11 People On Why Dressing In All The Colors Of The Rainbow Is A Powerful Form Of Self- Expression

Gabriela Cracraft
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In a lot of ways, fashion is intertwined with identity. We've used clothing to express ourselves for centuries. People dress to convey a variety of things, from their taste in music, to their history, to their culture. People who construct their entire wardrobes with rainbow colors have a lot of reasons for doing so — as a reflection of their lives, interests, or even something as simple as their mood that day — and sometimes, it's all three.

Think about it: Some dress in all black for simplicity, while others make the pointed decision to go goth. In the same vein as those who dress in all black, people dress in bright colors for a variety of reasons. For the 11 people below, the choice to dress in technicolor is one that comes from a desire to show off their personalities, express their identities, meet like-minded people, and to stand out in a crowd, particularly when society tells them they shouldn't. Check out the reasons why each of them wear all the color they can, below.

Stacey Louidor

“I love being bold and unexpected," Louidor tells Bustle. "I love themed looks and I really want to show that not dressing like everyone else is OK. Every time I put clothes on, it's inspired by a TV show or art."

Louidor has made friends through her style by finding people with bold and unconventional tastes. While people tend to stare, which can be uncomfortable, it doesn’t stop her from being true to her style, which she describes as, “Y2K circus” alternative with inspiration from the '90s and early '00s.

“I want people to understand that I don't dress for anyone but me," she says. "If I incorporate pieces that would not appeal to the masses, it's a choice I embrace. I love being ‘out there.’ After years of not knowing exactly how to dress my bigger body and then trying to cover as much as possible, I decided that to be happy,I have to dress and do as I see fit!”

Gabriela (Gabi) Cracraft

“Technicolor definitely means a lot to me," Cracraft says. "It's like a super simple definition of my fashion and overall mindset. The best example to me is the Pee Wee's Playhouse set that was made by Wayne White, Gary Panter, and Ric Heitzman. It really embodies technicolor in every sense to me.”

Cracraft describes her style as a mix of Halloween, tacky, clashing patterns, psychedelic and vintage clothes from the '60s to the '80s.

“There’s no bad way to dress colorful," she says. "Feel free to experiment and just wear whatever you want!”

Ariana Bardallis

When it comes to describing her style, Bardallis says, “It's been described as ‘Easter Beetlejuice,’ a paper doll on acid, the sixth Spice Girl: Spooky Spice, but I usually just call it psychedelic glitter clown."

Bardallis says that her entire closet is organized in ROYGBIV order, and also includes '60s florals, optical illusion prints, stripes, polka dots, sequins, and more. She dresses 100 percent for herself, and rarely spends money on new clothes or accessories, instead getting them from loved ones or creative friends.

“I would hope just by looking at me," Bardallis says. "You would gather that I'm a weirdo queer uninterested in hetero male bullshit who doesn't take themselves too seriously, enjoys a good rainbow or two, and maybe thinks Halloween is all year round.”

Rebekah Krispi

Krispi describes their style as weird, unapologetic and full of love, adding, “If anything is described as technicolor, I want a part of it.”

“I wear whatever the heck I want," they tell Bustle. "Whether it's unflattering, sheer, bright, bold, slutty, whatever makes me happy. Fat people dressing boldly, though recently has become more and more normalized, (thank you fat people of Tumblr, y'all changed my life), can still be shocking to some people. We are basically told to blend in, not to draw any unnecessary attention to our already large bodies, so dressing boldly is really just extreme self love."

They also note the powerful impact colors can have on mood. “Depending on my mood (and my current laundry situation) the more colorful the outfit, the better the mood," Krispi says.

Jarae Holieway

Holieway says that dressing in bright colors makes her happy and reminds her of home. “Not too many people wear bright colors in New York. I love being able to bring color into someone's day,” she tells Bustle.

She has met a lot of friends through Instagram,and says of her style, “My style is a continuing evolution of myself, it's more than just clothing. I’ve always dreamt of becoming a model, and doing big things in fashion but never felt like I had a place in the industry. Never dull your shine, stay true to you, and follow your dreams! I hope to encourage more people to be bold and wear more color, fashion, like art is what you make of it!”

Marisol Muro

Marisol Muro describes her style as, “Marcia Brady goes to Disneyland. If I had to choose a song that described my style, it would be She's a Rainbow by The Rolling Stones.”

Muro says that when it comes to dressing in bright colors, it’s like therapy. “When the skies are grey & I'm feeling blue, I style myself to cheer me up. In general, people are attracted to color &someone always has to comment something about what I'm wearing. It's usually about some character from a movie or cartoon that I remind them of. I'm lucky & I mostly get positive comments.”  

Niña Piña

Piña describes her style as “garbage funk,” and says that technicolor is life. Her feed is full of inspiration for how endlessly creative you can get when you think of your entire body in creating a look. She says when she is in a funk, she uses colorful clothing and makeup as a form of self-therapy.

“My main jam right now is to paint my face to match or compliment my outfit," she says. “Don't be afraid. Who cares what you're wearing or how you look — it’s all in how it makes you feel. Be unapologetically fierce. You don't have to prove anything to anyone. You're fucking awesome.”

Denise Ceja

“Technicolor reminds me of old cartoons," Ceja says. "Which is where I also gain color and style inspiration from at times.”

Her style is a mix of '50s, '60s, and '70s colorful patterned clothes. She wants people to know that it took her a long time to feel comfortable in her own skin.

“As a person who struggles with anxiety, colors really do help elevate my mood on a daily basis," shae says. "Even on a not so good day, the silver lining is that I know I will at least have liked my outfit. I used to see other people rocking their own style with confidence and would wish that I had that. Now that I have finally found it, I try to just have as much fun as I possibly can.”

Lauren McCarty

McCarty describes her style as “adult clown baby meets '90s goth dream queen” and says that technicolor is all about happiness.

“Every piece of clothing I own is a reflection of my personality, every outfit I put together has its own story. I love bright florals, pattern mixing, pushing boundaries & turning heads.”

Lexi Laphor

Created and shot by artist Marina Fini, this shoot was designed to be a part of a collaborative exhibit Motelscape at Miami Art Basel, 2015. Marina Fini is a photographer and installation artist specializing in plexi glass, neon lit, sci fi femme, otherworldly multiverses.

“My style is femme as fuck!" It's hyper feminine and my use of color definitely plays an important role in that," Laphor tells Bustle.

For Laphor, the choice to wear color definitely affects her mood and her everyday life. “It makes me feel like I am emanating myself," Laphor says. "Making more room in my every day to exist as queer and femme. My sexuality and coming out as queer really prompted me to be assertive and imaginative and bold and explorative with how I looked."

Laphor creates visibility for herself by wearing bright colors, and is easily able to identify herself as a femme queer person.  

"I could defy convention and deconstruct beauty standards and channel a disruption of the everyday with how I looked," she says. "I love inspiring people to examine or explore who they are and what they do think or don't think they can do by dissolving that self-policing attitude of oh I could never do or dress like that! Once you see something exists that u feel within yourself or even just have not seen materially IRL before, it can be very comforting and spark your imagination for shaping and altering your own reality!”

Nicky Ottav

Photo by Sherri Daniels

“My style emphasizes a wow-factor," Ottav says. "I love really bold colors and prints and matching things that totally don't match.”

Ottav says that dressing in bright colors definitely impacts his day to day life. “I love wearing colors on days that the weather is crap or my mood is crap. Everywhere I go people stop me for pics on the streets or high-five me and it just makes the day so much more enjoyable.”

These people are proof that being true to yourself is the best way to live, and this goes for expressing yourself through fashion. Dress however you want, in whatever ways make you happy — and if you want to add a bit of color to the mix, go for it.