Style comes in all shapes and sizes

Sarah Etheridge, junior in performing arts, credits theater with her bold style.

Mika Brust

Style is something that differs from person to person, making it a unique form of self expression. Many factors such as personal preference, location and sizing come into play when choosing which garments to wear or purchase.

Ebere Agwuncha, sophomore in pre-architecture, considers herself to be “urban style with a tomboy look” but still struggles with finding pieces that fit right because she is 5 feet 11 inches tall.  

“I think my style is unique because in a way, I kind of dress like a guy but in a girly way, and not a lot of girls do that,” Agwuncha said. “Like literally, a guy could wear any of my clothes and still look fine in them.”

Agwuncha pays attention to fit when choosing her clothing.

“It’s just [about] finding something that fits easily and that isn’t too long, because I like wearing loose clothing, so just making sure that the clothes are long enough and that they fit well enough so that I can layer them is important,” Agwuncha said.

Sarah Etheridge, junior in performing arts, runs into issues with sizing on occasion as well but has learned how to beat the system.

Etheridge transferred to Iowa State after attending an art school in Chicago, which she said “really helped cement the idea of being bold and unapologetic with what you love and what you wear.”

“I sometimes encounter problems with sizing, but most of it comes from the inconsistencies across brands,” Etheridge said. “I tend to do most of my shopping at thrift stores, so over the years, I’ve gotten really good at knowing what will fit me just based on what it looks like. I used to always have problems with jeans, but since I’ve altered my wardrobe to not include them, I find life is a lot easier when it comes to shopping.”

Thrifting is common among students. Not only can you find unique and vintage pieces but they’re also typically cheap and affordable, and sizing is often spread out, making it easier to find items that fit right.

“I have a lot of pieces from thrift stores,” Agwuncha said. “You have to look to find good things, but once you find those staple pieces, like maybe a bomber [jacket] or something, you’ll be able to dress it however you want with the basics that you have.”

When it comes to personal style, everyone knows what they like and what fits their personality.

“I’ve always been very bold when it comes to fashion,” Etheridge said. “My mother let me dress myself when I was really young. … I’ve never matched a singular aesthetic, but I’m constantly bouncing around several, finding practical uses for my clothing in different event contexts.”

Etheridge said she likes fashion that reveals personality.

“I like fashion that isn’t limited to what looks good on you but also translates your personality,” Etheridge said. “I like to walk in a room and know that no one else there looks like I do, and I’ve embraced that in my fashion.”

Leah Beman, sophomore in elementary education, believes her style ranges from day to day and isn’t narrowed down to one singular description.

“I don’t really like to follow trends,” Beman said. “I like to just kind of wear what I want and go with it. I’ve never really been scared of what other people think. Since I was probably in middle school or high school, I’ve definitely always been that way.”

Wyatt Smith, sophomore in apparel, merchandising and design, has his own sense of style described as “high fashion mixed with street wear.”

Struggles with clothing aren’t just limited to sizing. Living in the Midwest, which isn’t typically seen as a fashion powerhouse like New York or Los Angeles, can be harrowing trying to find the latest trends around town.

“For the clothes themselves in Iowa, we definitely kind of get the wave of trends at least a year or two later than everywhere else, so my issue with shopping has always been that I’ve always had to do it online, and I just kind of have to guess if it would fit and just hope that the quality was good,” Smith said.

Clothing is different for everyone, which is the fun of it. Uniqueness and distinctiveness are what make up people’s styles and aesthetics in the world of fashion. Every body type is different, and not everyone is going to have the same taste in clothing, but that is what creates the idea of not being limited to something and standing apart from others.

Check out some of our past Style Spotlights to look at others’ style on campus.

The Knight cousins share their fall fashion tips

Abigail Goeser is changing the fashion industry

Meet Qiyao Xiong, an international student with style

These students are ready for spring style