STYLE GURU BIO: Michelle Szczech

STYLE GURU BIO: Michelle Szczech

Transformation can only describe my fashion taste. Going from wearing Bobby Jack shirts—you know the ones with the cartoon monkey—to searching through the entire mall for the perfect pair of white, vintage, super distressed Levi Jeans, I can confidently say my style has evolved for the better. Growing up surrounded by the Philadelphia spirit of “doing whatever you want,” I developed an intense love for bold statements. I am a strong believer of in-your-face necklaces, bright accent pieces, and unconventional lipstick colors. My personal favorite? A rusty red ombré lip with a pigmented black color.

Currently, I am studying biobehavioral health and psychology at Penn State University. Coming to a very rural area relative to my home city, I was very hesitant about wearing an outfit that strays outside of college T-shirts and leggings. I tried to find a happy medium of mixing my personal, loud street style to the more subdued grays and blues of the school. Now, in my second year, I have found the perfect blend of school spirit and urban chic, which consists of a variety of distressed denim jackets, hangers filled with thrift store finds and vintage college crewnecks, and my current favorites, fishnets or slouchy leg warmers. Oh, and my beat up Adidas Superstars, too. 

Why was the move from city to rural such a huge deal? Because the moment I bought my first Vogue magazine in the seventh grade, I have turned to fashion as an outlet. Being able to pick out my own pieces and make diverse looks into one cohesive statement that just flows is art to me—an art that comforts me, regardless of the stressors in my life. By feeling insecure about my personal fashion choices, it takes away from being me. My idea of style is a part of me that I have always been proud to show, even if I am extremely overdressed for the occasion at times. Overcoming these insecurities was a challenge, but it opened up to me a new outlook on what fashion is. Fashion is an art that exists not in the articles of clothing but through the person and their confidence.

As in Coco Chanel’s wise words, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”