Dominic: Thrifting, toxic masculinity and linens

A pair of classic orange converse sit against a transparent background.
(Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Fashion is taking over the world by storm; as people’s styles begin to change and investment in the world of style changes, it’s difficult to deny the incredible presence of fashion in the world right now. “That’s Fashion, Sweetie” is a column focusing on fashion in the 21st century. With topics ranging from student spotlights to new controversies in the industry to styling, this column is here to offer insight into the industry as a whole. So come, dive in, with me: there are enough outfits to go around. 

Meet Dominic J: a freshman majoring in linguistics from Ohio:

He sits by the fire, the soft glow setting up the vibe perfectly — the air ringing with the soft laughs of happy people and Olivia Rodrigo’s first heartbreak. He laughs a big laugh, tossing his head back as his features melt and reappear from the shadows of the dancing flames. 

He sits, one leg hanging off in his outfit of choice this chilly evening at Parkside: sunglasses and shoes from Nordstrom, purple shirt from his dad, pants from old navy, a thrifted button-down and a necklace from his friend. Relaxed and on par with the current trend of minimalism, but he didn’t purposely seek out this distinct style. 

He likes shopping at thrift stores for the interesting finds lacking at department stores but also sees the economic and environmental benefit of doing so, seeing thrift shopping as a necessity that is at least geared towards some good. 

While Dominic doesn’t consider himself invested in fashion, his relationship with fashion sparks from self-love and the general appeal of looking good. He wears what he likes to wear and sometimes people just happen to like his stuff as well. 

But his journey with fashion began in middle school as a battle against toxic masculinity. Dominic didn’t intend to purposefully have fashion mark his life, however, because it started as a fascination with colors. 

He laughs, a coy smile creeping on his face as he describes the bright, noisy outfits he would wear in middle school. Despite the clashing neons and stripes, Dominic, back then, felt that his style was revolutionary and influential. 

He later grew to be more intentional about his clothing and colors, and the vibe that his style gives off. It’s important to him to stay exciting and new in order to find more success in avoiding one particular style, preferring to be spontaneous in his day-to-day outfit endeavors. 

Still, sometimes he worries that people will view his thrift findings and clothes as too effeminate, but he ultimately believes in wearing what captures his attention. 

Dominic acknowledges that despite the progress humanity has made regarding the LGBTQ+ community and breaking harmful and degrading stereotypes, hesitation and rejection of these progressive changes and recognition continue to exist. Still, he believes in dressing and styling himself in a way that suits him for the day, his mood and what feels most like him at that time. 

Now, he’s grown a fascination with different textiles and materials, revealing a recent fixation on textures and textiles. Currently, his new obsession is linen, drawing his love for the material back to his family’s roots in Lithuania. In his dream outfit, he wears a creamy, eggshell white open linen top, for the playfulness of an exposed chest, that has loose sleeves and a Cuban striped pattern. 

The rest of his dream outfit also draws inspiration from time periods, especially the 70s. The perfect pants to his perfect shirt? High-waisted deep brown pants with a subtle bootcut flare to give his canvas and suede shoes some subtle attention. To finish off the ensemble, stacks of silver rings, long and short necklaces, and his trusty Nordstrom sunglasses. 

Hadyn Phillips is a freshman writing about fashion in the 21st century, specifically spotlighting students and popular controversy. Her column runs every other Monday.