This week’s fashion spotlight keeps it classy and sophisticated as an English major and History and Women’s & Gender studies minor, hoping to one day be a high school teacher. She doesn’t let the weather dictates what she wears, so when the groundhog saw his shadow this year, she wasn’t phased, commenting, “I can roll with it.” She’s influenced more from New York style, Florence fashion from being abroad, influential women in her life, and the (hate-to-love-but none-the-less-love-anyway) Taylor Swift. Introducing: Savannah Staley, fashionista of the week.
SO: Can you describe your usual everyday style/look?
SS: I would say artsy would be the word I would use. I feel like I’ve kind of made the transition from sweet to more sophisticated. I recently traveled to New York and I was really inspired by the east coast fashion. I would say my favorite thing to wear is the sweater/skirt combo. I wouldn’t quite call it hipster… but it’s a classier version of that, if that makes any since.
Have you ever heard of the trend normcore? It’s this crazy trend where hipsters are trying to show how hipster they are by dressing mainstream. So internally, they’re hipster but really they wear very mainstream things to get out of the “hipster category” [of clothing]. It’s like an ironic hipster. Isn’t that weird?
SO: What was most inspiring to you about east coast fashion?
SS: Well my Aunt is super, super into fashion. So she kind of took me away from the downtown, mainstream shopping and took me to some really cool boutiques in the heart of Harlem—to just kind of smaller outskirts of the neighborhood. I’d say she definitely inspires me.
SO: How would your friends describe your style?
SS: They definitely just always comment on how cool I am [with my style]. And they could never be that cool. My one friend Grace calls me her little fashionista.
SO: What key piece in your closet could you never live without?
SS: Can this include shoes? I’d probably have to say these leather boots that I have from Italy because I wear them all the time, they go with super casual and I can also dress them up. They have super thick soles… I ran from the Duomo (in Florence) and back in these things. I got them at the San Lorenzo leather market.
SO: Walk me through the outfit you are wearing now.
SS: Shoes: I’m wearing the boots which I told you about from Florence.
Pants/Hat: These pants and my hat are from the boutique in Harlem that my Aunt took me too. I’m just getting brave enough to wear this hat on the daily. I would say I definitely have statement pieces like my hat and my boots that I can wear, and then I like to have a lot of basics that I can re-wear with statement pieces. ‘Cause it looks likes you’re changing it up a lot… but you gotta’ just have a few pieces that you just love and can wear every day!
Shirt: I think the shirt is from Nordstrom. I’m pretty sure it’s my freshman year roommate’s shirt, to be honest…
Jacket: I got this coat from H&M.
I have to dress for a lot of different activities. I work at St. Al’s with elementary kids in the morning (as a before and after school care teacher) so I have to be able to dress for that, and then be able to go to class and then usually I have dance. It’s just nice to have clothing that’s adaptable because I’m a pretty actively involved person. So I usually don’t wear leather pants on days that I’m working at St. Al’s.
Bracelet: I’m also wearing this really cool hand made cuff, I got this in New York too.
SO: What is your favorite childhood outfit?
SS: Um… I was like a ballerina-princess so I mostly just wore pink everything. And I tried to wear a tutu in public whenever possible.
SO: If you won $1,000 today, where would you go on a shopping spree?
SS: Probably back to New York, to the boutique my aunt took me to, Bebe Noir! All the workers there are just so fun, and they help you match a bunch of outfits. After they kind of get to know your style and what you like, they really purposefully try to bring you pieces that look good on your body and match what you like. But [the salesperson I was working with] wasn’t trying to push her product—like I tried on some things where she was like, “no, you shouldn’t get that.” That’s helpful! You’re more willing to trust sales representatives who give it to you straight.
SO: What part does color play when you’re deciding what to wear?
SS: Well, I literally used to wear pink everything. I even had pink Uggs. I was super, super girly. And I would say now, I love black and then I love nudes and metallic. I just got this new dress that I’m obsessed with that is metallic gold and has a full open back with a high collar. It looks very modest from the front but you turn around and it’s like BAM!
SO: What influenced your transition you talked about from “sweet to more sophisticated”?
SS: I think I used to kind of wrap up a lot of my identity in being innocent and kind of naïve in a lot of ways…and I think that kind of translated into what I chose to wear. I think as I started to mature and grow into myself, I realized that it’s not really who I am. I definitely think Italy really helped me come into myself in terms of just a lot of different things that are important to me: fashion, food, I have a new understanding of culture. Also, my friend Kristin told me I’m not allowed to wear yoga pants to school anymore because they’re not real pants so I had to do something about that. She’s like my big sister, she just tells it to me how it is.
And you feel better and people treat you differently. I also think that cutting my hair really helped me make that transition. I’ve always had really, really long hair. And it was a manifestation of “this is who I am,” people knew me by my hair. I think when I cut it off it allowed me a sort of freedom. Yeah, and I think that it also furthered my fashion inspiration. Like I wanted new pieces to match my new look!
SO: What is your favorite gender-neutral trend?
SS: The desert booties that everyone’s starting to wear, they’re kind of clunky and they’re kind of hipster. I saw them in Europe and I thought they were weird. But I’ve been seeing them here, and I see girls wear them with dresses, and the fashion trend is growing on me! It’s like a more casual Oxford which is nice…It’s not too preppy. And I’m fascinated with the normcore trend because I think it’s so weird.
SO: What or whom do you draw fashion inspiration from?
SS: Definitely my aunt. And I am slightly embarrassed but I have to own that Taylor Swift inspires me each and every day of my life. I may have cut my hair off in inspiration of her. I mean, it’s not like I can look up to Beyonce…she’s really my only hope in life. I think she’s really in the transition between “sweet, girl next door” into the whole New York fashion scene. So I would say her. And I would say my advisor Linda Tredennick (in the English Department) because she wears the most awesome clothes every day and she’s so cool. She wears stilettos snow or sun every single day. And she rocks it.
SO: What is your favorite winter style? Were you upset when the groundhog “forecasted” 6 more weeks of winter?
SS: I just don’t let winter get in my way. I can roll with it. I’ll wear dresses and snow boots if I want to. I also love hats. The only thing that’s hard is that I have to ride my bike to work and school, so riding my bike in a dress may be a challenge but I embrace.
SO: If you could choose any trend to be (re)adopted on campus, what would it be?
SS: I think I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the side ponytail.
I just don’t think it should be limited to the 80’s. The higher the better!
SO: If you were invited to the next Oscars, what would your red carpet outfit be?
SS: The Oscars is my most favorite thing. I’m obsessed actually, so this is a really big question for me. It definitely would be a simple, high-collared but open-back ball gown. Probably either a classic black with red lips (it’s all about the lipstick) or a statement color.
Thanks for sitting down and talking with GU Style Spotlight, Savannah! If you are a fashionista on campus…trend-setter… trend-follower…anyone who takes a liking to what they put on when they wake up in the morning…or know of anyone who would be interested in talking fashion with us, we invite you to reach out to the GUBB staff and we would love to sit down with you!
Categories: GU Style Spotlight