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The Prospector

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Finding confidence in bell bottoms and platforms


Fashion does not have one defined look. You could give three people the same top or accessory and it would be styled three different ways. I think the first time I really started to care about fashion was when I watched “The Devil Wears Prada” for the first time when I was in elementary school. Seeing how people treated pieces of fabric as magic that transforms not only their appearance but their confidence excited me and helped me believe I could do the same for myself. I fell in love with the idea that the clothes you decide to put on your body were more than that. You wear a statement telling the world who you are and what you like. Figuring out your style is a journey that ends with self-expression, whether people realize it or not.  

Growing up, I had three great fashion inspirations: my mother, my “teta” (grandmother) and my great-grandmother. I used to love watching them get ready in the morning, strategically layering their outfits with pantyhose, sequined or lace blouses and gold hoops. 

I used to love exploring my great-grandmother’s and teta’s closets when I was younger, observing the different fabrics, patterns, cuts and colors, waiting in anticipation for the day I could buy my own clothes.  

It has taken me a while to develop my own style. In high school, I lacked a lot of confidence. 

I was not too happy with what I saw in the mirror, so I decided to play around with my style and have some fun. I started looking at stylebooks and going on social media for inspiration. I would go to thrift stores and try to match several things together to try and build even more ideas. Being creative with fashion pieces is the highlight of my morning. Being confident with what I am wearing helped me become confident in myself.  

There is just something about trying on clothes that makes me feel like I am a completely different person. Somehow my 10-year-old self, playing dress up-games on my iPad translated into me buying and trying different outfits as if I were the little model in that game, even if that does mean I have become a little bit of a ‘shopaholic’. Now, just like my mom, I cannot leave the house without dressing up. In a funny way, I like feeling like a Bratz doll, creating a new outfit every day by reusing pieces I have picked up at different thrift stores and boutiques. I often get questions like “why did you dress up so much today?” or “where are you going all dressed up like that?” I laugh a little, even though those comments sometimes get to me because  although other people might think I am being extra or silly for getting ready, I do it for me. 

I choose to wake up a little earlier to get ready because I enjoy picking out a new outfit I have not worn before. I like putting on makeup because I get to enhance what is already there. I do not do any of these things for anyone else other than myself because that is what makes me happy.  Now, I am not saying everyone needs to put 100 percent of their effort into what they look like every day because that is impractical. All I know is turning myself into my own character every day has made me feel a little more powerful and confident. To me, my confidence comes in platform shoes and bell bottoms and like Carrie Bradshaw once said in “Sex in the City,” “I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet.”  

Annabella Mireles is the photo editor and may be reached at [email protected];@photographybyannabella on Instagram. 

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About the Contributor
Annabella Mireles
Annabella Mireles, Photo Editor
Annabella Mireles is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is the photo editor at the Prospector newspaper and Minero magazine as well as owning her own photography business. She plans on pursuing photography full time.
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Finding confidence in bell bottoms and platforms