The other day, I was on Facebook and noticed a memory post on my timeline. It was a photo of me at 17 in a very 2010s-esque outfit! I specifically remember taking the picture on my mom’s laptop so that I could share my new outfit with friends. Here is my style transformation from high school vs now!
Although a few key components of my style have stayed the same, I’ve definitely gone through quite a few transformational eras since then!
In the photo, I was wearing a long one shoulder top with a waist belt and leggings. For accessories, I chose a stretch cuff bracelet and chandelier earrings. After giggling at the photo for a few minutes, I decided to show Alejandro. “Oh my goodness, you look so little!” he exclaimed. He was right about that! That photo is seven years old — time flies!
After nostalgia officially set in, I knew I had to dig up some more old photos and recreate them! I made a collage of three photos that perfectly capture what I wore as a teen!
My Style Transformation
Oh my goodness, these photos! It’s a little surreal looking back at myself. Throughout high school, I couldn’t exactly pinpoint my style. During my freshman and sophomore years, I didn’t experiment much with fashion and stuck to the basics in general. My school had a dress code (navy blue pants or skirts and white collared tops!), so I didn’t feel the need to think much about clothes and style.
By junior and senior year though, I began to find myself through fashion!
Outfit #1 — rocker girl chic!
October 19, 2010: Fall semester of junior year.
When I entered junior year of high school, I became interested in fashion and wanted to make a change. I’ve always been into alternative, rock, and indie music and began to notice what some of my favorite female singers were wearing. A couple of my style inspirations at the time were Hayley Williams and Kelly Clarkson. Overall though, my biggest influence by far was LIGHTS.
When I first watched one of her music videos, I couldn’t believe how much I identified with LIGHTS. I loved her “rocker chic” sense of style — she had this perfect mix of feminine and edginess that I admired.
Back then, I didn’t really know who I was, but began trying my best to figure it out. I looked up a lot of popular haircuts online, but kept coming back to this picture of LIGHTS. She had choppy layers, with fringy bangs to match.
My grandma went to the salon with me that day. I remember feeling a sense of panic when the stylist started cutting my hair. I almost always stuck to one hairstyle — long with minimal layers. When I saw the finished result, I was so happy about my decision! Nonna loved my new hairstyle too, but my mom wasn’t too happy! Can’t win them all right?! 😂
When it comes to fashion, I have to say this era is the furthest away from my current style. I wore a lot of black and didn’t experiment much with patterns. Typical statement pieces included low rise skinny jeans, belts, and vests. At one point, my cousin told me that I started to resemble Joe Jonas. Let’s be real, I took that as a compliment.
Outfit #2 — sweet and casual!
Right around the end of my junior year, I felt myself making another change. I started gravitating towards softer pieces like skater dresses, cardigans, and florals. My grandma and I used to go shopping a lot together and I really admired her style. She encouraged me to continue discovering new fashion staples that I enjoyed. “Nunzia, wear what makes you happy,” she’d always tell me.
I did just that. The summer of junior year became another integral period when it comes to my style transformation. I loved twirling around in my dresses and danced in my living room. Whenever I went to the mall, I’d find myself picking out cutesy accessories like hoop earrings, ankle bracelets, and patterned handbags.
My favorite piece in my closet back then was this blue floral print dress, which I still to this day own and wear once in a blue moon. In the original photo, I was wearing a similar pink dress. My grandma took a picture of me that day during one of our walks to the park. We both adored my outfit, and I think this photograph perfectly embodies my style at the time: sweet and casual.
Outfit #3 — colorful and fun!
February 13, 2012: Spring semester of senior year.
Eventually, it felt like my “rocker chic” and “cute and casual” eras began to fuse together. My senior year was a trying time in my life. That year, I experienced heartbreak, dealt with a bad period of anxiety, and questioned things I never thought about before.
My new explorative outlook definitely affected my style. I finally felt like I was finding myself through life experiences, whether they were good or terrifying.
I realized that I didn’t always have to look “put together” or conform to one style. Better yet, I enjoyed switching it up and playing with fashion. During that time, my favorite places to shop were Body Central and Rue 21, which both had an eclectic selection of clothing and accessories.
For clothing, I had fun with patterns (like stripes and florals) and wore a lot of skater dresses, lacy tops, and graphic tees.
My prom dress even had experimental elements, like a fringy high-low hem and bright red color. I remember nearly crying when I first looked at myself in the mirror with the dress on. My last year of high school wasn’t easy, but I felt like a star that day!
My Style Transformation at 24
If I thought senior year of high school was an explorative period, college doubled down. I continued to take bits and pieces of what I liked about my style before, and incorporated new elements. My freshman year of college, I felt inspired by Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren’s styles. Often times, I’d pair winged eyeliner with bold red lipstick. I grew my hair out, then chopped it all off and added bangs.
During one of my trips to Walgreens, I found a cool pair of spider web stockings and wore them with shorts. Whenever I went to parties, I tried out different dress silhouettes (ranging from bodycon to fit and flare).
To this day, I still do my best to follow my grandma’s advice and just wear what makes me happy. I don’t feel pressured to commit to a set style like I did back then. In general though, I typically pair basics with cute patterns, wear what feels most comfortable, and enjoy sleek pieces like maxi dresses or high waisted jeans.
I hope that you enjoyed my style transformation post, lovelies! 💛 I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately about growing up and writing about this topic just felt right.
How has your style changed since high school? Also, have any elements remained the same?
Talk soon, lovelies! Have a beautiful rest of your day! 🌻