Finding identity through fashion: Jess Herb

Finding out who you are is far from easy. Embracing who you are can be even harder. And expressing who you are to the rest of the world can be absolutely terrifying – but also liberating.

For junior digital arts major Jess Herb, she found herself in fashion and, specifically, thrift shopping.

Here’s how she found her quirky style through her passion for thrift shopping:

Jess Herb poses in an edgy yet comfy look. Photos by Leah De Leon

Jess Herb poses in an edgy yet comfy look. Photos by Leah De Leon

When did you first start thrift shopping?

My junior or senior year of high school.

What’s your favorite part about thrift shopping?

I find that things I find there are much more my style. You find eclectic things you wouldn’t really find anywhere else, and I’m the type of person that likes to rock the really weird things, but also I started to really love it recently because it’s good to combat fast fashion.

How would you describe your style?

I think the edgy best friend in movies that just wears weird things. There are some days where I’m feeling really preppy and other days I feel dark and grungy. It just depends on my mood. I’d say bizarre, interesting.

Do you think thrifting has helped you develop this bizarre style?

Definitely. It has made me much more confident, happier and extroverted because of that. When you first see someone, you can already tell what they’re wearing and can kind of get a sense of who they are. I would much rather wear something that shows my personality.

Jess Herb struts her unique style in this 80s dress.

Jess Herb struts her unique style in this ’80s dress.

Do you have any favorite trends?

I always say I ignore trends. There are trends that I like, but make your own trends. Do your own thing. And when you do that, I think you will find that you have so much more fun and you have so much more comfortability with yourself.

Is it hard to not let other people’s opinions affect you?

If I’m going to exactly align with what’s trendy or cool, then I’m not really being myself. Maybe it doesn’t make eight people happy, but it makes you happy. I like to think about how you feel in it rather than how people see you when you’re in it. That always helps me.

Do you think there are any stereotypes around thrift shopping?

I think when people think of thrifting, they just tend to think of edgy stuff that can be found at a place like Buffalo Exchange. But I think if you want cheap, really cool, affordable clothes, you just gotta search and you’ll find them.

Jess Herb smiles in her colorful and playful look.

Jess Herb smiles in her colorful and playful look.

What are some of your favorite thrift stores around Chapman?

Saver’s, Buffalo Exchange and Thrift Row.

Get your thrift on at the best thrift stores in Orange County!

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