The Los Altos Look
A few minutes after the lunch bell rings at Los Altos High School, the hallway begins to swarm with students. From afar it may look like everyone dresses from the same catalogs: all sundresses, yoga pants, and white Converse. But some students refuse to conform to the mold. This photo essay explores the outliers of Los Altos High fashion, and why they dress the way they do.
What are you wearing today?
I’m wearing some shoes from Zara, cause I’m cheap, they also have this fringe thing going on which I like, some tights. I’m wearing a watch and aviators from my cousin, a mock neck, sleeveless top crop from a store called Stradivarius, and shorts from ASOS.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
“Off Duty Fashion Editor”. I like to keep up with the trends but it’s not the top of my to do list, I like to try to experiment. Right now I’m getting into slacks and I’m trying to find a really wide flowy pair of pants — I like to find weirder stuff that’s functional, but still eye catching.
I like your sunglasses, tell me about them.
They’re aviators, they’ve got that reflective thing going on. If you forgot your mirror one day, you could just use them. I got them from my cousin and I think she really nailed my personal style.
Who would you say you look up to in the fashion world?
What I like to do is follow fashion centers — places like Japan and Korea, where there is a less established fashion history, unlike places like France and New York. These places that are still discovering what they want to do with fashion, so there’s tons of experimentation and trends popping up all the time.
What do you think of when you think of Aaron Zak’s style?
I think I looked outside and then I looked in my wardrobe and the first three things I looked at were the things I put on. And that’s it. And I own two flannels.
What are your thoughts on high fashion?
I think high fashion looks cool but I don’t have enough money to get into it. If I had a lot of money I would be into it. Too expensive.
Give me some thoughts about the general look at Los Altos.
Not the greatest. There are maybe four people with good fashion sense here. A lot of people just dress in what they can buy because they have a lot of money which takes away from looking good. Cause people wanna show off money over looking attractive. Like that dude who bought really ugly jeans that cost a lot of money. I don’t know his name.
What is your favorite thing you’re wearing?
I really like this flannel cause it costed five dollars and I got it at Goodwill. I don’t know how to match it with anything and my girlfriend yells at me about it a lot. But it’s comfortable and warm.
What are you wearing today?
I’m wearing a nice little spring dress, cause it’s pretty much summer. I was actually fairly cheap — actually, I’ll be completely honest with you, I got this at Goodwill.
Hey, tell me about your Goodwill shopping.
Ok, So I don’t go there everyday, but I do stop by there and I kinda do look and say, “Hey, that looks nice and I’m going to get it cheap for like two bucks!” And yes of course I do shop at a bit more pricey stores but, then I think “I’m gonna have to save up for that”. But if I have something coming right up, like I need to look good tomorrow, I go to Goodwill.
How would you describe your personal aesthetic?
Anything, I don’t really have an aesthetic, it just kinda — my outfits reflect my mood. The better dressed I am, the probably more stressed I am, because the better I dress the better I feel. If I’m dressed like crap then I feel like crap. So I try to lift my mood up with my fashion.
Are there any people you follow in fashion?
Not so much people or companies, it’s more culture based, I really really love Italian fashion. Italians really have this strict, confident and strong like business look (even their party look also looks like business, I’m always confused about which one is which). So, definitely Italian, maybe a little Japanese, just a sprinkle, but mainly based on European fashion.
Can you describe your look to me?
I don’t really know. I try to look nice but not show-offy.
What are your thoughts about the look at Los Altos?
I mean it’s alright. I don’t really pay a lot of attention to what other people are wearing.
So you wouldn’t say you’re into the fashion industry.
No definitely not. I don’t pay attention to trends or anything like that.
What is the favorite piece of clothing you are wearing?
Definitely this jacket. My brother got it last year and since me and him are like the same size I just kinda borrowed it. Well, borrowed is a strong word.