Gurl you better work it! The Evolution of Fashion from Freshman to Senior Year.


Courtesy of Madison Freeman

Student’s fashion choices change from their freshman to their senior years.

In the last four years, many things have changed from a global pandemic, to trends, to the way many young people see the world. Due to all of these events, the impact on teenagers’ fashion has been extremely evident from TikTok trends to TV shows, Gen Z fashion has left a mark on media and pop culture. The experiences that students face in high school can also impact how they dress from the beginning to the end of high school, as students get more comfortable in their skin and their style they are likely to venture out of their comfort zone when it comes to personal style.

One’s sense of fashion can change with their personality and experiences in their lives. As students go through high school, they often change in many ways from personality, to the way they look. The clothes they wear can reflect both the internal and external changes that they experience. Senior, Autumn Hamilton, who is nominated for best dressed girl, says that her style has reflected how she feels about herself.

“Freshman year I was definitely more extra, and I was just doing the most to try to fit in and impress people. I used to be more shy so I wanted people to know who I was versus now I am just more chill. In the coming years I expect my style to get better because I’m going to start making more money and being able to buy what I want. I get my inspiration from social media and my dad,” Hamilton said.

As the years go on many students completely change the way they dress to the point where they can be unrecognizable from who they were as underclassmen. As the trends change many change their style with them or add their own personal touch to popular trends. Senior, Skylar Parker, has seen a large change in the way her style has changed from freshman to senior year.

“Freshman year I used to dress very spiritual and free and now I dress more hyper feminine where almost everything I wear is pink and dress more drastic. My change in fashion has made me more cocky and conceited, in a good way, but not in a show off way. In the future, I expect my style to evolve into me looking more like a Barbie or Bratz doll. While trends definitely have an impact on everyone’s personal style, I add my own touch. Over the years my fashion influence has changed because back then it was more spiritual people and now more black artists influence my style as well as 2000’s characters from shows and movies,” Parker said.

In recent years fashion for males has become more talked about as a way to express both their femininity and masculinity. Many males have found a way to tap into their personality. Senior, Luke Cortez, who is nominated for best dressed male, says that as time went on he began to care about the way he dressed.

“Freshman year I didn’t really try to dress at all. I just found clothes in my closet and put them on not really caring. And then as the years progressed I started actually liking what I wore and like thinking more about what I wore and wanting to dress nice. My personality has definitely changed a lot to like, to encompass how I dress and what I wear. I see things that I liked, but I also experiment with other things, seeing what I feel looks best for me. At first I really didn’t have any influence. And now my influences are mainly different people. There I’ll look through Instagram or Pinterest or Tik Tok and there’s so many different people who dress in so many different ways and that’s just how I get inspiration from,” Cortez stated.

Teachers also can see the changes that students go through throughout their high school career. As students become more confident in their role at Lake Ridge their style can reflect that. Fashion teacher, Donna Davis, has seen this in her years working at Lake Ridge. 

“I think students become more comfortable with their own style. And a lot of times students, like at the beginning of their freshman year, think that they need to impress people and so they, you know, they may dress up a lot more by your senior year if you’re comfortable and you don’t really care. I think when you graduate from college when you’re going out to get your first real job, and you have to switch over from those comfy student clothes into possibly corporate work style garments, you need to become a lot more professional in your clothes. You become more confident as you age. And I saw a funny meme on social media the other day. It’s like the older you get, the more comfortable you are going out in public, ugly. Not caring as much but I think it is more of just becoming more comfortable with yourself and not caring as much,” said Davis.

All in all many things have changed throughout the years which have all had an impact on the way teenagers dress. Fashion through the years can reflect the changes and experiences that a generation went through and for gen z Covid, the rise of social media, and social movements have all had major impacts on the style of this generation so far.