Two students explore creativity through style


Darcy Leber

Senior Annika Solis and Freshman Haylie Hardwick find of confidence in their sense of style.

Freshman Haylie Hardwick recalls the many compliments she has received from the elderly specifically on her Demonias boots that cost about $100 to $200.
“They’ll be like, ‘Oh my God, where did you get those shoes? I need to get some for my grandkids,’” Hardwick said.
Her style originates from a Japanese fashion subculture called Gyaru. It consists of wearing leg warmers, skirts, boots and dresses. However, the dresses Hardwick wears are from another subculture called Lolita, which consists of wearing oversized eccentric dresses.
She buys clothes from Amazon, and not from fast fashion sites, like Shein, because Hardwick feels the quality is lower. For one outfit, she will spend around $130.
Hardwick started wearing these clothes because the style was mostly in pink and white. Whenever she wears those colors, she feels confident.
“I never really liked any of those basic outfits and wearing crop tops outside of my house,” Hardwick said.
A variety of colors are also something that senior Annika Solis adds to her closet, which helped create her “hippie” sense of style.
Her outfits consist of wearing layers of clothing, along with different patterns and colors. Wearing clothing of different colors has always made her happy and she feels that it can make other people happy to see the vibrancy.
“I always loved wearing a lot of colors,” Solis said. “I would always wear clothes that didn’t match because I wanted to wear as many colors as I could.”
In 2020, Solis received jewelry from her mother and really liked wearing it. This led to her outfits consisting of multiple necklaces, bracelets and earrings as a staple that her grandmother also influenced. Since Solis works at the Southport Antique mall, she tends to buy her jewelry there.
She has felt more confident in her daily life within the past year. She remembers not talking to many people and feeling very nervous at school, but those emotions faded into confidence after she embraced her love for fashion and started to dress how she wanted to.
Sometimes, she feels a bit different than other people if she is wearing something that she deems as “weird.” However, these feelings go away after a short while. She says that one should dress the way they want to dress and not let other people’s opinions impact it.
“Think about why you’re not wearing it,’’ Solis said. “Is it because you think it’s weird or (because) other people think it’s weird?”

Senior Annika Solis crocheted a tote bag in her favorite colors with collectible keychains around September. She has worn it ever since. (Contributed by Annika Solis)
Hardwick wears a sundress and skirt during her 8th grade dance on Oct. 2. (Photo contributed by Haylie Hardwick)
Freshman Haylie Hardwick wore a white cardigan, a pink lace shirt, white demonias and a mini jean skirt to the Southport Antique Mall on May 18. (Photo contributed by Haylie Hardwick)