With the temperatures plummeting, it can be hard to resist slipping into sweats and grabbing your puffy parka when heading to class. But Taise stands out from the crowd by mixing edge and elegance, and always dressing for herself.
School: Michigan State University
Home Country: Mozambique, Africa
Let’s Talk Fashion
Who or what inspires your style? "There’s specifically one blog that I really love called Karla’s Closet. I’ve seen her go from being a fashion blogger to having her own brand and it’s really interesting seeing her style evolve. I feel like I get inspired a lot by what I see other people wearing as well. Like, if I see someone wearing something that I like, or something similar to what I have in a new combination, I get inspired."
Where do you like to shop? "I love to shop at Zara. It’s my favorite! But also Topshop every now and then, H&M, ASOS, Missguided, Selfridge's, Uniqlo, Urban Outfitters, and sometimes American Apparel."
How would you say your sense of style has evolved? "Coming to Michigan I realized that people tend to say I 'dress up too much' on a day-to-day basis. But I feel like I’m not 'dressing up,' this is just how I am as a person. I think maybe [that's] because I lived in Thailand and that’s how people dress. People dress more trendy and put in a lot of time and effort, so I feel like every time I come back to Michigan, I don’t dress up as much here as I would if I were in Thailand. But when I’m here, I always think ‘it’s my life, it’s my day, it’s what I want to wear’ so I really don’t care about what people say. I also feel like I’ve learned to shop on a budget. Most of the time when I buy really nice stuff it’s when I’m with my parents, but when I’m by myself I really learn how to shop on a budget. Every time I come back to America from Thailand, I only buy things on sale. You will not find me buying things full price, unless they’re really, really cute and an investment item."
Why did you choose this particular outfit? "I realized that I liked switching up my outfits. I don’t like always wearing the same thing, and I feel like I always add some sort of edge. If I’m wear something classy or girly-girl, I always like to add something to make it edgy, [be] it my shoes or my jewelry or makeup. So this is an example of how I dress for the weather but also dress for myself."
What fashion advice would you give others looking to improve their style? "I would say really just try whatever you feel like you want to try. There’s no right or wrong. Style is such a personal way of expressing yourself, [if] someone is telling you you’re not dressing nicely or they don’t like that you’re wearing… they don’t have much say. This is your style and this is how [you] like to express yourself. So really try whatever you feel like, even if you feel like people are going to look at you weird, you’re still doing you so it doesn’t matter."
What are your favorite trends right now? "I really like suede boots – suede shoes – right now. I have, like, four pairs. I went from one pair to four pairs really fast, so I’ll probably end up getting more. So I’ve been really into that, and I was also really into the ripped pants trend for a while. But recently I was talking with my grandpa and he saw me wearing torn pants for the first time and asked me ‘Why are you wearing torn pants? They’re torn. Go get new ones.’ But he grew up [poor] so when I told him that was the style, he said that that’s what poor people wear when they can’t afford new clothes. And that really made me reevaluate my entire fashion statement because yes, torn jeans look nice and can make an outfit look more edgy, but at the same time my humanitarian side had to take a moment to think about that fashion statements for me are someone else’s way of living."
Do you have any favorite fashion designers? If so, who? "I do like this Mozambican designer whose name is Taibobacar, and he does a lot of modernized, African prints which is really cool. For more popular ones, I would say Alexander Wang. I really like his things, and would say that matches me because I’m drawn to things that are [simple]."
What do you do for fun? Do you have any unique hobbies or interests? "I like photography. It’s one of my favorite hobbies besides listening to music. I will spend hours searching for new music and listening to songs and I like to do things that expand my creativity so when I’m not taking photos I’m probably editing photos or writing music reviews."
If you could raid anyone’s closet, who would it be and why? "Even though this may sound typical, I would say Rihanna. Just because we have that similarity of being edgy, but at the same time she knows how to change things up. I would probably say her because although some of her things I could never picture myself wearing, at the same time I might as well try it out, you know?"
Elements of Taise’s Outfit
1. Off-the-Shoulder Top
Just because colder weather is making outerwear a necessity, it doesn’t mean you need to ignore your inner layers! Layering an off-the-shoulder cropped sweater under your coat is a nice way to pull some summer pieces into fall. Take things to the next level by adding an extra shirt under – like Taise’s button-up from Zara – to add dimension and contrast to help take a simple outfit to the next level.
2. Bucket Bag
One of the top handbag trends featured at Fashion Weeks accross the world this year was the cross-body bucket bag. It’s functional, accessible, and practical. The size of Taise's bag is perfect for everyday essentials and even fits her camera when she’s out snapping pictures.
3. Suede Boots
Taise’s love for suede footwear is definitely shared by every major fashion blogger, Instagram model, and fast fashion store around right now. And rightly so! Suede, although a relatively high-maintenance material, holds a high color pigmentation and unique texture that makes it worth the extra care.
Taise’s tall, black boots from ASOS add instant elegance to any outfit, especially when paired with a quality overcoat and denim.
Now we want to know what you think!
Would you wear Taise's outfit? Do you love suede boots? Yes or no - let us know below!