From the Closet to Classroom

Whether it’s tight or baggy, simple or extravagant, first-hand or thrifted, these five students are able to express themselves through the clothes they wear.

Veronica Longoria and Sofia Kissel

Isabelle Holcombe

Wearing dark outfits with a lot of accessories, communications junior Isabelle Holcombe shows off the clothes that make her feel confident, comfortable, and reflect her style. Her piece is a thrifted Asos dress and she bought her shoes online from Lamoda. (Natalie Ryder)
Photo Illustration by Capri Wayne

Shoulder-length black hair sits just above her shoulders, leading to a black dress and black platform boots with scattered red hearts. Communications junior Isabelle Holcombe found her style, which she describes as “alternative,” during quarantine where she went through “a lot of bad outfit phases” until she found something that felt like her. 

“I was just so unhappy with the way I was dressing, and it wasn’t me at all,” Holcombe said. “Once I figured out what I liked, it felt like I was putting on outfits finally and it wasn’t feeling like a costume. It was what I wanted to wear. These are my clothes. This is my style.” 

Holcombe’s confidence and comfortability with herself improved once she developed her personal style and began putting together outfits.  

“I’ve had so much fun putting together these darker outfits with a lot of accessories,” Holcombe said. “I have this red velvet suit jacket I completely thrifted and it’s the nicest thing I own. It’s brighter than a lot of things in my closet, (so) when I’m wearing things like that, it stands out more.” 

Over the years, Holcombe has collected items that continue to play into her personal style, but she’s also acquired new statement pieces that add silhouettes and dimension to her outfits. Most of these pieces are second-hand and come from “either American Thrift or Depop.” 

“It’s something that I’ve always felt really secure in,” Holcombe said. “A lot of it is growing up and growing into yourself. You have to find that personal style that you’re going to carry with you.”

 

Eduardo Culmer

Combining streetwear and grunge, communications sophomore Eduardo Culmer poses as he highlights his outfit which is inspired by his mother’s outfits in the ‘90s and early 2000s. (Natalie Ryder)
Photo Illustration by Capri Wayne

His bracelets bounce into each other and his rings clash against one another, almost harmonizing with the sound of his white platform shoes hitting the floor. Communications sophomore Eduardo “Eddie” Culmer derives his inspiration from pictures of his mom in the ‘90s and early 2000s, a style that combines streetwear and, on occasion, grunge. 

“I treat myself like a Bratz doll. Every day is like playing dress-up,” Culmer said. “I found my personal style by wearing whatever I want. Before, I used to wear clothes to satisfy other people. Now, I just wear what makes me happy.”

I treat myself like a Bratz doll. Every day is like playing dress-up.”

— Eduardo Culmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Culmer also derives fashion inspiration from anime shows he’s watched like “Nana.” He’ll see a character wearing something and search through his closet or his family’s closets for something similar to base a new outfit around. Culmer’s favorite piece of clothing is in fact a mesh shirt that has the twins from “The Shining” screen printed onto it. Culmer believes it represents him because it’s “very fun and weird.”

“I think there’s something invigorating about loving how you look every day that forces you to be a little happier with how you look in the mirror,” Culmer said. “Don’t be afraid to wear whatever crazy thing you want, and don’t allow anyone to tell you what you can and can’t wear.”

I think there’s something invigorating about loving how you look every day that forces you to be a little happier with how you look in the mirror.”

— Eduardo Culmer

 

Jacob Stein

Attempting to break gender-based stereotypes, theatre sophomore Jacob Stein chooses to wear what he wants in order to change the notion that gender determines style. Stein chooses outfits that make him comfortable and express his personality. (Natalie Ryder )
Photo illustration by Capri Wayne

While keeping up with trends, theatre sophomore Jacob Stein attempts to break the gender-based stereotypes within the fashion industry. As he works to break these boundaries, Stein carries the mantra that gender does not determine style. 

 “I dress on the more feminine side because it shows who I am as a person, and makes me feel more comfortable with myself,” Stein said. “I’m not (going to) wear baggy basketball shorts and a T-shirt just because of what is assumed of my gender. Dressing the way I do makes me feel happy.”

Stein’s “vibrant” personality is reflected through the fabric he wears by combining unconventional patterns, colors, and prints.

“I would describe my style as simple but unique,” Stein said. “As a musical theatre major, I’m always moving and doing things throughout the day, and it makes me feel more confident when I’m wearing pieces that reflect me.”

Stein enjoys supporting smaller businesses and prefers outfit pieces that are less mainstream. He thrifts some of his pieces, and supports stores that have vintage clothes.

“I think style means finding your own creativity and adds to who you are,” Stein said. “It’s not just like you’re wearing clothes that other people are wearing and you think it’s cute.” 

 

 

Sydney Combs 

Theatre freshman Sydney Combs describes her style as “bubbly, sunny, bright, and pink.” Most of Combs’ outfits feature the colors yellow and pink, including a pair of signature yellow heels.

“I draw inspiration from bright images, sunshine, flowers, lemons, and cute outfits,” Combs said. “My favorite article of clothing is my lemon yellow dress with pink flowers.”

Combs made this dress to match her yellow and pink color palette. Choosing colors to build her style around influenced the way she dresses, and she experimented to find the right combinations. 

“Having a personal style allows you to feel comfortable with what you wear every day,” Combs said. “When you know what you like, it’s so much easier to feel happy and confident in your style choices.” 

 

Isabella Jordan 

Wearing shoes with dinosaurs on them, vocal junior Isabella Jordan expresses her love for Mother Earth by sporting eco-friendly clothes. (Natalie Ryder)
Photo Illustration by Capri Wayne

According to the United Nations, “the fashion industry is the second-highest user of water worldwide.” This fact prompted vocal junior Isabella Jordan to adapt her style.

“I discovered my style when I went vegetarian. I went vegetarian for the environment and really wanted to lower my carbon footprint,” Jordan said. “I decided to try to make my closet 100% eco-friendly and sustainable. I found so many fun and cute things thrifting that I felt expressed who I was through my style.”

Jordan’s love for environmentalism is reflected in her favorite article of clothing, which she bought from a sustainable brand CHNGE. CHNGE strives to only work with ethical manufacturers who “share (their) vision for sustainability, workers rights, and transparency.” 

“On it (the shirt) is the Earth shaped as a heart and underneath it says ‘Love your mother.’ I love it because of the message it sends,” Jordan said. “My favorite thing about my style is that it doesn’t hurt the environment and that it lets me express myself.” 

Jordan has been able to find this balance from shopping at thrift stores and eco-friendly shops, alongside being conscious of her influence on the planet.

“(The environment) influences my style by making me aware of where my clothes are coming from and how they are being made, how they may impact the environment, and also the people making the clothes,” Jordan said. “Try anything that makes you feel happy and confident, then that will shine on you and won’t matter what anyone else thinks of it.”