Fall fits hit the hallway runway


Fall fashion at Oak Park and River Forest High School represents a collection of styles from the past, with the majority of students borrowing inspiration from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.

Current culture at OPRF highlights students’ style choices as well as the creativity that comes from branching out from the norm. Regardless of the way students dress, they show personal identity and individuality in their clothing choices. Clothing is way more than just a piece of cloth for many students. Clothing is a statement.

Natalie Hornik, who teaches clothing construction and fashion merchandising, said she has seen patterns emerge over her six years at OPRF, with the current generation being more body positive and health conscious. She also sees more students applauding one another for showing off their creativity through fashion. “It’s just really cool to see every student express themselves through clothing,” Hornik said. Thrifting is a current trend, she said, noting that when it comes to fashion, “…everything always comes back in one way, shape or form.”

The pandemic shaped fashion consciousness as well, with students newly interested in clothing “coming off of COVID-19, where everybody was at home behind a screen dressed for leisure,” Hornik said.

As senior Lilah Grove explained, “Consuming more visual art/media in the pandemic helped me decide what I like, and how I wanted to represent myself creatively.”

Senior Sadie Terrell said that in the past it was hard to express herself due to the standard and norms of her school environment. “As I got older the urge to fit in won over my urge to express myself, which led me to wearing what my current friend group thought was fashionable.”

But that changed when she got to OPRF. “The diversity of student fashion at OPRF allowed me to stand out with my own style while still feeling accepted at school no matter how eccentric my outfits were,” Terrell said. Being in an environment where she felt more comfortable and knowing that she would be accepted for her own personal expression has made her confident.

While walking through the hallways, it is clear that style is freedom of expression, identity and an outlet for students. In the future, with the supportive environment Terrell, Grove and Hornik describe, students will continue to dress the way they feel most confident and show off their unique individuality.