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  • Writer's pictureRio

Hand Me Down to Haute Couture

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

I grew up on hand me downs. My cousins suits and most of his clothes, thrift store, second hand store and so on. On occasion my mother would buy me things from the store or things I wanted. I started shopping for myself in middle school, but before then I rarely got to choose what I wore. I wore what I had and had to be happy about it. Thank God I have always been a person who never gave a fuck because I got picked on a lot. I never really cared tho unless it was a constant bullying because I was also a fighter. I was usually always comfortable in what I wore, partly because ftI was tough and partly because this is what I had to wear.

We wore uniforms, baby blue tops, navy blue bottoms from 1st grade to 8th grade. So When I started high school I had a pretty decent wardrobe to choose from. Freshman to junior year I became known for my fashion sense. I was short when I started high school about 5'6" and when I returned for my senior year I was a little over 6 foot. It was a drastic change for me. Part of the reason was when I went to try on my clothes from the year before, my pants were basically shorts. I pretty much needed a whole new wardrobe. I got child support through high school which I had full control over my senior year. I got close to $600 I didn't have the funds because I did sports, so I couldn't work. I had already started paying my own phone bill by the age of 17, and rent as well. Which left me about $225 dollars for the month for social activities, haircuts, and clothes and shoes. I know not much. Most of the time I would buy shoes on sales or discounts but nothing over $80 and I would spend the rest in thrift stores. I lived and grew up off of thrift stores so I knew how to spot a good find. I had also learned how to sew at that point, so anything I couldn't wear I could turn into something else. I lived on sales, and closeout stores.

I am thankful for my struggles because you have no idea how easy it is for me to put a look together with literally nothing. My mama was a fashion girl. She could make a look from literally anything. My sister and her friends were fashion girls and from them I learned labels. I won best dressed in high school just because I knew how to put shit together. When I went to college in 2015, I just decided to reinvent myself. I dressed up everyday, no matter how hungover I was, how I felt or what the weather was. I began making my own clothes seriously that year. It wasn't long before I was popular on campus from my fashion. If you saw me on campus I was fully dressed. That was me that was who I became. It is something that stuck with me. I run into people all the time when I visit home who have seen me on social media and they always compliment me. People stop me in stores and in class all the time and compliment my pieces I made. It just gives me a little better joy to say "Thanks I made this!" vs "Thanks its Gucci.", even though I love Gucci.

I guess you can say it takes balls to wear what I wear, but I never really cared. I am my own person I am comfortable in what I wear most of the time, and if I am not comfortable in it, I probably didn't have a chance to alter it before I put it on. I never let people's sly comments get in my head about something I have on. Most men don't have the confidence to wear things I wear, but imma step. I don't feel like less of a man, I just feel fly, and I wear what I like because nobody buys my shit but me. I love my labels, but its nothing like spending 2 hours cutting out all the pieces from your patterns and another 3 hours putting it together because in the end you will have a nice one of a kind piece. I love jackets and sunglasses. I like to play with different types of pants because you can work so many silhouettes so many different ways. There is no way to describe my style because it changes by the day. Its just an expression, the first thing people see about you is your appearance... So why not present it well?

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