STYLE GURU BIO: Haley Brandt

For as long as I can remember, fashion has been a guiding force in my life. It all started in kindergarten, when I needed a way to jazz up my dull school uniform. Almost every day, I’d step out of my mom’s car onto the school’s sidewalk with a beautiful leopard print coat over my plaid jumper and a keen need to stand out from the crowd.

Then, when I was just eight years old I had a revelation. I came up with the ingenious idea to dress up as the fashion police for Halloween. I took my job very seriously then, marching around in my pink and black ensemble, going so far as to hand out little tickets to people whom I felt broke the fashion law.

By seventh grade I was reading Teen Vogue religiously, cutting out photos that inspired me and placing them in a binder and reading up on designers that I was infatuated with. At this point you could pretty much always spot me wearing a floral dress with my beloved H&M moto jacket, while most kids at that age wore nothing but jeans and Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirts.

Fast forward to my senior year of high school. I won Best Dressed for my class, a goal I had set a long time ago. I guess my whole “dress well, test well” philosophy worked out after all.

I have always prided myself on my keen eye for the wonderful art form that fashion is. I believe that as fashion grows and changes as an industry and an art, our styles should grow as well. As for my personal style, it pretty much varies based on the day. My go-to pieces are always changing, but right now they include denim, stripes, felt hats, gold necklaces and tons of neutrals. However, here I chose to change it up a little with a chambray off-the-shoulder top, white jeans, a red bandana, a brown cross-body bag and brown slip-on mules.

My advice to all the Fashionistas/os this semester and always is to own everything you wear. Confidence is key. There is no such thing as not being able to pull something off and you are not limited to one particular genre of style. If you’re feeling girly, put on a bold romper. If you’re feeling grunge, throw on a graphic tee and Dr. Martens. The beauty of fashion is not in the expensive fabric or the elaborate prints, but in its ability to transform, to express and to show the world who the person beneath the fabric is.

Here’s to a RAD semester!