Clothes out of context: the working world’s influence on fashion

By Ainsley Sutterfield

All students wear clothes, (well at least I hope they do), and many of the pieces high school students are wearing were made purely for functionality. Now, they’ve become the latest trends hitting the streets and hallways. Generation Z has embraced clothing pieces for their unique visual qualities rather than the previous practicalities. From overalls made for industrial factories to whitewater sandals, the Storm students are rocking these conventional clothing items.

 Chunky pant chains have recently been trending within the skating community. However, many are unaware that originally this accessory was intended for motorcyclists, used so their wallets wouldn’t fall out of their pockets while they were riding. Supermodels and socialites, including Bella Hadid, have brought attention to the trend, layering the chains over khaki cargo pants and skin tight leather leggings. 

“The good-taste-bad-taste accessory has been making a comeback thanks to brands like Vetements, and Bella Hadid is the latest to jump on the unexpected trend,” writer for Vogue Maria Ward said. 

Because of the celebrity influence, students have probably seen the chain wrapped around oversized denim jeans and plaid skirts, filtering in and out of classrooms. 

“I just feel unique when I wear it. It’s different and original,” Sophomore Hannah Higgins said. “I saw influencers on social media platforms wearing them and I personally find the aspect of styling with chains interesting.” 

Influencers have taken these chains and changed not only their purpose, but also how people view them. This biker accessory turned street chic is now rocking the fashion industry.

Another craze that has morphed with time is the sturdy sandel which made its first appearance in 1989. Chacos were created by a whitewater rafter who wanted a shoe to get him in and out of bubbling brooks.       

 “I loved my job as a whitewater/fly fishing guide, but my feet were as wrinkled as raisins. Any grit in my shoes wore holes in my soggy skin. Working on the river was heaven, but my feet were in hell,” said creator Mark Paigen. 

Now, you’ll see students wearing pairs of brightly woven Chacos to “trek” across Summit. 

“I love how comfortable and stylish they are,” Freshman Lily Ogdon said. “They allow a functionality between going indoors and outdoors.”

However, the most obvious trend among Storm students are overalls, the working man’s outfit. Taken from factories to fashion in the late 60’s, this iconic denim fit was originally made from a heavy cloth to protect workers from harsh conditions. Now Carhartt and Dickies overalls aren’t seen as functional but instead are retailing from around 40 to 150 dollars at stores like Dolls Kill and Urban Outfitters.

“Carhartt [is] peddling the workwear brand’s plain, boxy canvas jackets as a trendy look,” Catherine LeClair, writer for Racked said. 

With the approval from social media influencers, who proudly style the oversized dungarees, the streets have flooded with denim. 

 “I got my overalls from my mom’s closet. They have a 90’s feel that is overwhelmingly popular online and in stores,” Sophomore Sam Davies said.  

From purposeful to trendy, these clothes have been stripped from their history to fill our social media feeds. Motorcyclists, factory workers and whitewater rafters paved the way for stylish teenagers. Though we may not realize it, our style today is reflective of the functionality in clothing from the past. 

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