ISU apparel takes a trendy twist

Mariah Wellman

Local boutiques have been opening around Ames for many years now, offering vintage as well as trendy looks for customers. What many students may not know is that they can also find unique ISU apparel that they may not find anywhere else in Ames.

Laurie Anderson, owner of Lyla’s Boutique on Main Street, creates her own ISU scarves that she sells inside of her store. Anderson also designs and sells dresses, skirts and tunics.

The scarves are a chevron print with a metallic Iowa State logo on the bottom corner.

“They have been very popular,” Anderson said about the scarves. “You can accessorize a scarf and change an outfit completely by changing a scarf.”

Anderson said she found a supplier with the type of fabric she wanted and worked with a local shop in Campustown to create her metallic logo. Once the logo was approved by Iowa State, she said the scarves started to fly out the door.

“We only get maybe ten scarves in, in a couple different colors, and it’s exclusive to Lyla’s,” Anderson said. “It’s not sold anywhere else and you will stand out a little bit more than others if you’re wearing a scarf from Lyla’s.”

Anderson said all of her scarves, dresses, skirts and tunics are unique to Lyla’s and she tries to advertise to customers who want to stand out and not wear the “normal” ISU apparel.

“I’m looking for someone who wants something unique,” Anderson said.

Portobello Road is another store in Ames that prides itself on selling unique ISU apparel.

Talia Jensen, owner of Portobello Road on Welch Avenue, collects vintage ISU apparel to sell inside of her store. Jensen said she started picking up vintage clothing years ago in Minnesota. Now, she also goes to different thrift stores to pick up items she likes. 

Jensen said styling vintage apparel with new items is something she does on the mannequins inside her store to show customers what they can do with something as simple as a T-shirt.

“That’s another reason I like to carry vintage Iowa State stuff, because I like to style some of our Iowa State stuff with some of our skirts or our shorts,” Jensen said. “It’s more of a fun way to dress up your regular Iowa State apparel.”

Jensen said that a fan does not always have to wear ISU logos to show school spirit. Pairing items together such as a gold skirt and red top could show just as much spirit in a more trendy way.

“So what if you like this skirt, but you’re tailgating?” Jensen asked when explaining a possible situation. “I’ll show you a crop top you can pair with it and some only cost $8.99, you know?”

Jensen said that she likes to help customers who are interested branch out and away from typical ISU apparel into more “themed” items to show spirit.

“Even like headbands we have that are red and gold or gold dresses are other ideas,” Jensen said. “Changing it more from Iowa State apparel to Iowa State themed.”

Jensen said she plans to have a lot of ISU-themed clothing and accessories this coming summer and when classes begin in the fall.