STYLE GURU BIO: Sylvia (Juo-Hsi) Peng

Double first names are almost the trademark for an immigrant. “I also go by Sylvia” is a phrase that often comes up when you meet me for the first time. Some people might challenge the use of the my English name as a rejection of my Taiwanese heritage. Contrary to popular belief, I was given the name Sylvia and Juo-Hsi at the same time, except each one was used more frequently at different segments of my life.

Juo-Hsi is the five-year-old who refused to take off the teal blue cat-eye sunglasses her dad brought back from Brazil; the seven-year-old who knew that a church-going outfit was never complete without a purse.

Sylvia is the fourth grader who used her skirt collection to express herself when her language skills failed her; the junior in high school who amassed confidence by each click of her heels free of self consciousness.

As you can see, my interest in fashion has been a stable throughout my life. It probably originated from the upbringing of my mother, who has a degree in fashion design. I don’t think I was ever the most fashionable person in school or even among my friends, but I do consider fashion as an important part of my identity.

My style cannot be defined by a label. I wear a lot of monochromatic, minimalist pieces; at the same time, I appreciate bright colors and intricate designs. You can find me lounging in a pair of joggers and a sporty bralette. You can also find me gliding around with a floral slip dress. At the end of the day, I dress for my body. I give everything a try, and if an outfit looks good on me, I keep wearing it!

Recently, I have really been loving this cherry blossom embroidered bomber. The jacket’s light material is perfect for layering under your winter jackets on days that are too cold for anything else. I balanced out this colorful piece with a black turtleneck and a pair of blue distressed jeans, not forgetting to wear heat-tech leggings for warmth. For accessories, I put on some dainty necklaces, so I won’t distract from the ornate jacket. Lastly, I wore my thifted Bratz-like black boots that let me strut down the streets of Manhattan.

I am a freshmen at Vassar College in the beautiful Hudson Valley. My perspective major is international studies and I hope to have a minor in mathematics and/or French. One of the greatest quirks of the Vassar College campus is that artistic expression is everywhere, which includes expression through clothing. I cannot wait to share these stunning and inspiring styles.