In the transitional period between the winter doldrums and vibrant springtime, choosing the perfect outfit can feel like the ultimate challenge. Vanessa knows how to handle this hurdle by pairing winter and spring pieces together instead of choosing one vs. the other, making her outfit feel like spring break... even despite the snow on the ground.
School: Jefferson University
Major: Fashion Design
Hometown: Washington Township, NJ
Let’s Talk Fashion
Who or what inspires your style? “More often than not, my looks are inspired by what kind of day I want to have. I believe that your clothes not only express your attitude, but they can also affect how you feel. So if I want to feel more poised, I’ll dress a little preppy. If I want to feel more relaxed, [I will dress] a little more grunge.”
Where do you like to shop? “My go-to store is Urban Outfitters but specifically their sale rack. I love a good find at a realistic, budgeted price [point].”
How would you describe your sense of style? “I struggle with this question as I don’t have think I have just one. If I had to, I’d say edgy and a little punk.”
Why did you choose this particular outfit? “You can frequently find me in an all-black outfit – and this [one] almost fits that! The black-on-black keeps me slim and confident with a happy mix of casually dressed up. I’m a big turtleneck lover, so adding the [pink-ish] color there with the silk scarf belt breaks up the solids to soften up the look. It totally fits my norm, but shows more of a softer side too.”
What fashion advice would you give to other students looking to improve their style? “Trust your gut! If you’re really feeling like dressing up today, then go for it. But if you want to wear leggings, no one is stopping you. Just maybe try to pair it with a cool graphic tee and decorated jacket to spice up the look.”
What are your favorite trends right now? “I’m surprisingly intrigued by the western-inspired trend. As someone who doesn’t like country music or anything of the [sort], I found myself buying an old western-inspired studded belt and wearing it every two days. Playing off this bad cowgirl versus frilly sweetheart has been really fun.”
Do you have any favorite fashion designers? If so, who? “Too many to count! But I will always love classic, old school Balenciaga. And I love keeping up with Gucci’s marketing and customer outreach trends – they’re doing something very right."
What do you do for fun – do you have any unique hobbies or interests? “I love doing new things. I can’t exactly pick just one, so I don’t! I’ll constantly be looking up local concerts or new restaurants to try out and keep me on my toes.”
If you could raid anyone’s closet, who would it be and why? “Go big or go home; Iris Apfel. That woman is an icon with the most eclectic wardrobe. It would be an honor to wear one of her wild finds.”
Elements of Vanessa’s Outfit
1. Faux Suede Moto Jacket
When the weather just doesn’t want to give up on winter, stylish but cozy layers are key. This fuzzy jacket from Forever 21 gives Vanessa the best of both worlds with the furry interior that keeps her toasty but still looking fresh.
2. Tank Dress and Turtleneck
Transitioning summer pieces into other seasons makes for an interesting combination. This tank dress is versatile because it is all one color. Of course, it’s a good idea to layer a long sleeve shirt underneath the way Vanessa did if it's cold. The light pink turtleneck is a hand-me-down from her aunt. It adds just the right touch of femininity to her ensemble.
3. Multipurpose Belt
You don't have to use a belt to accentuate your waist -- why not get creative and use a scarf? Vanessa used this silk scarf she got at Salvation Army to break up her almost monochromatic look. Thrift stores are great places to look for unique pieces like this one-of-a-kind scarf. (See our thrift store shopping tips page for details on how to become a pro thrifter yourself!)
To finish off this outfit, black booties are a must. These leather Doc Martens are durable enough for a snowy walk to class but they look great with almost anything.
Are you ready for spring like Vanessa?
How are you switching up your style for spring? Would you wear her look? Comment below and share your thoughts with us!