Alternative fashion

Students talk about their sense of style and how it impacted their lives


Senior Catt Smith and junior Zia Brown

Senior Catt Smith was in the fifth grade when she traded in her pink shirts for darker tones due to how the color doesn’t get as dirty much. But, it soon became her style and opened her eyes up to different aesthetics.

“It’s just fun to dress up how I want to,” Smith said. “This helps me have fun in my own body.”

Smith’s taste in clothing is a mix of four genres: goth, emo, punk and grunge. Goth is where black is worn with flowy clothing and dark makeup while grunge consists of flannels with jeans. Much of the subculture is based on not conforming to societal norms and the style of clothes is based on alternative rock music. 

Junior Zia Brown follows the Goth subculture. She wears fishnet stockings, long skirts and platform shoes. Her naturally brunette hair is dyed black and she wears black eye makeup with black lipstick. A year ago, she started to like this clothing style because she explored the goth subculture. 

“There was nothing that really triggered it,” Brown said. “I just kind of discovered the style.”

She usually finds some clothes at thrift stores such as Goodwill and Plato’s closet. When she shops online, she will buy from sites such as Ebay and Etsy. On the other hand, Smith prefers to buy her clothes from sites like Amazon. 

Brown does not wear everything that represents her style when she comes to school because she finds it hard to dress in her full style everyday. 

“It’s kind of just like a small reflection of my entire identity,” Brown said. 

Senior Catt Smith went out with her family on Halloween in 2022. (Contributed by Catt Smith)

Smith wears spiked necklaces and chains and represents her taste in punk clothing. Corsets and harnesses are a big part of her style as well and she wears them over her clothing.

She also tries to make a statement with her outfits. One of her jackets has patches on them to represent what she believes in, such as icons for the Black Lives Matter movement and women’s rights. 

She wants to show that she supports those organizations and movements and does not want to “come from what society thinks is the norm.” 

But, her journey came with challenges. At the end of her junior year, she overheard some students saying “if their child dressed how she does, they would put them up for adoption.” 

Although she has faced problems with outside society, her family and friends have been very accepting of her fashion choices. Her mother and sister encourage her to dress the way she likes to and she has made many friends who also share the same style of clothing as her.

Her mother sometimes sees items that remind her of her daughter and will send pictures of them to Smith.

Junior Zia Brown on March 7. (Contributed by Zia Brown)

Smith’s grandmother is accepting of her clothing but advises her not to dye her hair because she likes Smith’s natural blonde hair. 

“Hair plays a big part in my clothing style,” Smith said, “and everything because I love having bright hair and dark clothes. I love the contrast.” 

For Brown, she recalls being at the mall and getting stares from elderly adults because of her clothes but has not experienced any direct discrimination from anyone. 

“I feel like the general public’s attitude towards goths has gotten a lot better over time,” Brown said. 

Brown grew up in a Catholic household, but her parents also accepted the way she dresses.

Smith wishes people would refrain from making comments to others who dress differently than them and keep comments to themselves. Smith does not care about what others think of her but thinks people should have open minds.

 “I feel like people should just expect that people are not always going to dress like ‘normal,’” Smith said.