The air hits me like a crispy slap in the face as the door of my favorite clothing boutique swings shut.
That’s right; it’s fall and with it has come a whole new slew of shopping. The new season is especially important to the students of the Ann Richards School. It’s the optimal time to embrace a new look, an avant garde take on their daily wardrobe, a shocking change of self image, a vision for the year’s aesthetic!
I visited the charming academy just last week to see girls ranging in age from eleven to eighteen sporting incredibly imaginative looks and amazing creativity!
And it all comes down to the Little Black Jacket.
The Little Black Jacket defines the student’s personality and tells a lot about the owner. There are numerous styles and approaches, including the sporty look, the crew neck, the cardigan, the leather zip-up, the hoodie, the fleecie, the wool peacoat, the windbreaker (uncommon, but a treasure nonetheless), the v-neck pullover, the simplistic long-sleeve black t-shirt, the Ann Richards pullover sweatshirt, and so many more! The variety is limitless.
I learned immediately that some girls take a lot of pride and put in a lot of thought to their choice of outerwear, while some are more relaxed. For Nina Arcos, of grade twelve, it was a casual Target purchase, a spur of the moment decision. “I like my hoodie,” said Arcos. “Frankly, there’s not a lot to say. I think it’s cute, the pockets are relatively soft and if I ever need to dress up as a gothic Little Red Riding Hood, I’m golden.”
On the other end of the spectrum, there are students like Francine Jenkins, grade eight. “Oh, no. I didn’t just pick this up at the mall,” said Jenkins, gesturing toher torso, which was coated in flouncy knit material. “I ordered it from a special Italian boutique in Maine. I had to be super sweet to mom for weeks so she would let me get it. I searched for ages for this cardi. Ages I tell you.”
When I spoke to Elise Lemond, grade seven, she even got a little bit dewy eyed.“This is the sweater I bought the day my baby sister Geneva was born. It was the first possession of mine to ever touch her skin,” she said of the loose-fitting sweat-shirt, wiping a runaway tear with its sleeve.
“I got this fleece number sometime between eight and ninth grade,” said Mariana Montez, grade eleven. She sees it as a symbol of a significant time period in her life. “I mean, yeah, the transition to high school is an intense thing. I would go so far as to say that the moment I picked this jacket from the iron rail at Nordstrom was the moment I began my journey into adulthood.”
I jumped at the opportunity to talk to the first leather clad girl I could find. “Oh boy,” sighed Zara Britto, grade nine. “This leather jacket has been with me through thick and thin. I even nicknamed her Ole’ Faithful. Legit.” Though I prodded, I couldn’t get Zara to share any of the note-worthy experiences she’d had with Ole’ Faithful. “They’re just too special,” she said, with a wave of her hand.
Finally, on my way out of the building, I spotted a young lady wearing a simplistic knit v-neck. I asked her if the jacket held any importance in her life, if it was at all significant to her. “Funny you should ask,” said Augusta Dexheiser, grade ten. “This jumper is a constant reminder of one of the primary affections in my life. This is what my cat was wadded in when I found him, right off of I-35. Of course my immediate reaction was ‘Score! A pet and a uniform-appropriate sweater all in one!’”