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The Gauntlet

A fashion faux pas

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This fall, ladies' clothing stores have hit the mark with their most recent trends. From patchwork peasant pullovers and velour pants to floral jerseys and suede skirts, popular stores like Le Chateau, Suzy Shier and The Garage all stocked up on lacy frills and light, flowing styles that can be described as a combination of chic cowgirl and modern fairytale romance.

The only downside to the latest fashion is that it's so damn popular.

Clothing is a reflection of character; in every class you can easily spot hippies, skaters, punks, jocks and girly-girls. People with similar fashion sense are automatically grouped together with a certain personality type. Environmen-talists wear Birkenstocks. Bar-stars have sparkles on their baby-tees. The guy with thick-rimmed glasses and a paper Starbucks cup is a Jeta-driving yuppie, and the chick with the velour pants and peasant pullover is so in with the latest style.

Appearance may be of small importance in comparison to character, but one is often closely associated with the other. Some people go to great lengths to prove their uniqueness through what they wear. In high school, I remember one of my favorite teachers loved to wear the brightest, tackiest outfits she could find. Whether or not she realized how dreadful her eccentric taste really was, her whacky apparel was a demonstration of what she was like behind her clothes: original and fun.

Unfortunately, with so many popular fashion trends these days, it's difficult to show differences in character through clothing. Dressing just like everyone else suggests that everyone has the same character; but, this of course is not so. Perhaps the only way to keep one's wardrobe as original as one's personality is to wear, like my eccentric teacher, the tackiest clothes one can find. This is easier said than done, especially when the trend of the month looks so good.

The best way to solve this problem once and for all is to stop defining character by measure of appearance. Then, and only then, will we be truly free to chose between sparkly tees and Le Chateau floral jerseys.

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