Serving Up the Style

Serving Up the Style

A look at fashion at City, featuring Nora Cole ‘26, Yosephina Abwe, and Eve Theresa Okoubi Aventt ‘24
Photo courtesy of Nora Cole
Nora Cole

Where do you get your style inspiration from? 

So mainly there’s this old Japanese magazine called “FRUiTS” and that’s where I really jumped off from. I also am really fond of big colorful 80’s sweaters and thrift stores in general, especially (the store) Artifacts.

What specific style do you personally enjoy the most? Like, what would you say your style is like?

That’s a complicated question. I don’t know, I’ve never really been able to define my style as like a specific aesthetic or something because I feel like it definitely blends a lot of different things. And it just depends. Like in terms of music, I listen to mostly goth music, but I don’t dress that way at all. So I don’t know. I honestly can’t answer that.

What are some components that make up your personal style? What do you think about when you put together an outfit?

So far I’ve said 80’s sweaters for sure. Bright colors, but especially pink, green, blue and purple are kind of my color palette. I tend to stick to that. Especially pink and purple. Definitely lots of layering and different textures is also a big thing for me. I love embroidery. And I like colored tights. That’s a big one. And interesting hats.

How do you incorporate your personality into your style?

Oh, for example, one thing that I really like doing is I like making fish necklaces. I like making a lot of the jewelry and stuff that I do and stuff that I wear. So one of my biggest passions is science and art. So I tend to mix that a lot so I’ll wear fish necklaces or insect necklaces based on different types of animals that I’m interested in at the time. I also really like pink so I wear pink a lot.

Do you have any favorite brands or if you don’t really buy retail, do you have any favorite stores to go to or anything like that?

I’m about to expose my favorite thrift stores and they’re gonna get- it’s whatever. But anyways, my favorite thrift stores are probably Crowded Closet for sure. That’s my favorite of all. Crowded Closet, Second Act, and Artifacts are the three places that I go for most of my clothing. Also sometimes Goodwill like I got this from Goodwill, but that’s specifically the Goodwill in my dad’s small town. 

Do you thrift most of your clothes?

I thrift all of my clothes. The only clothing I usually buy new is probably jewelry sometimes? Or like if someone gives me something then sometimes I’ll reuse it for something else but I don’t buy any new clothing.

What do you look for in a thrift store? 

For thrifting I go and I grab everything that strikes me as interesting. So I end up getting a cart full of stuff and it’s really fun because it’s been an hour or so since you’ve gone through the whole store. So when you find a bunch of stuff that you didn’t see before, like in your cart because you forgot that you grabbed it, which is fun. But the most important thing with that is that even though I get all these things and I get anything that catches my eye, I only end up buying two or three things every time I thrift because one thing that I hadn’t been careful of was I was buying so much clothing and accumulating so much of it that I was just hating a lot of the clothing that I was getting. So it’s important to only buy a few things and just decide what is the best out of all the random things that you grabbed.

Do you follow any trends and if so, which ones?

I’m not usually following trends, however there are definitely a few recently that I’ve been really liking. For one, although this is kind of an old trend, legwarmers. It was like a thing a few months ago but leg warmers and colored tights are my two big trends that I have been following and also really colorful makeup. Which I don’t know if that’s something that I’ve been seeing but I’ve just been seeing a resurgence of colorful makeup and big eyeliner, although For You Pages tend to show you what you like.

What components do you think about when buying clothing? Does sustainability play a role in what you buy?

Oh, for sure. Definitely with textures of clothing and how much clothing I buy. So like. For example, I probably won’t get something that I can only wear a few times. So I try to avoid fast fashion in thrift stores if I can and it’s hard to nowadays because there’s so much fast fashion in thrift stores. But I try to avoid fast fashion and fabrics that will hurt my skin especially since my skin is really sensitive so I have to find fabrics that are very comfortable and high quality. Which is especially why I like 80’s sweaters because a lot of them are well made and are made of 100% wool as opposed to just a bunch of polyester.

Do you have any tips for people trying to find their personal style?

First tip, download Pinterest. Second tip, see what you already like and add that component to your own style. So if you really like sports and that is something that you have always been interested in, then maybe the blokette thing is for you or if you’re really into art, then make some of your own jewelry. So just incorporate things that you already do in your life into your style and that will always make something new and different.

Do you have any fashion icons?

One is Frida Kahlo. I know a lot of people know her for her art but she is also a fashion icon because of the way she switched from masculine to feminine styles and also probably Twiggy because I just love her makeup specifically. She’s really cool.

What role do you think makeup and accessories factor into people’s styles?

I think that makeup and accessories are what make someone’s style their style because accessories especially are so unique to the person. There’s a lot of accessories, especially if you make your own accessories, that there’s no other accessory like that. So adding that to what you’re already wearing is what makes it your style that makes the look your look 

How did you get into making your own jewelry?

I’ve always been into art in general and it just kind of made sense. I’ve been making jewelry since I was five or six years old. So it’s just always been something that I liked. But in terms of getting into fashion. I only really got into fashion over the pandemic when I needed something to occupy myself because I wasn’t always dressing the way I am. I mean I was when I was little, but when I turned second, third, fourth grade, I kind of slid back into what because I wanted to fit in or whatever. But at this point, it’s just like, screw it.

Is there anything else that you want to add?

I think a big misconception about the way I dress is that I dress to catch people’s attention, although that may be a part of it sometimes. It’s also just what makes me comfortable and I just want to remove that stigma of that I’m just looking for attention or that people who dress in an outward style are just looking for attention. It’s not just about that, it’s also about expressing what’s within on a personal level, not just sharing it with the world.

Photo courtesy of Nora Cole
Photos courtesy of Yosephina Abwe and Eve Okoubi
Yosephina Abwe and Eve Theresa Okoubi Aventt

What specific style do you personally enjoy the most? 

Yosephina: One of the styles that I enjoy the most is the Y2K style because of the amount of design that goes with it. I love doing my makeup — my nails, my hair, just like the way that the style used to be back in the days. 

Eve: I also enjoy Y2K as well as baggy looks like streetwear. I like streetwear because I just like big clothes and I like the way you can put things together and design it. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Yosephina: I usually get my inspiration from things like Instagram or TikTok. I always see very beautiful people and the way that they put their clothes on and I’m like I need to wake up and turn my swag on just like they did. 

Eve: I usually get my looks from Pinterest and TikTok but mostly TikTok.

What are some components that make up your own personal style?

Yosephina: I would say that when I don’t have things that I see in videos on social media, I try to work with things that I already have or things I already love and maybe replace the type of shoes that they’re wearing by replacing it with shoes of my own. 

How do you incorporate your personality into your style?

Eve: I feel that personality wise, I’m so more laid back and I try to incorporate it into my streetwear looks because when I think about baggy and street wear looks, I think about relaxing and comfortable looks and it also just depends on the day.

What are your favorite brands to wear?

Yosephina: My favorite brands are sometimes New Balances and other sports brands, most of their old stuff. 

Eve: It depends. I don’t have a favorite brand — I like to try new things. It doesn’t really matter as long as it looks good and as long as I like it.

What factors do you think about when shopping for clothes?

Yosephina: Usually when I’m shopping for clothes. I do a lot of thrift shopping because I feel like you can find so much while thrift shopping and keeping it cheap because you can be a baddie on a budget! But I also shop online sometimes like from SHEIN, Fashion Nova, or Amazon.

How do you decide what to wear in the morning?

Yosephina: Just like I said earlier, I just wake up and turn on my swag like I turn on the light and I’m like yep, that’s what I want to wear. I look for my favorite colors. Usually I love pink but I also like brown, neutral colors, white and black, etc. 

Eve: I find my outfits basically under pressure. So it’s like last minute for me, I always find an outfit to wear but say I don’t, I always go with baggy because that’s just my style. 

Do you follow trends? If so, which ones?

Yosephina: I would say I do follow trends, sometimes or most of the time. A lot of them, I don’t know the names of but my sister’s just always like “Yeah, you’re dressed like the trend that’s going on on Tik Tok right now” I do love Aliyahcore. That’s someone that I’ve tried to also dress like because there’s so much creativity and colors. 

Eve: Yes, I would say I follow trends like streetwear, one of the styles that I’ve been inspired by as well as Aliyahcore, so yes, I do follow trends.

Photos courtesy of Yosephina Abwe and Eve Okoubi
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