Anntonia Taylor ’20 struts around campus in metallic silver heels and a pair of loose, blue pants. She pairs them with a creamy pink Puma jacket over a white crop top, embellished with colorful stripes. For accessories, Taylor adorns large hoop earrings, a pair of red sunglasses, and a traditional Moroccan necklace.
“I try to make bigger statements with pieces that aren’t what you’d expect…whenever I wear a more out-there outfit, I think, ‘What else can I do?’ You know, why not put all the energy [into my outfit?] Go big or go home,” said Taylor.
Taylor first experimented with this particular outfit during this past Spring Break. According to Taylor, she felt that the outfit was a bit daring, but decided to wear it to school after getting a positive response from her friends.
“Often when I wear a big statement outfit, I would internally be like, ‘No, I can’t.’ I was so proud of myself that I didn’t give into that [instinct], I was like ‘I gotta wear it to school now, that’s the next step,’” Taylor said.
Taylor describes her style as retro with a modern touch. Taylor sees every “crazy” outfit as a challenge, gaining the confidence to wear it from her newfound fearlessness.
“When I see something that I want to wear, if I think ‘Oh, that’ll look weird,’ I gotta buy it, because I gotta challenge myself,” said Taylor.
Taylor began developing her independent style in middle school, exploring the realm of fashion by branching out to incorporate different pieces from those of her peers. According to Taylor, she never lets other people’s negative opinions affect her style choices.
“In middle school… I started wearing makeup… And when others ask[ed] me why I’m wearing makeup I’d tell them, ‘Because I want to,’ and that kind of caused me to start wanting to do it more, to normalize it,” Taylor said.
Samantha Lee ’20, a friend of Taylor’s, said that Taylor’s confidence enables her to wear unique outfits. Lee explained how Taylor developed a style not only through her outfits, but through her confidence and positive mindset as well.
“She’s never afraid to be bold. I think one of the most stand out aspects of her style is not even what she wears but her absolute confidence when she wears anything… Her style and confidence in what she wears inspires everyone around her,” Lee says.
According to Taylor, however, she did not always have the courage to wear such bold outfits. Her style did not differ much from others when she was younger, but as she grew more independent, she lost the interest of wearing the clothes that everybody else had.
“When I was younger, I would wear clothes more or less just because everyone else had it. I remember wearing Justice clothes because everyone else wore the Justice clothes… Now it’s changed to a point where….I just wear whatever I want to, regardless of how other people see it,” Taylor said.
According to Taylor, her mother has been very supportive of her style choices. Taylor’s mom inspired Taylor to experiment with all sorts of different clothes and accessories, including the pair of silver heels.
“I didn’t know if I could buy [the heels], but my mom was like, ‘Those look amazing on you, you have to get them.’ People don’t realize it, but when people give tiny complements like that, that kind of sparks you to want to wear more and more,” said Taylor.