She Gonna Pop Some Tags

October 14, 2016

Sedona Vivirito walks into her second-period Honors English class; five minutes late but still fashionable as ever. Today she wears an oversized jacket with a white collar peeking out, a pleated skirt, and a gold chain lying across her chest. Her entrance is followed with an array of compliments, which she greets with her signature hand gesture — one hand curled to look like half of a heart. Her fans complete the shape with their own hands.

Sedona is a fashion icon here at West Ranch. Her individual style comes from how and where she buys her clothes. She is an avid, self-proclaimed thrifter, buying most of her clothes at secondhand thrift stores.

“I’ve been thrifting my whole life,” said sophomore Sedona. “It’s really cool to be able to find cool stuff at an affordable price that does tell a backstory and isn’t just like everyone else.”

Thrifting has become popular among high school students who don’t have an income to support their inventive styles. Teenage years are some of the most formative years of anyone’s life. It is also a time where parents are relied upon for financial support, giving high-schoolers little money to spend freely. Thrifting has not only become an economical way to shop but also a unique way to express personality.

“Thrifting is really awesome for high school students because not a lot of us have jobs; not a lot of us have a lot of money to spend,” said Sedona. “I don’t thrift just because it’s cheaper, but it’s also a really cool part of it. I can get so many different things and keep my style really fresh at a really low price.”

Dressing up is not just a bargaining deal nor a daily necessity for Sedona. Instead it is an art form.

“It’s super creative picking out outfits every morning, picking out outfits you think would look good, or sketching out ideas for outfits. It’s a really creative and expressive thing for me.”

Sedona shows her creativity in another way as well. From the age of four, she has been involved in theater. During freshman year, she took Theater 1, and this year, she continues in Advanced Theater. At West Ranch, she played Mama Bear in the student produced play “Chasing Charming” and various other parts in other productions. All of these shows had intricate and striking costumes, some designed by Sedona.

“Costuming is a huge part of theater. You can really tune into a character when wearing a certain outfit. I have different outfits for different moods I am going for, different people I am trying to portray. It can really get you into that person’s mindset.”

Sedona often thrifts pieces she can incorporate into her costumes, making each one unique and remarkable. These costumes help build characters and are visually stimulating to the audience.

“In the theater, costuming and style is such an asset, especially in amateur theater where we don’t have a large budget with which to work. It is always nice to have somebody to do that sort of thing: look and piece things together on a limited budget,” said Christopher Cook, the theater teacher at West Ranch.

These characters she creates often transcend the stage into her daily style. The outfit she wore to her Honors English class was inspired by Heather Chandler, played by Kim Walker, in the hit 1988 coming-of-age thriller “Heathers.” She purposefully wants her characters to come across in what she wears. She strives for the accuracy.

“I love when people will say what I am going for is really cool. Like today I am going for a ‘Heathers’ look, and they say, ‘Wow, I really see what you are going for.’ It really makes my creativity shine through, and I [understand] that other people see what I am going for.”

Sedona keeps her outfits unique and her costumes accurate through thrifting. Her style is always fresh and new. She has an aura that conveys confidence and an impression that is hard to forget.

“People can tell by the way she dresses how amazing, different, quirky and creative she is,” said Sedona’s best friend and thrifting partner, Faith Myszkowski. “It’s really cool to just be able to look at someone and know that they are cool.”

“I think anybody who thrifts is naturally eclectic. She has a sensibility about her that says she is artsy and has a good eye for design,” said Cook.

Even when thrifting, Sedona’s welcoming personality translates to the people around her.

“All the ladies that volunteer at the thrifts store know Faith and me personally. It’s really cute when they say, ‘Hey you would look so cute in this. Your skin tone would look so good with this.’ It’s cool when they interact and talk to us.”

At these thrift stores, Sedona and Faith shop to the script of a typical teenage movie. “We usually meet up at my house or down at the thrift shop, and we spend about an hour at least there and just hang out. The thrift store is basically our hangout spot. After we go thrifting, we go to the pizza place and get some water because we are broke teens,” Sedona said giggling. “Sometimes we will sit behind the local laundromat and just hang out or go back to my place and try on all the clothes that we just bought.”

Going thrifting is a fun activity for many teenagers. It sustains a young person’s energy and changing personality.

“Everything is so surprising there. Every single time you go, there is new stuff. Obviously there is gonna be that same jacket you have seen 20 weeks in a row that you eventually buy because you feel bad for it, but everything is new and fresh. You can really switch up your style. You can get a lot of inspiration from thrifting.”

The appeals of thrifting come from its affordability and individuality. Thrifting allows self-expression that high-schoolers can afford. Sedona uses it to build her character and style on and off the stage. Most importantly, it brings her happiness and confidence by constantly letting her creativity shine.

“For anyone trying to find their style or who is kinda not sure of where they are going, or is bored with what they look like or how they dress, always change it up! … I would stay creative and have fun with your fashion and style. Do what makes you happy! Do what makes you feel confident!”

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