Everyone on TikTok is cooler than me.
Well-dressed, makeup on point — absolutely dripping, as they say.
Gen Z TikTokers could easily run laps around me in terms of style, but they want me to look cool, too. Or at least they want to let their followers in on their fashion and beauty advice.
Instead of letting millennials make fools of themselves with side parts and skinny jeans, they’re trying to save us, even if they do make fun of us in the process. It’s what we deserve for making fun of them for the whole Tide pod thing.
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What other advice might a TikToker have for a woefully uninspired person in her mid- to late-twenties, I wondered? That’s when I stumbled upon Siena Filippi, a 22-year-old TikToker and fashion expert from Massachusetts, who offers her styling services on Etsy.
“Let me style you!” her listing says. For a mere $10, she promised to make a “TikTok-style video” of what she thinks your style should be and an inspiration guide to elevating your fashion sense, complete with a list of recommended brands to check out. I paid up, obviously.
Filippi, who also owns a clothing brand with upcycled clothes known as Ri.Reclaimed, told me that she got into the whole “styling services thing” by accident.
“I was actually using TikTok for fun, and making fashion videos when people started asking for my advice,” she said. “So I made a series where random people would leave their Instagram handles and I would look them up and give them an ‘aesthetic’ based off Pinterest pics/outfits.”
Her “process” is hard to describe. She said she looks at people’s Instagram photos and gathers information “based on what they are wearing, the activities shown in their pictures and the overall vibe of their account.”
“That is pretty telling of what they’re drawn to aesthetically,” she said. “Then from there, I try and find a group of outfits that go well with that person’s vibe.”
At this point in our conversation, I’m terrified. I know she’s going to be looking at my Instagram and judging my vibe based off of that, and I know I only ever post on my anniversary or when I dye my hair a new color. Filippi managed to put together some really wonderful recommendations, though.
She called my style “girly chic” and “effortless colorful beauty,” which is correct, I think, even though I’ve never thought about it before. Then she showed me a handful of outfits I can replicate.
In just 60 seconds, I learned quite a bit about pairing patterns and texture, mixing color and edginess. Seems that fashion is all about balance and playing with that balance — who knew!
“Be bold … the only way you can see change is if you step outside your comfort zone,” she told me.
After spending the past year saying to myself, “What can I wear on the top that pairs well with sweatpants on the bottom?” I found myself inspired and watching all the rest of the videos on her page to try to glean as much information as possible.
She also offers a “style bundle” in which she’ll send you thrifted pieces that fit your style, so you don’t even have to do the shopping yourself.
Filippi doesn’t stop at just offering advice, either. One of the premiere items she offers in her Etsy shop is a “thrift and small business guide” to starting your own business just like hers.
Her willingness to make her succcess accessible to others imples that she — and most other TikTokers in this space, I think — actually want to help other people look their best and find success in their own right. That’s one of TikTok’s best features, in my opinion: It’s attainable, not just aspirational.
There’s something about TikTok that differs greatly from Instagram and YouTube. Though all three have mysterious algorithms, Instagram and YouTube thrive off jaw-dropping content that’s beyond the average person’s grasp — expensive outfits and rented private jets. You know that will never be you, but you can dream.
On TikTok, what you recommend has to be accessible. Thrifted outfits and cheap skincare saviors like Cetaphil are massively popular — way more so than Gucci shoes or some holy grail beauty product. If your style recommendations aren’t achievable by the everyman, you’re going to get roasted in the comments.
TikTokers take the time to find cheap alternatives, make attainable recommendations and teach their followers to think for themselves in a way their older peers on other apps do not. And on that note, I’m off to buy some chunky patterned sweaters.
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