Making an Impression: The Hybrid, Thrifted Style of Maya Tang ’23

Tang enjoys finding pieces from vintage shops and online shops like Depop.

Tang often chooses a statement piece and builds an outfit around it.

Sporting a yellow shirt with bubblegum pink trim, matching yellow gloves, a black skirt, and pink and white tennis shoes, Maya Tang ’23 focuses on making a “statement” with her outfits. She constantly tries to find new ways to style her clothing pieces, so her outfits are rarely repetitive.

“This year I made it a goal to never wear a ‘lazy outfit.’ I want to always try to put in effort even though there is nobody here I want to impress. Unpopular opinion, but I usually don’t really consider comfort, because I prioritize what I think looks good. If I have to deal with some inconvenience throughout the day, that’s fine,” said Tang.

Before Tang transitioned into high school, she wore exclusively running clothes every day. She reflected on why she decided to change her style and experiment with her look.

“I got tired of it, so I started experimenting. Things that I would think are really ugly two years ago, I find really nice looking now. My style is always developing based on inspiration I see or take around me. If I see it online and I don’t think it looks good, but then I see someone wearing something similar and they actually make it look good, I’ll take inspiration from that,” said Tang.

Tang enjoys styling matching textures, such as black satin pants with a black-and-white satin shirt from Depop. She typically procures her clothing from vintage stores or online shops like Depop, emphasizing the unique and secondhand nature of her outfits. Tang described the aesthetic intersectionalities of her fashion.

“Recently, I’ve been enjoying streetwear and baggy pants. I also do like wearing more preppy stuff, like casual blazers and loafers. Sometimes I also like to be more feminine, with dresses. I really don’t think about clothes in ‘what fits a specific aesthetic,’ I just combine things from different categories and combine them to how I think it looks good,” said Tang.

Instead of emphasizing a specific aspect of her outfit, Tang emphasizes how each piece of clothing fits to highlight certain accessories and parts of her body. She discussed the range of form-fitting to loose clothing that embodies this fluid style.

“Some days I want something more baggy, then I’ll try to contrast it with something more form-fitting, or something that shows off parts of the body I want accentuated. If I’m wearing a nice necklace, I’ll wear something that shows off my neck. I like to focus on clothes that fit me well, rather than shirts or pants,” said Tang.

In terms of fashion inspiration, Tang admires the style of Seniors who graduated last year, the streetwear of passersby in Boston, as well as Fawlin Carrington from the television show “Dynasty.”

“I don’t think a lot of people are going to know this movie character, but Fawlin Carrington from the show ‘Dynasty’ is really inspirational. I don’t wear anything that looks like what she does, but the way she carries herself and the way she puts an outfit together is something that inspires me,” said Tang.

According to Tang, she previously thought that she had to buy expensive clothing to craft high-quality outfits, but she’s now turned more towards thrifted and handmade pieces to bring her style to life. She described the importance of fashion in her life.

“[Fashion is] one of the ways I can feel good about myself, even if other aspects of my life are going to [expletive]. It’s still a way for me to feel like I’m put together, or just try to look nice. It’s very consistent for me. It’s a way, especially when meeting new people, to make an impression. Even if it’s kind of ugly, it will still be somewhat memorable,” said Tang.