Our stylish staffers are taking a look back to their college years to share their fashion ups and downs, must-have picks, and hard-earned advice. This week we talked to stylist Kate.
Name: Kate Cullen
School: University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Class of ’02
SHOPBOP: During your college years, did you ever try any trends or styles that, looking back, weren’t so great?
KATE CULLEN: As a hazard of my degree, a BFA with a focus on metal sculpture, I mostly wore Carhartts overalls and a T-shirt to class. But there was still plenty of time for some style missteps. Wearing big, chunky black sandals with socks really sticks out in my mind.
SB: What were some looks you loved, even now?
KC: Skirts with boots! The trend back then was bare legs with UGGS—which admittedly, I’m still nostalgic for—but now, I’m all about ankle boots with knee-high socks. It’s a perfect look for the last warm days of fall, before we move into tights weather.
SB: It’s back-to-school time. What are your top must-haves for fall?
KC: I always look for items that stretch your spending money—everything must have multiple uses! Striped sass & bide pants make a statement, and can be paired with a baggy sweater for a casual look or a flowing Free People top for a more bohemian feel. Heeled Dolce Vita booties literally go with everything and a striped jacket is a fun—and affordable—alternative to a classic leather moto. Finally, dark flared denim. It’s flattering for all body types and can really dress up a basic tee. Make sure to have them hemmed. No dragging!
SB: What is your style advice to those who are in school now?
KC: Don’t wear pajamas to class. Throwing on a cute pair of jeans and jacket takes almost no time and is just as comfortable.
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