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STYLE GURU BIO: Alaina Leary

“Are you going to a party?” is usually the first question I’m asked by strangers, followed by, if it’s winter, “Aren’t you freezing?”

My wardrobe staples since 2007 have included tulle, leggings, lace and a refusal to wear hefty winter boots, unless I’m up to my knees in snow and left without a choice. I rarely wear pants, and even when I do, those “pants” are secretly dark wash jeggings anyway. Ninety-nine percent of my outfits are comprised of a short-sleeved shirt, a skirt and piles of leggings equivalent to the weather outside.

So how do I keep warm in the winter, chilly in the summer and maintain a strict style guide? My secret weapon is layers. In the summer, I stick to one pair of leggings, lace if I can help it or a thin pair of tights. I don’t wear sandals unless I’m at the beach. In the winter, I wear at least two-three pairs of fur-lined socks, several layers of fur-lined leggings, fuzzy leg warmers and usually a sweatshirt underneath my pea coat. My goal is to still look fashionable without getting hypothermia.

A vast majority of the time, my outfits include glitter, elaborate accessories (like a bow bracelet or Origami Owl locket), tulle skirts and lace tops. As a result, I’m often asked what party I’m on the way to, even if I’m actually en route to work, my graduate school classes or just to the grocery store. I was once in a Starbucks downtown near campus when an older lady asked me, “What play are you in?” because my college is known for its theater program.

This winter, I added lace-up ankle boots to my wardrobe after two years of searching for the perfect pair to complement my style. I’d been stuck in flats year-round, unless there was actually snow on the ground because I refused to don boots if I found them unattractive.

I’m a first-year graduate student studying publishing at Emerson College, and becoming a Style Guru allows me to combine my love of writing and my adoration for style. I can’t wait to share my posts with you!

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