Classic, Girly, with Unexpected Edge: My Favorite Way to Dress

Karina was born and raised on an island in the PNW. In 2014, she graduated from Boston University magna cum laude with honors in history and from the Kilachand Honors College. During her time at BU, she studied abroad in London and hopes to make London her permanent home soon. Karina works as an AVID tutor at a local high school, helping students with schoolwork and encouraging them to pursue college after graduation. She loves all things fashion, runs daily, and hates wearing pants. Karina loves the Kennedys and can tell you anything you want to know about JFK’s early childhood after spending a summer interning in the house he was born. She enjoys dancing terribly, dressing up, and spoiling her nephews with homemade baked goods.

All my life I have preferred to wear dresses and skirts over pants. When I was three years old, my mom put me in pants on an exceptionally cold day. She went to finish getting herself ready and when she returned, she found that I had taken the pants off and was insisting to wear a dress. Ever since, I have enjoyed dressing up and rarely do I wear jeans.
Here, I am wearing one of my favorite dresses. I bought it from Banana Republic for my graduation from Boston University. The dress represents my favorite way to dress: feminine, delicate, and detail-oriented. I like to wear beautiful pieces with unexpected elements that give the outfit a little edge. The dress has a delicate floral pattern and a cutout back, giving the dress that extra surprise I like. I wore the dress with a pair of tan Kate Spade wedges with a bow on the front. Throughout the summer I wore the dress to family events and can’t wait to wear it again this spring and summer. It’s the perfect dress for a summer wedding.
I would wear dresses like the one pictured every day if I could, but most days do not call for such a formal dress. However, the Banana Republic dress is still representative of my every day style. Most days I wear either a skirt or a dress. In the winters, I wear a lot of black and typically pair a sweater with a black skirt and black tights. My favorite sweater is bright pink with gold sequin elbow patches that my friend described as “hipster glam.” Just as this blue dress is feminine, my favorite sweater is extremely feminine and took a trend that is somewhat masculine, elbow patches, and made it feminine by covering them in sequins. I feel most myself in classic, feminine pieces and only wear pants or jeans on the coldest of days.
During my time at BU I began to hone my personal style. Rather than valuing quantity of clothing I began to realize the benefits of having less clothing of better quality and started investing in my wardrobe this way. When deciding to buy a piece of clothing, I look at it hard and imagine if I will wear it more than once. There are so many pieces that I fall in love with but cannot imagine wearing it often enough to purchase it. If I’m contemplating a pair of shoes I make sure I can think of at least three outfits I could wear them with before buying. My biggest weakness is a beautiful coat and my coat closet is practically bursting. Living in Boston this was somewhat reasonable as the winters were very cold.
I was most sartorially inspired during my time studying abroad in London. I found that girls in London could be trendy and still look elegant and feminine in a way that I had not seen in Boston or Seattle. Living in London encouraged me to add a bit of edge to my style while maintaining the silhouettes and aesthetics I have appreciated my entire life. Even after returning to the US, I find that I am still inspired to add some edge to my outfits that I would not have before studying abroad. I dress daily with a hope that I have even some air of a cool Brit girl.
My wardrobe transformed completely from the beginning of my time in college to when I left. Rather than conforming to those around me, though, this was due to becoming more comfortable with my own style. With a background in fashion history, I appreciate classic silhouettes and patterns, feminine styles, but I like to add an edge. My time at BU and in London continue to inform how I dress daily.

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