Behind the Layers: Senior Fashion at IBW


Nayomi Hendee (she/her), Staff Writer

In Portland, consistent rainfall, to mild sunlight is the main experience of weather during these early months of the year.

Layers can be tricky, applying cohesive correlation while staying comfortable and taking temperature into account can impose some obstacles. One needs to learn the proper layers in order to correlate to the  interchangeable weather at hand.

Many of the seniors at Ida B.Wells High School (IBW) have  come to this perception of using correlation within layers to stay stylish while being comfortable to the indecisive weather forecast.

Understanding cohesiveness can bring forth a symbiosis within the outfit that helps intertwine in a cohesive manner; layers.

Eden Genevieve, a senior at IBW,  spoke on her perspective of layering. She explains how she starts her layered outfits. “When I’m layering I usually choose one piece of clothing to focus on and build the rest of the outfit off of that. For this outfit, I started with the leather jacket, which used to be my grandmother’s,” Genevieve said. 

Perceiving this outfit it is apparent that this leather jacket is indeed the centerpiece, yet when the jacket is  taken away, it is still possible to see the correlation this jacket shares within the outfit.

​​To her it’s about adding, this perspective is interpreted and executed uniquely to each individual. “I wouldn’t say that I build an outfit around the layers. I usually just add layers until I find it interesting,” she said. 

Genevieve shows an example of a primary cohesion, with the black leather incorporated through her jacket and boots. “Color is definitely something I take into consideration when layering,” she says. “I personally like to keep colors pretty simple, and I don’t like to mix too many bold patterns or colors. If I’m layering with a statement piece, I keep the rest of it pretty simple.”

“I like layering because it can elevate an otherwise simple outfit,” Genevieve says. “On their own, the pieces I used in this outfit are pretty basic, but together, the prices make each other more interesting.” While incorporating a statement with the leather she introduces a simplicity with the jeans and white button down, helping the correlation become clearer. 

When Machai Runtz, senior at IBW, begins layering he embarks upon a pretty routine way of styling. “Start of the layers, for today, was the pants — usually I pick out pants first,” he says. “That’s what I usually base the rest of the outfit off of, because I have a lot of colored pants” Within his wardrobe this is an element that feels most versatile, and when creating an outfit with layers, a versatile start is a creative starting point.

Speaking on the benefits and essentials with layers,  Runz brings to light a few points. “I feel like  layering is essential,” said Runtz.  “Especially when you live out in Oregon, especially at this time, a puffer jacket, for sure, because it’s cold.” 

Runz brings up the benefits of layering, “One you look good, you feel good, you stay warm.” Especially in Oregon, “We out here in Oregon we gotta layer,” he explains. 

Runz next goes beyond not only the layers within his expression but the layers within a pivotal factor inferring upon his relation of Inference upon within his style “When people look at me they gonna be like, ahh an average Black man, because I feel as a Black man, Black men lowkey have style most of the times I feel like it’s stereotypical to have a Black man that can dress pretty well,” said Runtz. 

Alima Limatow, a senior at IBW, outfit journey inducted layers differently. “With this outfit I started off with the Superstars and then went to the t-shirt, the affliction shirt,” she said.  Indicating upon bring in the shoes and shirt is the essences of this outfit being that these the outfit was built upon 

Limatow’s layering variant components are forced on accessories. “With layering I always gotta have hella accessories that match the fit,” she explains. “I got the pink All Star backpack, you know always gotta have the same colors” indicating that accessories are her way of cohesion throughout layering.

Limatow expresses when creating this self expression it induces positivity “Layering makes me happy, it’s something I look forward to, making my fire ass fits.” She is  creating a place to be authentic in her expression  “My outfit is expressing my freedom and creativity”

Limatow explains, speaking on where she takes reference from. and said, “I just grab whatever I think is cute,” she said. “Lots of people say I got the Yy2Kk, I prefer MCmc Bling though.”t, call me mc bling though” this to her is her authenticity. 

Eloise Dibble, a senior at IBW, took a whole other route when interpreting layers. She wanted to bring in a side of her that was playful and silly, creating something creative. 

“I had a whole other outfit plan, I decided to scrap that,” Dibble says. “I was looking through my clothing and I saw this little brown under shirt I have on, and it actually has stars on it I sewed on myself, because I bought it from Goodwill and it had stains on it and I couldn’t get them out. I realized I could wear that as an undershirt, and actually I never do that.” She upcycled this shirt and still created something new she had never done before.

She goes into explanation upon what really created this outfit, “An essential piece was the undershirt” 

The shirt is something of her creative side she tied that in through referencing a genre of film. “I was trying to go for those little indie movies like Juno,” she explained. This brought cohesion to the outfit and expressed a certain understanding to infer what lies beneath her intended expression. 

“I then grabbed some random ass shirt and I switched the shirt, it was brown but I switched it to a green shirt because I wanted more color. And I used my little pants, cause these are my trusty jeans and I love them,” Dibble said. 

“I thought the scarf was fun, because no one wears scarfs to school, I’m gonna bring back scarfs. That’s my thing,” Dibble says. She really just elaborates  on the fun playful side of fashion creating something unique to her. 

When thinking about layers there can be so many different interpretations that are generated, it’s really just about how an individual wants to correlate their expression to their comfort. In Portland, it can be difficult to do this in an effective way, yet these seniors seem to all execute it in their own individual way. 

It comes down to one prevailing factor you can distinguish while observing each individuals’ style,  within the layers their starting point is found within their cohesion and authenticity.

Whether they began their outfit with a jacket, pants, shoes or shirt, they all unconsciously followed the same outline. They set out with a creative approach of expression, upon what is the element of vivid concept: to use cohesion throughout the outfit to slowly tie each idea together creating a cohesive, correlating, and layered outfit.