“In general, the things that I do, say, and people I hang out with are unorthodox, so style makes me feel comfortable. I’m usually not thinking about how I will be perceived when I’m getting dressed. It’s not necessarily an effort to look cool or nice for school,” senior Eli Caraveo said.
Self-expression can be done in a plethora of ways. For senior Eli Caraveo, his form of self-expression comes from clothing, and ultimately style. Eli has a style that most would say is elevated, as he takes some of his fashion inspiration from strong streetwear cultures.
“A lot of my family is from Mexico, and some are from Japan. The streetwear culture from Japan inspires a lot of what I do as well. The outfits that you see there I get inspiration from sometimes,” Caraveo said.
With family originating from other countries, Caraveo has an opened eye to the ways of fashion trends around the world.
“I have been to Mexico once before, and it was definitely a culture shock coming back to America. I realized how different everything is here; going to Mexico made me realize that I am possibly more connected to my culture than I realized,” Caraveo said.
Not only has culture influenced Eli to have fun with fashion, but other influences close to him push him, to try out new styles.
“For a while I wore shorts and a hoodie every single day, and although there is nothing wrong with that I realized that it wasn’t what made me feel best,” Caraveo said.
Eli explained that his older sister was the person to initially push him to dress differently. At first it was occasional that his sister would help him choose something to wear, however eventually she helped him almost daily until he had figured out what he liked and didn’t like, who inspired him and didn’t, and ultimately what made him feel best.
“I don’t usually look for specific people to inspire my fashion, but my sister has been the number one person to support me and help me expand my clothing taste, my girlfriend also helps me to try out new styles that I may have not tried before,” Caraveo said.
In high school it is almost common knowledge that there is plenty of pressure around how one may be perceived by their peers. It’s normal to want to be liked, and to want to fit in with the rest. Eli’s fashion choices are a fun form of self-expression however they come with a price at times.
“People make assumptions about people based solely upon how they look sometimes. So, I feel like existing and doing what I want does no harm, no matter what I or anyone does there will be stereotypes and assumptions tied to it,”
Despite criticism from others, Eli enjoys being unapologetically him, and shows that through his fashion, character, and all of the other things that make Eli, Eli.