I often get asked the question, “Why are you wearing that?” and feel the incredulous stares of my 8 a.m. classmates. As I look down at my 70s- inspired platforms and floor-length black dress, layered with an oversized sweater and topped off with enough arm candy to make Madonna proud, I begin to feel a little embarrassed and overdressed.
For a moment, my inspired outfit choice seems to be a little misplaced. But that moment is short-lived as Oscar Wilde’s words pop into my head: “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
Wilde’s words provide comfort in such semi-embarrassing situations, but my favorite go-to motto is “Look good, feel good.”
When I begin to think about what inspires my wardrobe, it is hard to put my finger on one particular element. To help pinpoint my source of inspiration, I asked other Augustana fashionistas for help.
Sophomore Abby Jensen doesn’t have anything in particular that inspires her style either.
“My style is different than most, and I like that,” Jensen said. “I wear what’s comfy and what I like. I don’t care if it’s different or weird. I try to keep my wardrobe fresh and funky.”
Senior Mariya Pabst credits her imagination for her everyday attire. “I’m crazy and I love it,” Pabst said, giggling. “It comes out in my clothing, when I throw anything and everything together and still make it work.”
After talking to Pabst and Jensen, I realized that maybe you can’t pinpoint style inspiration because sometimes you are your own inspiration. Just as that thought popped into my head, senior Grace Famestad challenged it.
“I would say many different things inspire my style,” Famestad said. “I love looking in magazines and celebrity gossip websites at my favorite celebrities to see what they are wearing. I like to take ideas from them and try to make them my own. I also try to look at trends that are both stylish, yet flattering for my body type, which is very important. I am all about wearing beautiful clothes that flatter me.”
Jensen, Pabst and Famestad all made valid points that I agreed with, but it was Augustana alumna Emma Werling’s words that really opened my eyes.
“I would say that I am inspired by anything vintage,” Werling said. “I love classic, rather than trendy looks. I try to put my own, unique spin on the styles I see around me, because I really value uniqueness. I always try to accentuate my curves in a tasteful manner, highlighting the parts of my body that I like. Every woman should be proud of some part of her body.”
And ladies, and maybe even some men, that is the most important thing. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you are overdressed, underdressed, vintage, crazy or comfortable. As long as you think you look good, you can’t help but feel good. That is what I call a win-win.