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COLUMN: Fashion plays a huge role in defining our 'type'


To the first person to ever say, “I don’t care about looks,” I am calling the bluff. 

I get it. We do not want to seem superficial because it sounds bad to say that an attraction can be fundamentally based off appearances. Yet, it is natural in the beginning. The way any relationship starts is because, well, we like what we see. 

But what is it about what we see that we like so much on one person but not the next? 

We call it our "type.” 

It is a type of person that, time and time again, we fall into the trap of being undeniably attracted to or, perhaps we are simply attracted to this same kind of style. 

In breaking down different “types,” we find style barriers. 

I have frequently heard, “I’m a sucker for athletes.” This look often comes in the form of basketball shorts, a sleek pair of Yeezys and a casual Nike T-shirt to put the cherry on top of a person's muscular physique. 

Perhaps you like your “type” a little more edgy. You are intrigued by sleeves of tattoos or facial piercings. They wear black graphic T-shirts with text that may make zero sense, but leaves you somehow curious, wanting to know more about them and their cryptic fashion. 

Some are drawn to a clean-cut preppy persona. Shiny pearls and a cashmere sweater tucked into J. Crew trousers can display an attractive sense of togetherness, a person who knows what they want. A fella who keeps every hair in line has got to have his life in line too, right?

But, maybe the idea of having a “type” is the problem. It puts people in boxes. It creates assumptions of who they are, which, in fact, defeats the purpose of expression through clothing. 

Do not cross someone off your list simply because their look does not fall in line with your dating history. Assuming she is too uptight for you because of her Kate Spade handbag, button-down shirt and plaid skirt is passing judgment and using someone’s sense of style against them. 

Having a “type” is limiting. Even as a fashion columnist, I can say it is important to not let attire be your only understanding of a person. While clothing can often be a glimpse into someone’s personality, it does not tell a person’s whole story.

If anything, one’s own style should be a conversation starter, not a gateway to preconceived notions. There could be a story behind the oddly shaped ring she always wears, an interesting reason for the large tattoo on his forearm or a funny explanation to the seemingly senseless text on her shirt. A person who is right for you could be standing directly in front of you but, instead, is mindlessly dismissed because he is wearing black Vans instead of Air Jordans. 

So before you jump to saying, “I don’t know, he really isn’t my type,” think about how your “type” has worked out for you so far. Perhaps your love life is in need of a new sense of style.

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