Fall is finally here. The air is crisp with the change of the seasons and everyone is starting to bundle up. It’s tempting to hide under a sweatshirt to keep warm, thus becoming lazy with what we wear in order to avoid the cold. However, it is possible to stay warm and stylish at the same time.
Great separates can be your best friend. Good-quality skirts and shirts can be mixed and matched to make refreshingly different looks without buying new pieces. Tights are also a great way to accessorize while keeping warm. They are an inexpensive way to bring color and texture to an outfit. Add a coat or sweater, and you have a look that’s warm, comfortable, and classy. Don’t be afraid to play with mixing different patterns and colors, and please, don’t listen to the old wardrobe lore that bans matching stripes with polka dots and such. Do not let these “rules” hinder you-go for it! Try mixing flower prints with stripes, houndstooth, dots, and the like. You will be rewarded for thinking outside the box by looking great. Gina and Della are two fashion-savvy students who know how to do just that.
Gina is a graduate student originally from Chicago. She is majoring in biology and wants to go into either teaching or research. She gets most of her clothes from friends, thrifting or “the Bins”-a Goodwill outlet in Milwaukee, which is also her favorite place to shop. In her spare time she likes to garden and grow herbs and flowers.
Her favorite thing about Portland is the friendliness of the people and easy public transportation and bike systems. She describes her style as “Random, whatever I like.” Her approach to putting an outfit together is pretty simple: “Whatever is available or clean.”
Gina’s pairing of a striped shirt with a denim skirt is a subtle way to make a statement while still remaining visually interesting. Her floral scarf adds another layer of interest by bringing a focal point to the outfit and drawing attention up to her lovely face. Gina’s mix of stripes and flowers works very well together. Pairing a subtle pattern with one that has a little more going on is a great way to make a statement.
Della is working towards her Master’s in English to Speakers of Other Languages. With her degree, she wants to teach English to immigrants in the area. Originally from Colorado, Della also likes to shop at thrift stores such as Goodwill, and she makes a lot of her own clothes as well. Her favorite thing about Portland is the large number of creative young people doing their thing. She describes her style as “colorful and eclectic.” Her method to getting dressed in the morning is based on “Time and what’s available.”
She says, “Some days I teach, so I like to look nice by wearing a dress or something.” Della makes perfect use of both bright colors and patterns to give off a fun, vibrant energy. Her red sweater makes good use of color and stands out against the sea of neutral outerwear. She confessed to me that I caught her on a day when she didn’t look very good. If this is one of her bad days, she has nothing to worry about!
Take some style tips from these two students. Fall is a perfect time to stock up on separates that can even carry over into winter. Mixing patterns and textures is a great way to add visual interest to an outfit, as well as to stay warm by layering materials. Get inspired this fall. Go bold, mix it up and don’t shy away from patterns. ?