Freedom of Expression

Photos by Demetrius McCullough

“Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment.”
-Alexander McQueen DSC_1338

Sometimes we take for granted in this country how free we are to express ourselves.

We can say, do, and wear almost anything we want without fear of repercussion.

We may have had to abide by strict rules and dress codes in high school, but now that we’re out in the “real world,” the only people we have to answer to are ourselves.

At least for us.

At least for now.

Style is what gives us our personal freedom.

I love that I can wear whatever I want, whenever I want.

I might get some strange looks if I wear a crop top and high heels to class, but I can do it!

And that’s what’s important. Not that I have to do it, but that I can.

I can’t imagine trying to take that kind of freedom from anybody.


Because of our love for fashion and our mutually preferred mode of personal expression, the two of us quickly grew to become close friends.

We would constantly ask each other where the other purchased some random piece of clothing or accessory, and we would bond over stories of finding hidden gems at TJ Maxx or Goodwill.

It’s because we were free to express who we truly were then that we are able to share it with you now.

Most people underestimate the value of freedom until it’s taken away.

I remember when I went to visit family in India a couple summers ago, I had to halt my day while we were touring the ancient city of Jaipur and change out of my denim shorts into pants because too many people were staring, and my family was genuinely afraid for my safety.

Before I left on that trip, I never gave it a second thought.

I just packed summertime clothes because I knew it was going to be 120+ degrees every day. To those of you who have never left your corner of the world, you may not understand how good we have it right now, but also how easily some of the freedoms we take for granted could be wrested from us, especially considering the direction we’re going.


We’re not just saying that women may not be able to “wear what they want” anymore.

It’s bigger than that.

So many times women are judged or accused of “asking for it” because of what they are wearing.

Women of the Muslim faith in this country are afraid to wear the hijab for fear of violent retribution.

In some places, trans women aren’t even allowed to use the bathroom of their choosing or are harassed for wearing heels and makeup.

Fashion is a tool to communicate who we are and what we stand for, and that should not ever be used as a weapon against us.



“We can never intimidate and discourage the people who voice their words with courage. The essence of freedom rests precisely here – in the freedom of expression of the people. And we must protect it.”

– Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj

Sabrina’s Outfit Details:
Top: TJ Maxx
Jeans: H&M
Jacket: TJ Maxx
Shoes: Kroger
Bralette: Aerie
Earrings: H&M
Sunglasses: Aldo
Hannah’s Outfit Details:
Dress: Self-Altered (Originally from HipSway)
Cardigan: Target
Shoes: Goodwill
Earrings: H&M
Sunglasses: Eyeglass Direct


There’s Power in Pink & Polka Dots

It’s an intriguing time to be alive as a young woman.

We’re encouraged to step out of preconceived notions for what is traditionally feminine in order to rise up the ladder, but I think in doing so we’re ignoring the fact that there’s a lot of power in femininity.

There’s a lot of power in polka dots.

And the color pink.

And manicures and charcoal masks.

Simply because we value these things in our lives doesn’t make us any less powerful or less capable than those who don’t. Why can’t we show that being powerful and being feminine aren’t at odds, but rather complement one another to give us unique strengths as individuals?

Kate Bartolotta, a writer for the Huffington Post, shares her thoughts on femininity and being vulnerable,

“Everywhere we turn, people are crying out for authenticity, for genuine connections, for renewed empathy. As we move forward, we need to take this step away from lives propelled by aggression and step into true fearlessness, which is a product of our raw, tender hearts.

If in this new era we are truly going to move forward as human beings, it will not be through strength or force.

Strength of force is no match for the boundless strength of surrender.

If, as has been implied by the Dalai Lama and other leaders, that women will save Western Civilization, it will not be through intellect, nor ambition, nor any overt power. It won’t be because we are perfect. It will be because we are vulnerable.”

When I’m sitting in my MBA classes and everyone is talking about working for investment banks or accounting firms, I’m the only one who proudly says they’re going to start a fashion company. After I say this, I’ll usually get a weird look, or they’ll say something along the lines of “Wow, that’s ambitious!” Yeah, it is ambitious. But I was raised to think deeper and dream bigger. I was raised to believe that if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. So I’m going to keep contouring my cheekbones for my night class with pride and also create pro forma financial documents that will blow your basic socks off.

It’s fine if you don’t have those same priorities.

But it’s also fine if you do, which is something I don’t think gets spoken about enough.

Feminine style is a part of who I am.

Rushing to paint my nails blush pink before a business networking event doesn’t mean I’m any less capable of showing a potential venture capitalist that they could seriously profit from investing in our company where our net profit margin is over twice the average (more on that to come!).



Details of Hannah’s Outfit
Top: Target
Pants: Amazon
Flats: Target
Earrings: Amazon
Details of Sabrina’s Outfit
Top: Forever 21
Leather Treggings: H&M
Flats: Antonio Melani
Scarf: Nordstrom
Ring: Jeweller in India