Fetch Fits: Everything 2021 Taught Me About Fashion


Jessica Vanderbeck

Start the year fresh with these seven quick fashion tips.

Jessica Vanderbeck, Reporter

The first year of in-person instruction after a year and a half was truly an eye-opening experience. Suddenly, I had to start thinking about things like the dress code and the weather. Initially, this was a bit hard to get used to, but the experience taught me a lot about what I like and just coordinating a look in general. Putting energy into what I wore became a great source of joy for me. “But Jess, all I wear are jeans and hoodies!” you cry. First of all, you can make that work. And second of all, think about this: if you were to die that day, what you were wearing would be your ghost outfit. Ghosts can’t change clothes, do you really want to be stuck in the afterlife with a stained polo and ankle socks, circa 1884? I didn’t think so. Here are some of the easiest ways to dress for success- living or dead.

1. Burn your polos.

Well, not literally. If you want to look more put together wearing just a shirt with nothing layered over it, swap that polo for a collared shirt. Some good starter shirts are a long-sleeved option and a short-sleeved one, in neutral colors like white and black. You can still save those polos to layer under sweaters or vests. Don’t just go by a whole new wardrobe because some girl in the school newspaper said you should. Be sustainable and do what works. Use what you have until you can’t. That rule can be applied to clothes, hand soap, and bikes, but never bags of chips or your love life. You’re welcome.

2. Skinny jeans aren’t the only pants.

There are so many types of pants that can add interest to an outfit. Try wide-leg pants to look extra artsy, or trousers to be sure that those papers will be on your desk by Tuesday. Look for details like extra pockets or contrast stitching to add extra flair. Cuff your jeans or let them slump over your shoes. Skirts of any length are a great addition to any wardrobe, but this year, consider a longer option like a midi or maxi skirt. “We all know and love the midi skirt, but the good old maxi skirt will be entering the spotlight in an even greater way this year,” says Allyson Payer, a senior editor at Who What Wear. Do you view Elphaba as a role model? Go on, get a long black skirt. You deserve it. And if you don’t know who Elphaba is… you’ll know the minute you slip on that skirt.

3. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and went “Wow, I look really boring,” you probably didn’t accessorize enough. Those Barbie commercials weren’t lying when they said that accessories are everything. Many style creators will tell you to add a jacket or some other. But in the Floridian heat… that extra bulk isn’t ideal. Instead, throw on a few necklaces or a belt, or some fun socks or leg warmers. And just like that, your outfit has been saved. Give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it.

4. Get a lint roller – and use it.

Growing up, I thought that these were only really used for special events. If we were going to somebody’s house, I’d be pelted with it. And so, for a few years, I really hated lint rollers. But lint rollers are amazing for looking clean and neat day-to-day. They pick up not just lint, but also hair, dust, and skin cells. You’d be surprised at how much you’d find just laying on your shirts and pants. What’s the point of a cute outfit if it’s covered in pet hair? There is none, next caller. Be sure to peel of the paper when it gets extra lint-y for best results.

5. Become a closet scientist.

Before you go to donate an old item, see if you can style it in a new way to keep it around for a bit longer. Add a belt to a dress. Wear a long skirt as a dress by adding a belt. In case you haven’t noticed, we love belts here. Layer tops under dresses to breathe new life into them… over pretend to be a scarecrow. Fun tank tops under plain t-shirts are a cute touch and add extra modesty. Pair oversized tops with those old skinny jeans for a new silhouette. You can almost always find some way to save outdated pieces.

6. Go dig around your parent’s closet.

A lot of the trends we’ve been seeing lately are coming from the 90s and 00s. And if your parents were around during those eras, you might just be in luck. Want a big shirt? Go check your dad’s closet. Craving some new pants or a cute blouse? Go ask mom if you can poke around. Aunts, uncles, cousins, older siblings- make sure that nobody in your family is exempt from having their closets raided. Don’t be that aggressive with it, but you get the idea. Inspiration can come from anywhere, including your own backyard.

7. Not every style works on everyone- and that’s okay.

This has got to be the most important piece of advice. Not just for this year, but as just a lifelong motto. With the rise of washboard abs as an accessory, it’ll happen sometimes where you try something on and it just isn’t for you. Those leather pants will have you dying in the heat, or that fitted dress leave you unable to walk around, or your hair is too thick to stay in that perfect messy claw clip hairstyle. And that’s perfectly fine. Comfort and feeling like you come before whatever tabloids and Pinterest telling you what to wear. Take note of what things you like the look of beside the things you like the feel of and mix them together. You should put yourself first in every aspect of your life- including your wardrobe.

And there you have it, the ultimate list of advice to start your new year in style. May all your fits be fetch this year!