STYLE GURU BIO: Jessa Chargois

Greetings my fellow fashion enthusiasts, my name is Jessa Chargois and I am freshman at Cornell University studying Fashion Management with a concentration in Product Development. This is my first semester writing for CollegeFashionista and I am looking forward to exploring my university’s fashion sense, as well as my own.

Competitive and stubborn, I find myself often working hard, whether it be my studies or in my job, working in a high-end consignment store close to campus. Although I originally regarded fashion as more of a hobby than a career, I should have realized this field of work was in my future sometime between re-watching all the seasons of Project Runway, always rooting for Justin LeBlanc and Christian Siriano or creating Sims just to dress and accessorize, only to be left sitting in the dock, always awaiting a future, never to receive one.

Contrary to the popular preppy styles of Cornell, I identify with the “thrifters” out there. Coming from a lifestyle unlike many of my fellow peers, I have always had to make do with what little extra my family had, all the while growing up in Upstate New York’s breathtaking Hudson Valley surrounded by the rolling Catskill Mountains, some of the best views in the state, drawing much inspiration from nature throughout my life. Unable to afford looks from designers such as Chanel and Prada, I learned to adapt, finding salvation in Salvation Armies. Always on the hunt at yard sales and flea markets, I treasure apparel that has layers upon layers of stories, and look forward to adding my own to its history. Combining my two dollar shirts with five dollar pants I cut and sewed into shorts, my biggest accomplishments lie in knowing I have successfully transformed a few dollars into a fashionable look, whether it be grunge, boho or preppy. From my trusty maroon Doctor Martens to my floppy wool hats, my studded green loafers to my favorite striped blazer, to my faux fur vest or my high-waisted sequin shorts, I try, maybe a little too hard, to not fit into any categories within fashion.

You may wonder, What is your one signature piece? I would have to answer with, my nails. Serving as my own personal canvas, I have painted hundreds of designs covering my thumbs to pinkies. From Christmas reindeers, to flocking Monsters Inc. characters that landed me in the pages of Seventeen Magazine, my nails serve as a constant source of calm in my otherwise chaotic and hectic life.

Transforming from a child whom found herself dragging her parents into the dark corners of Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch just so she could fit in, I find satisfaction knowing that I have finally come to the conclusion that “fitting in” when it comes to fashion, is out. Dressing to express oneself, in whatever wacky and funky way you find comfortable is true beauty, and what every fashionista and fashionisto should aspire to. Be funny, be bold, and smile with whatever you have on because it is an expression of yourself, and you should love it. I know I do.