The style icons who influence our everyday attire

Paris Hilton’s famous millennial pink took the world by storm. One of her most iconic outfits showcasing the color was at her book signing “Confessions of an Heiress.”

Every piece of clothing we decide to wear has been inspired by someone important in our lives, whether it be our family friends or celebrities. All of the trends in the 21st century were influenced by early fashion icons. The most notable style icons have been Audrey Hebrun and her little black dress, Diana Ross and her diva-like wigs and gowns, Elizabeth Taylor and her eye-catching jewelry, Grace Kelly and her sophisticated style, Jackey Kennedy and her chic fashion sense, Katherine Kepburn and her menswear style, Lauren Bacall and her print combinations, Madonna and her extravagant costumes, and Marilyn Monroe and her trendsetting curves. Fashion is a never-ending cycle, styles are constantly going in and out and new influencers are taking the fashion industry by storm.

The hotel heiress, Paris Hilton, is the face of the early 2000’s. While many of Hilton’s critics labeled her as “famous for being famous,” Hilton had an eye for fashion and inspired your look today more than anyone realizes. Some of Hilton’s most iconic trends include matching tracksuits, oversized aviator sunglasses, trucker hats, millennial pink (the best one of course), low rise jeans, graphic tees, pink lip gloss, side bangs, tiaras and bedazzled cell phones.

Not only has her existence had an impact on the early 2000’s, but her trends still make an impact in what we wear today. Some of her trends, such as tinted aviators and millennial pink, have survived the early 2000s and have carried over into the following decades as well. She is even working with friend and fellow influencer Kim Kardashain to bring back velour tracksuits, which were once popular with the brand “Juicy Couture.”

Rachel Berman, class of 2018 and current junior at the University of Wisconsin, said, “I loved wearing the matching tracksuits when I was in elementary school and in middle school. I am so happy they are back in style and I can wear them again with my friends for football game days.”

Emma Chamberlain has taken over the fashion industry. Chamberlain began her career on Youtube in 2017, creating “a day in my life,” “what I eat in a day,” and “clothing haul” videos. The young, ordinary girl became an internet sensation with her intriguing lifestyle and fashion sense. After a year of filming and editing her own videos, Chamberlain signed with United Talent Agency (UTA) and her career skyrocketed. By 18, Chamberlain had dropped out of high school to focus on Youtube and moved to Los Angeles. With 9.65 million Youtube subscribers and 11.3 million Instagram followers, Chamberlain’s mannerisms and fashion sense are constantly influencing others.

“ I think [Emma Chamberlain] is the biggest fashion influence of our generation and she doesn’t get enough credit for it. She continually is creating new trends and all it takes is for her to post a single picture in a piece of clothing and next thing you know, it’s the next big thing.” — Rachel Son

While students may know the name Emma Chamberlain for her funny Youtube videos and her charismatic personality, she does not get the credit she deserves for her influence on the fashion industry. Although she shopped at mainstream stores like Brandy Mellvile and Urban Outfitters, Chamberlain made thrifting for clothes mainstream and “cool.” As a 16-year-old, Chamberlain had a unique style that was a combination of 80s, 90s, and 2000s all combined. Her outfits consisted of high-waisted mom jeans or high-waisted sweatpants that were either from the stores or thrifted. Her tops all had one thing in common, they were cropped, and she cut and cropped anything from sweaters, to sweatshirts, to polo shirts, which is what every teenager or young adult is wearing today.

Besides creating her own merchandise, coffee brand, and her own planner book, Chamberlain also has attended Paris Fashion week with the brand Louis Vuitton. “Checking Emma Chamberlain’s Instagram feed to see what she’s wearing has become a new-found hobby of mine. I think she is the biggest fashion influence of our generation and she doesn’t get enough credit for it. She continually is creating new trends and all it takes is for her to post a single picture in a piece of clothing and next thing you know, it’s the next big thing,” senior Rachel Son said.

Matching clothes for multiples?

There are a lot of questions parents of multiples face. Some of these will be personal, and some will be practical. Here’s one that’s a little bit of both: should you dress the babies the same, or differently?

There are pluses and minuses to each side, and the right decision is the one that works best for your family.

Matching clothes: the pros

There are a couple of solid reasons to match your multiples in solids. Or stripes. Or blue. Or anything else really.

It will likely save you money: If you see an outfit for your babies that you like or that’s on sale, it might make sense to buy a couple pairs.

If you see an outfit for your babies that you like or that’s on sale, it might make sense to buy a couple pairs. It will definitely save you time: Putting them in the same outfit saves you precious, precious time.

Putting them in the same outfit saves you precious, precious time. It might make it easier to recognize the babies: This applies more to the future when your multiples can run around on their own, but even with all their cuteness, babies can be a little nondescript. At the very least, this could help other caregivers recognize them better, even if you need no additional help.

Matching clothes: the cons

A common concern that people have about dressing their multiples alike is that doing so will somehow compromise their children’s unique identities. Another concern is that the children hate it (and some do!). But at this age, should you decide to dress them the same, your little ones are so young that they won’t even notice. By around 3 years of age, they’ll start to enjoy picking out clothes, and then you’ll have to reassess.

The main con to dressing your multiples in matching clothes right now is much simpler: it will be harder to tell them apart! Unless you have a foolproof way of determining who’s who, proceed with caution when dressing your multiples alike, because any parent can be fooled by identical onesies!

While the babies are so young, matching their clothes might save you a lot of time and effort that could otherwise be put towards diaper changing, feeding, or quality ‘you-time’. Then again, you might dread the day that you forget who’s who for a second. In a couple years your multiples might protest, but for now, what works for you is definitely the best choice.


Research Shows That the Clothes You Wear Actually Change the Way You Perform

If you've ever watched the rehearsal process of a play, then you know just how powerful clothes are. Even in the very early stages of a project, professional actors will come to practice in certain clothing pieces that make them feel more like their character. Perhaps it's an old pair of shoes, a long and heavy skirt, or a bandana that helps them get just the right swagger, grace, or edge.

A few weeks later, when they're closer to opening, they'll have an actual dress rehearsal with their real costumes. It's pretty amazing to see how the right clothes bring the performances up to a whole new level and transform the actor into the character! As business professionals, we can actually learn a lot from this.

Like it or not, your clothes and presentation communicate volumes about you as a person. The question is not whether you care about fashion, it's more about what you're communicating intentionally or unconsciously through your fashion choices. Just as the actor in the right costume moves and speaks differently, so does the everyday person.

Your clothes tell a story about you. If you want to show that your work is clean, sharp, and to the point, you need to dress in clean lines, sharp creases, and (yes) points on your shoes and tie. Even the way you wear your glasses speaks volumes about you and your work!

What Do the Details Show?

Research shows that you can tell a lot about someone's personality, politics, status, age and income just from looking at a photo of their shoes.

Did you ever notice that when President Barack Obama addressed a crowd of working class Americans, he would speak with no jacket and his sleeves rolled up? That silently and instantly communicated to the audience that he too was a hard worker.

You might remember when a 44 page dress code published by Swiss bank UBS went viral. The obsessive stipulations detailed everything from the sensible ("If you wear a watch, it suggests reliability and that punctuality is of great concern to you") to the downright invasive (employees were instructed on how to shower and apply lotion, how to wear their underwear, and told not to eat garlic during the week).

They may have been control freaks, but UBS got one thing right: every detail about your presentation communicates something.

When you're dressing or grooming, consider what it says about you and whether it's in line with the message you want to communicate. There's no right or wrong. It's all about context. A tie can make you look reliable and rooted in tradition. This might be important at an investment firm, where clients want to know that you're serious about stewarding their capital. But it can also come off as stuffy and resistant to change, which may be inappropriate for a tech startup.

Your Clothing Impacts Your Thinking

Of course, dressing smart is also important for your confidence and sense of self-empowerment. But your style does more than just send messages, to your mind or to others. New research shows it actually impacts how you think. Professional dress, one study found, increases abstract thinking and gives people a broader perspective. So that tie might actually be switching on your creativity button.

"The formality of clothing might not only influence the way others perceive a person, and how people perceive themselves, but could influence decision making in important ways through its influence on processing style," the study says.

Professional attire creates social distance. When we are more socially distant, we tend to think in more distant, abstract terms. In socially distant settings we address people by their title, for instance, rather than the more intimate first name.

"Even after controlling for socioeconomic status, students wearing more formal clothing showed stronger inclinations towards abstract processing."


Usually we process visual details instantaneously through a process called thin-slicing. That's when the brain makes millisecond judgements based on new stimulus. It often happens without us even knowing. We might just get a feeling that we don't trust someone, or that someone else is steady and reliable. We might not even know why.

That gut feeling, commonly called intuition or a first impression, is really part of the very fast-paced mental process of thin-slicing. It's how we continually judge books by their covers, all day, every day.

So choose your personal presentation with care. Presentation includes not only your clothes, but your accessories, hairstyle, fragrance, posture, body language, tone of voice, and the level of energy with which you move and speak. Think of the person that you need to be in any particular situation. Then dress, groom, and accessorize in a way that helps you mentally step into that personality.

Are you marching in there to get things done? Put on something red, roll up your sleeves and speak in a commanding voice. Are you making social connections at a gala event? Go for suave, but not workplace formal. Dress to feel attractive. Speak in a smooth tone, and let one shoulder relax.

If you're loafing around on a long weekend with half a box of pizza, you can probably get away with breaking out the frumpy comfortables.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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