Looks on Campus: Devin - Michigan State University

Identity and creativity come together with this layered fall look.
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Identity and creativity come together with this layered fall look.

Fashion and identity go hand-in-hand, but sometimes your personal style can mean so much more. Using fall tones, grunge elements, and textile touches, Devin uses her outfits as a way to express her true sense of self and exercise her creativity.


Devin 101

Name: Devin

Year: Junior

Major: Genomics and Molecular Genetics

School: Michigan State University

Hometown: White Plains, NY

Let’s Talk Fashion

Who or what inspires your style? "I think a lot of it is wrapped up in queerness as expression and how clothing is a means of expressing experiences that can’t often be articulated, particularly of gender. Clothing enables you to have a small amount of agency over how you’re seen and how you’re perceived. But also I’m inspired by friends and natural fibers and cool colors and also whatever happens to be in thrift stores at the time."

Where do you like to shop? "Primarily thrift stores. I feel like I find the best items there and items that actually fit, which is sort of a big deal because if I go to standard places, clothes don’t always fit, and if they do they’re so expensive that I don’t want to risk altering them. So much of what I get at thrift stores I tear apart and then piece back together so that it fits my body."

How would you describe your sense of style? "Oh I don’t know… If a weird angsty teenager became a twenty-something year old and went through puberty again? I don’t know, but as I mentioned before, obviously queerness plays a large part in it, and I really do like pretty colors and natural fibers and interesting things like that. There can be details to an outfit that you don’t always see but really pull things together in subtle, cool ways."

Why is fashion and self-expression important to you? "Whether or not I wear makeup on a certain day will 100% change whether or not I’m gendered a certain way. Which is interesting because I’ll see certain pieces that I figure would be benign but they completely change the way that people assume what gender I’m trying to get across. It’s so much of a choice when I get ready every day. 

Are there challenges you face when it comes to self-expression through fashion? "It’s hard [to fully express yourself] when you’re exploring fashion, especially when it’s tied to things like identity and gender that a lot of people don’t have to think about, and it’s going to affect how you are being read or interpreted and treated. Just trying to think about all that and still have fashion be fun and not be entirely wrapped up in political consequences can be a challenge. I think [politics and fashion] are so linked and that there’s room for both. But sometimes it gets messy. It can be easy to lose sight of having fun with the statements of dressing."

What fashion advice would you give others looking to improve their style? "I think literally everyone says this, but find what makes you comfortable and what feels good to wear. On top of that, sometimes find things that don’t necessarily feel like you so much and try them on. See how you feel when you’re wearing those things because maybe that 'you' is a 'you' that you’re interested in exploring. Identity is so fickle and ever-shifting so just branch out if you’re looking to change things up a bit."

What are your favorite trends right now? "I’m liking a lot of the colors I’m seeing right now. So a lot of ashy pastels, mauves, and dusty roses. Those are colors I absolutely love and I’m starting to see them more and more so that’s exciting. And right now I like wearing things with higher waists and I like things that I’ve made or that friends have made. Whatever strikes me at the time. Like today! I wrapped roving (bundled fiber) around my pants cause I thought that would look cool. Who knows?"

Do you have any favorite fashion icons or inspirations? If so, who? "I really admire the fashion of Liv Bruce of the band PWR BTTM (Power Bottom). Their outfits are always absolutely super cool and they’re a big inspiration."

What do you do for fun? Do you have any unique hobbies or interests? "I like playing and making music with friends. I’ve been really into textile art and weaving and anything that involves soft textures and messing around with my hands and putting things together."

If you could raid anyone’s closet, who would it be and why? "Liv Bruce. Or I have a couple friends where if I could get away with it I would steal a bunch of pieces of clothing from them. But unfortunately I don’t think our friendship would survive that."

Elements of Devin’s Outfit

1. High-Waisted Pants


Devin cited high-waisted pants as one of her favorite trends, and we totally get why! High-waists can cinch where you want, create curves, and provide a level comfort not normally offered by skinny jeans. Tucking her shirt into her pants, Devin creates a figure-flattering silhouette from pieces she picked up at the thrift store.

2. Natural Fibers + Metallic Texture


We’re loving how Devin experiments with textiles and textures! Tying some string around her wrist, Devin adds a rustic touch by pairing twine alongside her metallic thrifted bangle. A personalized pin on her waistband is an unexpected touch, and goes to show that details and accessories are what pull together an outfit. Follow in Devin’s footsteps and personalize your outfits with various pins, textile pieces, and miscellaneous jewelry.

3. Round Sunglasses


I know, I know, I keep posting about people’s sunglasses. But I can’t help it! There are so many great sunglass trends out there, and round sunglasses have been around for quite a few seasons now. Round sunnies like these from Urban Outfitters add a retro flair to one's look, and can easily transition from music festivals to daily errands.

4. Creative Makeup


Whether or not makeup is a part of your daily routine, there’s no denying that a little bit of it goes a long way. For Devin, makeup, like her bold lip and embellished eyes, can have a big effect on how people see her. However, it can also just be a fun form of self expression. Take a tip from Devin and peek at lookbooks from your favorite music festival, or just let your inner artist take over and doodle as you see fit!

Love Devin's look? We want to know about it! 

Do you wear high-waisted pants and round sunnies? Would you wear her look? Comment below and share your thoughts with us! 

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