Students express style and identity through their favorite items of clothing

Sage Dunlap, Life & Arts Reporter

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Jan. 28, 2022 flipbook.

When strutting down Speedway, Longhorns love to show off their individual style, expressing themselves through different fashion trends and unique pieces. The Daily Texan asked students to search deep in their closets and dig up their favorite clothing item.

Alexandra Meub, government sophomore

While on a trip to her family’s annual go-to spot for seasonal bluebonnet pictures, Meub said she found the piece of a lifetime in a quaint vintage boutique. 

“(The store) was called A Blast from the Past, and sadly, it has since closed,” Meub said. “It was floor-to -ceiling full of antique and vintage furniture, clothing, jewelry (and) shoes. (They) had gorgeous dresses, and I got to play dress up.”

Among the cluttered racks overflowing with unique apparel, one Texan staple caught Meub’s eye — a leather jacket.

“The back has a Thunderbird head,” Meub said. “(It) speaks to me because both my parents met at a graduate school where the mascot was a Thunderbird.”

Aside from the jacket’s symbolic allure, Meub said the piece also reminds her to stay connected with family and cherish seemingly mundane memories.

“This jacket reminds me of when my family was closer and keeps me empowered to strengthen our relationship,” Meub said.

 

Lea Cakic, nutrition freshman

“(My mom) never told me she made clothes,” Cakic said. “I started making clothes myself, and she was like, ‘Did you know I (made clothes) too?’”

After discovering her mother’s secret talent, Cakic discovered that many of her clothes were actually handmade pieces crafted by her mother before she moved from Croatia to America in 2001.

“My grandma would make clothes for her, so (my mom) followed the same footsteps,” Cakic said.

When she puts on the maroon turtleneck dress her mother knitted in her early 20s, Cakic said she thinks of the time and effort her mother put into making the timeless garment, a recreation of a piece she saw in a Croatian magazine. 

“It took her about two months,” Cakic said. “It makes me feel unique, because when I first started wearing it … she was so excited. She went into her closet and pulled out this magazine she saved from 30 years ago.”

 

Ashlee Richards-Rood, psychology freshman 

“I just dress how I want,” Richards-Rood said. “It’s one style one day, one style the next. I like having Gothic, retro, streetwear (and) preppy looks. I love doing everything.”

Every once in a while, Richards-Rood said they find a piece that nearly satisfies all of their favorite styles, and it quickly becomes a staple of their wardrobe. When they received a black-and-white Urban Outfitters skirt for their 18th birthday, the flowy, slitted piece instantly became their favorite.

“I get reminded every time I wear it (that) my best friend bought this for me,” the psychology freshman said. “I’m able to style it with a bunch of things. I feel confident in it too because it’s a statement piece.”

Richards-Rood said the skirt reminds them of their love of clothing and their ability to incorporate any piece into a cohesive outfit. 

“Fashion is a big part of my life, and it’s something that I’m passionate about,” Richards-Rood said. “I consume a lot of different types of media, and I kind of just mix and match stuff that I see.”