Fashion isn't just about "more is more" -- sometimes the simplest look can turn heads, as Julia illustrates with her minimalist outfit.
Make no mistake, this girl knows fashion -- we talked for a while about designer vs. fast fashion, style evolutions, and fashion icons. Julia's insights on style and self-expression can teach us all a little something.
Major: Arts & Humanities, Advertising
School: Michigan State University
Hometown: East Lansing, MI
Let’s Talk Fashion
Who or what inspires your style? "When I go on Instagram there’s not one specific person that I look up to; I just go on Instagram and see what styles are out there. But I’m not going to lie, the majority of the time I’m inspired by what’s clean [in my closet]. Because I’m so lazy I don’t really plan my outfits in advance and because that’s my mentality, I gravitate towards basics."
Where do you like to shop? "There are so many great designers out there and obviously I can’t afford that so I go to [stores] that are considered 'fast fashion' and there are a lot of ethical questions involved with fast fashion, like if the quality of the environment for the workers is alright. I love celebrating fashion and the idea that fashion is art, but I can’t afford it. So in my mind I think that I’ll go for the next best thing, which is fast fashion. So I have four stores where I shop on rotation – Zara, Aritzia, Cos, and & Other Stories. But I’m trying to [stop supporting fast fashion and] shop at more consignment shops and secondhand stores."
How would you describe your sense of style? "I would say at the very base, very minimalist. But that could also mean different things for me. Like there are some days where I’m very chic and wearing all black with a streamlined silhouette, and there are some days where I’m super boho, and then days like today where I look like a soccer mom going on a wine tour at Martha’s Vineyard! At the very base of it [I would say I am] minimalist, but now that summer’s coming I’m trying to be open to more prints and colors."
Why did you choose this particular outfit? "It was really hot today and I’m leaving for New York tomorrow for an internship, so I have so much to do! I always feel so bummy when I wear sweats, so I wanted to wear something loose that would keep me cool. So I picked my best flowy blouse and my biggest jeans and I figured I should put on some nice shoes. It’s just comfortable."
How would you say your style has evolved since coming to college? "My friend I were just talking about how our styles have changed since coming to college, but when we were talking about me we always said that I had a clear trajectory, style-wise. I’ve always been really into very simple silhouettes and clean lines but what I think I’ve learned now is that I’m dressing for myself. I think in high school you’re dressing to impress other people but now that I’m here I’m just going to wear what I want to wear and what makes me happy."
What fashion advice would you give others looking to improve their style? "This probably doesn’t help coming from someone who wears very basic clothing, but if you’re looking to improve your style, you should probably experiment. I think a lot of people are scared that some styles won’t mesh with their personality, but you should try anything and everything. If you like how you feel in something, then wear it. I’ve never really liked being boxed into a certain style. I wouldn’t necessarily say you’re 'improving' your style though, more figuring out what you like and what you feel good in."
What are your favorite trends right now? "I love statement jewelry. I’m clearly not wearing any but I really want to get into that. Especially because I wear so many neutral colors, it would help make my outfits pop. I’m not really one to attract attention to myself based on what I’m wearing but I love big-ass earrings. Like right now there are those big, colorful, pom-pom [earrings] and I think those are so cool. But I just don’t know if I would feel comfortable wearing them, but I won't know [for certain] unless I try!"
If you could raid anyone’s closet, who would it be and why? "I was just looking at Alexa Chung’s Instagram and I love her clothing but I feel like a lot of what makes her clothing so cool is just her. So I feel like if I were to wear the same clothes that she wears, I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Her clothes aren’t super conventional but at the same time they’re so trendy. Also she’s British so there’s instant coolness. I think they have a different approach compared to American fashion."
Elements of Julia’s Outfit
1. White Button-Up
A crisp white button-up is the perfect summer top! Picking a breathable fabric can make all the difference in staying cool and looking great.
Next time you’re running errands, take a cue from Julia and try trading in your sweats and t-shirt for a collared shirt with loose jeans. Bonus points if you pop on some great aviators!
2. Chic Backpack
Bags come in all shapes and sizes, but in the past few seasons mini backpacks have really come onto the scene.
A smaller backpack – especially in an elegant neutral color – is a chic alternative to the textbook-filled bag that you lug around to class. Although Julia’s backpack was a gift, keep an eye out at any department store for the chance to snap up this practical trend.
3. Low Heels
Julia’s low heels from Zara combine comfort and style seamlessly. The low heel allows for an easier walking experience, while the neutral color makes mixing and matching outfits easy.
As a challenge, try slipping on a pair before you run on your next set of errands! It’ll give you some practice walking with a little more height, and makes for a fashionable stop at the grocery store.
Now we want to know what you think!
Do you try to shop at only socially conscious stores? Do you consider your own style minimalistic? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!