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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

75 Hard Style Challenge aims to slow consumerism, used as a creative outlet

Daniel Mendoza / Hilltop Views
This is the final outfit of the 75 Hard Style Challenge, ending on a bang. Take a look at days 1-74 on Tiktok @lolaclairpods.

I have dreamed of being Rachel Green — clad in a brand new, fabulous outfit every day — since I was about five years old. I have my mother to thank for introducing me to my first style icon, but the idolization didn’t stop there. As I got older, my back pocket filled with style inspirations like Cher Horowitz (Clueless), Audrey Hepburn, Stevie Nicks, Catherine Denueve and, of course, Carrie Bradshaw. Even Elton John and Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie) had their five minutes of fashion ingrained into me. 

Since moving to Austin, I have begun experimenting more and more with my own style and what I’m willing to wear. All of my favorite items of clothing have names: my “pride and joy boots,” a pair of black knee-highs; “The Carrie Bradshaw,” a lilac, tulle midi skirt; “the birthday cardigan,” a thick, pink and brown cardigan gifted to me when I turned 20 years old. Suffice it to say, I have an ever growing love for learning my own style and expressing myself through my outfit choices. 

For me, the 75 Hard Style Challenge came at just the right time. At its core, this challenge is meant to get people thinking about how to more dynamically use the clothes they have instead of constantly buying new ones. It’s a fight against consumerism, encouraging people to get creative before they get their wallet out. 

The rules are fairly simple (at least the ones I played by were). The goal is to go 75 days in a row without repeating an outfit. You can wear the same articles of clothing as many times as you want, but the outfits have to vary. You are not allowed to buy any new items of clothing, including shoes and accessories, until the challenge is over. You also have to document the entire journey on Tiktok, as that’s where the challenge originated. 

Personally, I made a point to detail what each outfit consisted of each day, telling the viewers each item of clothing and where I got it, down to the socks. For those who don’t know, I’m a very big fan of socks, especially matching them to my outfits. 

I felt I was adequately prepared for this challenge, given I had attempted it in a more relaxed way last semester, and I have two closets full of clothes in my tiny on-campus apartment. That’s right, when it came down to choosing between a desk or a freestanding closet in addition to the one that came with the apartment, I chose the closet. It wasn’t so much of a choice as a necessity. 

I have to say, however, this challenge is truly not for the faint of heart. It might seem silly, but it took quite a bit of time and effort to pull this one off. I would venture to say that my favorite part of each day is choosing my outfit, but even for me, there were times that it was extremely difficult, and I felt stuck. 

Part of my problem may be that I wasn’t just trying to figure out a new outfit each day; I put a certain level of pressure on myself for each outfit to be interesting and to repeat pieces from my wardrobe as little as possible. Even for someone with two closets, it can be difficult at times to throw something together that feels new. 

I love this concept. In fact, I think it’s a very important one. This challenge was a great way to point out that I do have a lot of clothes and even if it was difficult, it wasn’t at all impossible. Actually, there were lots of dresses I hadn’t worn in awhile that I got to put on display, including the one that initiated my love for fashion. 

There were also some pieces that I’d avoided for a while, not fully liking how they looked on me at first or unsure of how to go about styling them. It was refreshing to finally find ways to make them into outfits, not only because I now know how to wear them, but because doing so made me more confident in my own abilities to put an outfit together. 

I haven’t always been able to express myself through my clothes, having grown up in an Episcopal school uniform and a town where Lululemon was the most acceptable place to shop. Doing this challenge helped me tune into my own style, and it taught me that I can wear whatever makes me feel like me. Best of all, I can do it out of my own closet.

I know there is a lot of work to be done to combat consumerism, but I think that shopping can also be an important part of that process. Obviously, it is important to wear what you already have and to appreciate those items, which is well proved by doing this challenge. However, I think thrift shopping is a big part of dismantling consumerism and building up that appreciation. 

We don’t have to stop shopping completely, or never veer from our current wardrobe. Thrifting is a great way to find new items that are unique and personal to you, without giving into the ease of fast fashion. You’re buying something that already exists, not encouraging big companies to continue creating more on your dime.

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About the Contributor
Lola Claire
Lola Claire, Life & Arts Editor
Lola Claire is a junior writing and rhetoric major with a concentration in creative writing and a double-minor in Journalism and Digital Storytelling. This is her second year working with "Hilltop Views" and first semester as Life & Arts Editor. Previously, she has spent time with "Hilltop Views" as a Staff Writer and as Assistant Life & Arts Editor. She is quite excited for this opportunity to learn and grow as a journalist. Lola loves writing, digital media, playing the piano and learning new things. She hopes to bring something new to the table and make meaningful connections along the way!

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