Confidence key to making a fashion statement

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Carley Shea

Kaidon Ho, apparel and design senior, is one of many students pushing the limits on personal fashion. Many students agree that the best way to find a new style that fits you is to gradually mix and match pieces to build up fashion courage.

Andreina Velazquez

In an immeasurable sea of T-shirts and backpacks, it is impossible to pay attention to all the clothing choices we’re exposed to during the hustle and bustle of class transitions on any given day. Yet, every so often, a bold fashionista finds his or her way of transforming campus into their own personal runway, prompting other, less daring dressers to perform an inevitable double take.

But who are these individuals? And better yet, what’s their secret to pulling off the looks we all drool over? The time has come to cease admiring from afar and ask the local fashion gurus themselves.

As the outfit you’ve always imagined wearing some day, but hesitated to try on, is worn by a more daring dresser, a couple of thoughts may come to mind. The first is a desire to test the look yourself the next time you go out in public, while the second thought may be a bit more cynical: “I could never pull that off.”

Don’t accept defeat just yet. According to apparel design senior Kaidon Ho, who wears a sleek, black Worthington jacket over a white Alexander McQueen top and dark slacks, anyone can dress boldly. His dark ensemble gives off a mysterious yet chic look when complimented by his matching Michael Kors clutch and black hat, immediately inviting awestruck glances from onlookers.

The trick, in Ho’s opinion, is to “add one item at a time until you reach a style you like.” He recommends shopping for accessories like hats and vintage sunglasses to give your look a bit more edge, while expressing your personality.

While Ho suggests dressing out of one’s element in order to create a more interesting signature style, he also recommends that the style extension still allows dressers to feel comfortable. Ho also finds inspiration from model Agyness Deyn, who is famous for her carefree and playful fashion sense.

If you’re not ready to plunge into the world of full-blown designer looks just yet, psychology senior Mary Dang’s classic Karl Lagerfeld-inspired black and white look may better suit you.

In Dang’s opinion, “less is more,” and she advises trying on a black blazers over simple light colored tops to achieve an effortless yet sophisticated look. She also adds that those experimenting with new styles should remember to wear confidence along with each outfit. As a reminder that self-assurance will conceal the slightest signs of uncertainty, Dang also recommends not worrying when sporting new trends because “your inner confidence will exude outwards.”

Another bold dresser on campus is fourth year design student Harrison Koiwai, who can be spotted on campus sporting edgy, studded pieces and colorful blue hair.

“I feel it’s something you have to do. If something’s interesting, you have to put it on,” Koiwai said of his unique sense of style. Koiwai also added that most people are often too worried about what they’re wearing to pay attention to your clothes, “so you might as well wear whatever you want.”

While we’ve all hesitated to try on new looks and gather the courage to sport head-turning pieces at some point, advice from our fashion savvy peers motivates us to rethink walking past that pair of leather combat boots on display, or placing the fedora back on the mannequin.

As Ho put it, you don’t have to wear eye-catching items all at once. Instead, a gradual process of mixing and matching sometimes works best if it allows you to stay true to yourself.

The next time you’re out shopping and something a little out of your style comfort zone intrigues you, try it on. And if you like it enough, feel free to showcase it in public confidently, while the rest of us admire and take notes.