This week, my photography class took a trip to Pittsburgh's Strip District – an open-air, public market not far from campus. In the midst of bright floral bouquets, fresh produce and colorful handmade wares, Audrey's vibrant outfit seemed just as cheerful. Her style struck me as genuine and simple, yet effortlessly captivating and I hope you agree!
School: Point Park University
Major: Journalism and Dance
Hometown: Traverse City, Michigan
Favorite hobbies and interests? "There’s always a book within reach, or a crossword puzzle. I’ve gotten into this new habit of seeing a piece of clothing I really like, sketching it out and sewing it. I’ve always loved sewing, but I had never actually designed anything."
Let's Talk Fashion
Describe your personal style: "Motivated by the weather and my mood. I’m all about being comfortable throughout the day. The first thing I do every morning is hit snooze, but then I check the weather to see if it’s a shorts or pants day. I definitely have go-to pieces, like leather cuffs made out of my Papa’s old belts and my watch."
Favorite places to shop? "Thrift stores in Florida; I love older pieces of clothing that have seen more than just my own life. There are so many of them in Florida and they have the best things. I bought this navy plaid blazer at a Florida thrift store for $1 last spring break and it’s one of my favorite things."
Who or what inspires you to wear what you do? "I have this gorgeous picture of my grandma at age 15 next to my bed. It’s so simple, but there’s just something about her that captures you. I look at it and think, 'When do I get to be that captivating?' She’s a professional seamstress and she taught my mom how to sew, and my mom taught me. My inspiration comes from them. They remind me to be myself, always."
Why did you choose this particular outfit? "It’s all that I could think of to go with orange lipstick. When did I get brave enough to wear orange on my lips? Also, the J.Crew March 2012 catalog is partially to blame. But I made these shorts last summer and have been longing to wear them ever since."
What are your favorite trends right now? "For hair, the return of the middle part. Remember when people called it 'curtains?' I also love high-waisted everything: pants, shorts, skirts, all of it. And mixing prints. It’s fun."
What would you say is a wardrobe essential, something everyone should have in their closets? "An over-sized crew-neck sweater (say, for instance, one that used to belong to your father) and a pair of chinos."
What fashion advice would you give to students trying to develop their own look? "There is so much out there in the fashion world right now, but don’t get overwhelmed. As long as you do you and stay true to that, you can’t go wrong."
Element's of Audrey's Outfit
1. Bold Color Combo
I be just a little obsessed with Audrey's love triangle of seafoam green, coral and red orange. I think solid color blocking in threes can work with practically any combination, so don't be afraid to mix it up. And Audrey's outfit is such a great formula for trying out the trend: her contrasting top and bottom look great with coordinated extras, like her belt, nails and lipstick.
2. DIY High-Waisted Shorts
You know an outfit is special when you catch yourself thinking, "I've never seen anything like that before!" – which is what my mind blurted out when I first saw Audrey's standout high-waisted shorts. And really, I haven't. Because she made them.
3. Cable-Knit Sweater
I love that Audrey wasn't afraid to rock a sweater on a 70-degree, sunny day. Even though it may seem like as big a part of the "spring has sprung" ritual as taking your homework outside, don't condemn your usually-only-winter wears to the back of the drawer. As Audrey proves, you can still make them work, no matter the weather.
4. Casual Wedges
I love how Audrey's strappy espadrille wedges tie together all of her outfit's gold accents and add just enough extra shine. In addition, metallic wedges like hers work with just about any outfit - talk about wardrobe versatility!
What do you think?
Do you love Audrey's style as much as we do? Have you ever tried your hand at sewing or designing your own clothes? What are your favorite color combos this spring? Share your style stories or suggestions in a comment!