Mall à la mode: Elegant and timeless

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As college students, it is often difficult to muster the energy to dress above and beyond comfort on a daily basis. However, Camila Martinez, a junior English major, loves to take her time in intentionally dressing up for her daily activities. 

Since she was very young, Martinez has taken special care with the way she dresses, even planning outfits the night before she wears them. “I don’t know,” said Martinez, “I just loved it, I loved how it made me feel. If I have a good outfit, I know I’ll have a good day.”

Martinez expressed an appreciation for other women on campus, saying she often takes style inspiration from her peers, as well as from her mom and sisters. 

“I love old movies,” Martinez shared, a love that inspired her clothing choices as an adult. Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly are two of Martinez’s favorite actresses, and Martinez shared that from a very young age she was a fan of Hepburn’s wardrobe.

Hepburn’s style is not showy in the way that many current trends are made to be, but Martinez appreciates the way Hepburn’s clothes suited her body type, tailored to compliment her shape while remaining modest and elegant. 

There are a few staple articles that Martinez especially favors in her closet that are inspired specifically by Hepburn. A simple black dress, such as Hepburn wears in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, and white pants are versatile preferences for Martinez. She also likes gold hoop earrings, which compliment many different outfits. 

Martinez shared that there has been a development in her style since freshman year of college, and she was especially influenced by the way natives dressed in Rome during her semester abroad. “Especially after going to Rome, I think, and seeing the style there, I was not afraid to try out a couple things that would feel out of my comfort zone,” said Martinez, offering the example of socks and loafers. 

Martinez encourages experimentation with outfits, sharing her own positive experiences of making dresses appear as skirts or shirts, and ultimately having fun with her outfits, while staying within a specific intent. 

“I wouldn’t say that I’m very retro,” said Martinez, “I try to buy pieces that are elegant and timeless.” Martinez revealed that she doesn’t mind spending more on an article of clothing she loves in a store, because she purposefully shops for clothes that will remain classics. 

The idea of timeless articles of clothing was hard to justly pin down for Martinez, since it is such a loose term, understood but under-defined. “Maybe that it looks good on anyone and anyone can use it,” Martinez suggested, as well as pieces that are versatile and can be combined and recombined with different articles.  

Martinez reflected minutely on what individuals say with their chosen style of dress, including what she herself is seeking to say. “I just want to continue that femininity and elegance that Audrey blazed the trail for,” shared Martinez. “I wouldn’t necessarily say I want to share anything new, but just highlight that [femininity and elegance].”

“This is going to sound so cliche,” Martinez said, “But I hope I can just be an example to other girls.” 

And Martinez is certainly a prime example of timeless elegance and femininity, both in her inner and outer beauty.

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