STYLE GURU BIO: Sandra Okot-Kotber

Style Guru Bio

As the great Lionel Richie once so perfectly sang, “Hello.” Needless to say, my name’s Sandra [Sahn-druh] and UCF has been my runway for the past two years. The road here hasn’t been completely smooth and dandy though. I’ll admit I’ve had my fair share of rough patches: stints of band tees and jeans, a hoodie obsession and ill-fitting hand me downs depict my style history. Growing up in a small town denied me access to many fashionable stores. Today, I can proudly say I’ve recovered from those times and have no plans of relapsing. My past choices in apparel are a huge factor in my pride to be writing for CollegeFashionista. If someone had told my 13-year-old self I’d be chosen to report trends for a fashion site, I would’ve assured them they had the wrong girl.

Conquering those dark times couldn’t have ever happened if I hadn’t ditched J-14 and Tiger Beat for Teen Vogue and Nylon. With my nose constantly in these style bibles my inspiration to upgrade my closet grew and grew. Venturing into fashion blogs and sites like Refinery29 has also been my saving grace. Though it may sound like I’m a slave to the game, I can’t stress enough my desire to be creative. I may have not always been the best dressed girl in school, but I have always held an appetite for innovation. Some look to fashion as a set of dos and don’ts but I never look at it as guiding rather than restraining. If we didn’t strive to make looks our own or explore fresh ideas, fashion would no longer be fun, but dull and yawn inducing.

Now, I’d like to paint you a definitive picture of my personal taste but that’s a tough task. My style icons range from Olivia Palermo to Karen O so I think it’s safe to say it’s nothing short of eclectic. I love creating contrast in my outfits, whether it’s adding a feminine touch, like pearl earrings, to a tomboy chic outfit or sprinkling in some edge such as an ear cuff to a dressy look. Don’t think jewelry is my only go-to game changer. Prints and textures of clothing, shoes, handbags and other accessories can make a world of difference to any ensemble.

Orlando may not be a fashion capital but we still have our share of folks dressed to the nines, even on our campus. Every Wednesday I’ll be featuring them here for the FASHIONISTA/O SPOTLIGHT. Spice up your daily internet browse and add it to your list of pit stops. Trust me, Facebook can wait, I promise you’ll be far from disappointed!

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