Campus chic

When Gossip Girl began airing on television, it was a fresh new perspective into the lives of wealthy, privileged teens living in New York City. Despite what it sounds like, it became a much more intense, and oftentimes dark, look into what outsiders perceived to be perfect, enviable lifestyles. The show was an instant hit with a wide array of people and was also lauded for its character development.

One of the most ingenious ways to develop each character was to create his or her personality in terms of their wardrobe. While the clothing on the show is rarely given special attention, the way that it is used is important, and it makes the show and its characters more believable. In recent episodes, Jenny Humphrey, a young teenager entering her rebellious phase, began dressing in tough leather jackets and heavy black eyeliner.

The way clothes reflect the characters on Gossip Girl are the same way clothes ought to reflect on us. Take sophomore art major Elyse Carr, for example. A big fan of the works of Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein, her appreciation of his style is heavily mirrored in her very minimalist dress. Of her structured shift mini dress, she said, “I wear muted colors that are reminiscent of the 1960s — very Audrey Hepburn-esque.” The focus on her dress is the vertical seams and darts, which create the pockets at the hip. Though it draws upon the past, Carr’s look is entirely futuristic, with a sleek, pulled-back ponytail and unfussy motorcycle boots. The pairings are unexpected, but it all works, and best of all, it shows off Carr’s artistic personality, with a penchant for architectural designs.

Arguably the best fashion accessories to come out of Gossip Girl thus far have been main character Blair Waldorf’s extensive collection of headbands and her pairings of bright, knee-high socks and tights with equally colorful shoes. It’s no surprise that accessories are easiest to incorporate into individual wardrobes, especially to accentuate a fun personality.

When it comes to accessorizing, architecture junior Silvia Park is an expert; when it came time to bundle up in preparation of the cold weather, she chose the right pieces without looking overdone. With a pristine white wool coat, a classic fall favorite, Park opts for knit gray tights, a chic replacement for jeans, and pairs it with quirky Nine West booties. Peeking out of her coat is an H&M dress with just the right amount of draping, which complements her silhouette. Park’s outfit is perfectly suitable for the harshest winter days to come, and is unexpected in small but appreciated ways.

No matter where you seek style inspiration, whether it is from a television show, celebrity, or a time period, what’s most important is how you recreate and define the style according to your own rules and qualities. Don’t be intimidated by a piece or outfit that is slightly different from your personal tastes; instead work with it — add or subtract accessories, colors, and layers. Just make sure you feel comfortable in what you wear, just like Carr and Park do.