In a college deemed as a “country club school,” preppy is certainly the norm. While I’ve never shied away from sequins or blazers, I detest the classic Floridian prep. I love imperfection. I love messy hair and fancy heels paired with ripped jeans. I love disheveled elegance and styles that wouldn’t obviously match in one outfit. All of these things are usually Florida faux pas, yet I’ve been able to make my own statement and find my own style in this place I knew very little about when I first arrived.

I’ve known I wanted to work in fashion ever since I was two-years-old and put on my mother’s heels for dress up. While all the other girls were dreaming of their princes, I was dreaming of my ball gowns. Fashion was never a question to me; it simply was who I was. My classmates knew it, my parents knew it, everyone knew it. I was known as the girl who loved clothes. But for me, it was well beyond clothes. It was the quintessential expression of who I was, stitched in every tweed jacket or rhinestone-jeweled necklace.

After years of seeing this unabashed self-expression in my closet every morning, I finally went to college. In college, as you probably know, things change and “expressing yourself” gets harder and harder as there are less occasions for mule heels and harem pants, and more 8am classes that require rolling out of bed and heading to class in pajamas.

I left the windy city of Chicago for sunny Florida and left behind a little part of this ability to love getting dressed in the morning and to express myself through the clothes I wear. But I found my way back to the creativity and adoration I had always had since the moment I stepped into my mother’s high heels as a two-year-old playing dress up, and I’m here to help you find it too.