Global exploration to fashion inspiration

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In a room filled with students in sweatpants tucked into Uggs, Amanda Araiza draws instant attention.

Her seemingly all black outfit is striking and almost harsh, but the studs on the shoulders of her black trench, her tousled curls and lively smile instantly brighten her look.

If you’re looking for an edgy yet classy look, get ready to take some notes from Araiza.

Originally from Davis, Calif., a city just outside of Sacramento, Araiza, a freshman in the John Cook School of Business, is here to share her inspiration with us.

In describing her outfit, we asked Araiza what she would call it. She laughed off the question, which we admit was a little silly, but she went with it and decided on “Magnum,” because it seems pretty awesome. We would agree.

Under her fabulous black trench, the rest of Araiza’s outfit features a trendy gray double-breasted military jacket and a white and black long-sleeved shirt tucked into a black skirt with a tulip-hem.

She softens the bold look by pairing it with black ankle boots over black nylons. She also includes metallic accessories like chandelier earrings, a wide stretch bracelet and a spiraled copper metal ring.

All of this seems a bit complicated, but when we break it down to basics, she has a black fitted skirt with a simple shirt paired up with the focal piece, the military jacket.

She keeps it warm with some tights and boots and adds a little fun with accessories.

Although Araiza in many ways seems like your average college freshman, trying new things, joining multiple student organizations and making new friends, she is actually extraordinary.

She has visited eight countries outside of the U.S., including Germany, where she spent three months traveling after graduating early from high school.

“I really transformed my style in Germany,” Araiza said. Being in Germany made Araiza feel like she had to step up her game as far as fashion was involved.

Unlike many Americans, Europeans take their fashion much more seriously. If you’ve crossed that big pond to the east, you probably noticed the difference, too. Now, as a freshman, Araiza brought that inspiration with her back to SLU.

“I wear what I like. As hipster as it sounds, I like to dress different,” Araiza said, referring to standing out from the typical SLU crowd.

Just an hour can be the difference between looking like you’re ready to conquer the world and looking like you barely made it out of bed to your night class.

When we asked Araiza what her style says about her and what she thinks others think about it, she said that her style is different because she puts in effort.

“I do it for myself. I like to look nice. As for other people, I get compliments but I’m not sure what others may think,” Ariaza said.

We got a lot of fashion insight from Araiza, not only because she draws inspiration from her cultural experiences and from her own sense of confidence, but also because we can relate to Araiza. As college students, we’re here to prepare ourselves for the professional world, and not dressing the part can be a real deal breaker.

Like any college student, time and money are always an issue.

Araiza waits to go shopping until it’s absolutely necessary. While going shopping whenever and buying a bunch of cute stuff is fun, it’s probably a better and financially wiser idea to shop for things that you really need.

To make it easier on yourself, make sure to buy items that you can pair with things that you already have in your closet. One thing Araiza definitely recommends having in your wardrobe is a good pair of nylons.

“I don’t like pants; they’re not comfy,” she said. We’re sure many of us can agree with this statement. Dresses and skirts are easy to dress up and down and can be worn in many ways, whether you add cardigans, jackets, nylons, flats or boots.

Easy to wear, and no pants needed.

So let’s not make this whole fashion thing such a big deal; dressing well isn’t difficult and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Just draw on inspiration from those around you and take a couple last notes from Araiza’s book and ours.

Shop at vintage stores because you never know what kind of treasures you’ll find. And when making a purchase, think about your outfit as a whole; it’s easy to get tunnel vision when shopping.

Make sure you are buying something that will make an outfit and not something that’s going to sit in your closet because you have nothing to wear with it.