My mother and I camped for the afternoon in a fluorescent Sears dressing room. I remember her loving gaze as she watched the pre-teen me try on endless combinations of polos and skirts while helping to choose an outfit for my first day of seventh grade. Rainbow Converse, hot pink tank tops and copious amounts of “silly bands” littered my elementary school closet, and so one could imagine my dismay upon hearing that I’d have to wear a uniform to school. I would soon have to exchange my neon essentials for mounds of stale khaki and dingy blues. After decorating myself with accessories and creating two large heaps of “yes” and “no,” I finally settled on a gray short sleeved polo, khaki skirt and a fuzzy highlighter-yellow JanSport backpack. I’d also like to add that my staple shoe that year was a pair of Coach high-top sneakers with a fold-over, multicolored tongue. Although anxiety provoking, it’s charming to think of myself at that age learning to express my personality through colors and patterns while collecting some of the pieces that constitute “favorites” in my ever-evolving wardrobe.
Despite the fact that I was born and raised in San Diego, the Southern California beach aesthetic has never spoken to me in the same way that the NYC blacks and grays have. I’ve definitely worn my fair share of cutoffs and bikini tops in lieu of “real clothes,” but my favorite outfits are the ones that combine classic styles I’ve drawn from vintage photographs, old films and various ’60s “it” girls like Jane Birkin, Brigette Bardot, and Françoise Hardy. I’m not sure if it’s due to my obsession with The Beatles, but Stella McCartney has always been my favorite designer, and my life goals include being able to one day afford a pair of her platform oxford shoes.
It would be an understatement to say that my personal taste has truly evolved. The tween-age me would never have believed that I’d be sharing my opinion with the world through a platform like CollegeFashionista. I am currently a junior English major and art history minor at Kenyon College, located in Gambier, Ohio, and am studying abroad this fall in Rome. When I moved from California to Ohio in 2014 I felt, more than anything, completely mesmerized by the change of the seasons. With a newfound appreciation for parched orange leaves and icy streets also came a new wardrobe—one that, for the first time, consisted of Chelsea boots, peacoats, rain jackets and LOTS of black. The difference in weather and exposure to students from across the world has given me a completely different approach to fashion.
This semester I will be taking art history and Italian classes while living in the heart of Rome; be sure to follow my page and take a look at series of street style photos from across the Atlantic. Arrivederci!