My Fashion Secret: Thrifting

Portland is known for the “hipster” look; our clothes are either outrageous or we have no fashion sense at all. I don’t know if it’s the weather or my limited student budget, but I will fully admit I never really put too much thought into my outfits. But I have become more enthusiastic about a particular type of shopping, known as thrifting.

It is almost like a hobby, a simple thrill to find clothes cheaper than at a typical department store. The items could be new or secondhand. Sometimes I’m able to find deals for brand name clothing (not that it really matters) — as long as it’s catchy, vintage-y, different, it is worth it for a third or even a fourth of its original price.
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Searching for the right haircut

For the longest time, my father cut my hair growing up. My two younger brothers and I never went to a barber shop to get the job done. And this job is complicated to say the least. Around 16 or 17, my father just didn’t have the same precision as before and my hair was just too difficult to cut. Soon after, my father simply retired, if you will, from cutting my hair and my brother’s as well. I was confident that if my father could cut my hair, anyone else with experience could do it just as well. Continue reading

Fashion in Portlandia

Having moved here from Southern California, I immediately noticed a difference in fashion. SoCal is all about boho-chic, with braided headbands, shorts, flowy tops and sandals. This fashion trend spans nearly year-round there, while we only see peeks of it here in Portland during the summer. When I first moved to Gresham, I was surprised to see how many students were going to school in hoodies and sweatpants with Ugg knockoffs. It seemed too casual, but I embraced it as much as my mind would let me.

Then I started attending PSU and saw a whole different style I hadn’t been exposed to. It has a casual hipster-chic vibe that can include thick rimmed glasses, black leggings, plaid shirts, oversized cardigans, knit hats and an assortment of warm footwear. Even rain boots and umbrellas are a fashion accessory here in Portland. Although the weather affects our choices in apparel, it’s just one of many elements contributing to the NW trend.

L.A. was all about the brands, but since I’ve been in Portland, I’ve never seen so many people shop at vintage thrift shops. Name brand or not, it’ll get sold. Whether it’s different opinions about mainstream consumerism or a difference in climate, it’s clear that Portland has established a fashion style all its own.

What do you think about Portland fashion/trends?

Weighing in on PSU

Kari Anne McDonald works the runway at PSU's first Love Your Body Fashion Extravaganza. In background, emcee Poison Waters engages the audience.

This past Thursday in the Smith Ballroom, PSU’s Love Your Body Fashion Extravaganza featured a fashion show with models who definitely were outside of the size zero seen on most runways. The focus of the fashion show was to highlight loving your body no matter what size or shape it happens to be. By deciding to be a part of this show, I had to face my own inner insecurities between weight and health.

It seems to be a focus of media attention that the United States is becoming bigger around the waistline. In Portland, a city that tends to be very health conscious and that also is known for having a strong foodie culture, this can be a source of conflict. College is certainly a time when students are faced with the fears about the “freshman fifteen” weight gain, and how to transition from a system of mandatory physical activity in schools to self-motivated physical activity.

One consequence of this transition may be adding extra pounds. Fat acceptance can certainly be a loaded subject for many individuals. One question that frequently arises is, “How can we promote health while still accepting those who are overweight?” Somewhere in all of the haze of health information and media messages there must be a balance between health and weight.

If anything, this recent Love Your Body Fashion Extravaganza shows the PSU campus that you do not have to be traditionally skinny in order to be sexy or feel good about your body. For myself, I have had to let go of my fears about being “too fat” and instead focus on getting back to my love of running. I may still have those few extra pounds, but in this way, I feel healthy.

Weigh in with your own thoughts: What do you do to accept your body and stay healthy, while possibly still keeping on those extra pounds? Do you think that people can still be healthy while being overweight?