I scored dozens of compliments. The extensive differences between my style and Samantha’s style were a head-turner to those who knew me well, but I couldn’t have been happier with the results. I was starting to enjoy our experiment, but I knew that the leather jacket day was looming.

I was probably a little overdramatic and cranky about my outfit, but there was definitely some cause and effect behind my moodiness. The outfit seemed too over-the-top, and it didn’t live up to the expectations that Zac Efron set in “17 Again.” Sadly, I came up just a tad shy of Efron’s couture.Still, wearing that outfit turned out to be a good experience for me to step out of my  boundaries. My friends also appreciated the chance to rib me a little.

The pros definitely outweighed the cons in our interesting experiment, and I took away a lot from it. I appreciated the comments that I received, and she’ll definitely be a consultant in all my fashion endeavors.

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