Growing up in Puerto Rico, I adopted whatever look was on trend in the San Juan circles I hung out in. This included skinny jeans, going-out tops, crossbody bags, and lots of ballet flats. It wasn’t until I was in high school in the early 2010s, when I started reading blogs like Sea Of Shoes, Man Repeller, Lovely Pepa, and Song Of Style, that I realized that I didn’t have to dress like everyone around me. I scrolled through photos of people around the world showcasing their personal style on Lookbook.nu, learning how to style knee-high socks, Chelsea boots, and babydoll dresses — all items that were not fashionable in a Caribbean island — into what for the first time felt like an authentic expression of my fashion taste. While you could certainly see common threads, there was a sense of freedom and experimentation that allowed those creators — each capitalizing on hard-to-find items, emerging trends, and fashion subcultures — to forgo trendiness for their unique takes.