Not Your typical wendy
by Christine Pourheydarian'21 and Cristina Anillo'21
Christine and Cristina caught up with fellow Wellesley student Mila to learn about her style and fashion inspiration.
Christine: What does style mean to you?
Mila: I feel like a very simple baseline answer would be to say expression, because it is very much so an individualized representation of yourself. Style is how you choose to represent yourself on the day to day.
Christine: Do you think you have a certain style? How do you choose what you wear?
Mila: I think I have themes. I don’t necessarily have one style that I can be sorted under because most of what I wear is a random collection of things that make me happy. I really like the color orange, but orange isn’t a style. But, if I see something orange I’m most likely going to be like, “That’s great! I need it!”. When it comes to when I have to decide what I wear, I’ve never had to consider weather before, but now that I’m here I have to think about weather.
Christine: Where are you from?
Mila: I’m from LA. It was hot all the time and I could wear whatever I wanted every day. Now it is a little more challenging. Sweaters and layering is something I never had to think about, but then if that wasn’t a factor what I decide to wear is always what would make me feel happy today and what would make me want to leave and go out into the world.
Cristina: Do you have a go-to piece that you like to wear?
Mila: I just got this jacket recently but it’s going to be my go to, I already know. Because it’s orange and it’s also “Members Only” and I don’t usually care about brands because fast fashion isn’t my thing and I thrift most of my clothing. But for this jacket I specifically went out of my way. I was like, “I need it, I’m gonna collect it, and I’m gonna wear it every day”. Also because it is cold!
Christine: So you like colorful things. Why do you like orange?
Mila: It just makes me happy! It’s my favorite color and I feel like orange is a color that people don’t wear a lot. I feel kind of powerful when I dress in all orange.
Cristina: The orange matches the spiders... You have a lot of webs, spider earrings, spiders on your wall.
Mila: I just love spiders. That’s just part of my personality in general. And my personality will bleed into my taste.
Christine: Your earrings are pretty cool!
Mila: Thank you! I like my earrings. A lot of them I make, these ones i did not make. Well, this guy my pen pal sent me. They don’t make any sense, and I was like, “why send someone a pacifier on an earring but then it’s like, why not? I have a lot of earrings that I make.
These are my strawberries, and my little spider guys.
Christine: Your makeup seems to be an extension of your style.
Mila: That’s true. That’s very true… but that’s because I am not technically good at it. I don’t do it right, but I still like putting on colors on my face and like 99% of the time my eye shadowing matches the color of my outfit because it requires less thinking.
Cristina: How do you think your style has changed over time?
Mila: Ummm, that’s funny. Growing up I went to thrift stores all the time just because that was my family and I went with my dad, but I never explored thrift stores. So growing up, I would go to thrift stores and I would only really look at black t-shirts and cut-up shirts and make things out of shirts and make patches and also just wear band shirts that was primarily what my style was. As I grew older I was just like my dad’s gonna take a long time at the thrift store and I was like, “I might as well look at the other racks”. I started to find things that I liked and it evolved from there. So yeah, progressively my style became more colorful and I was like Mila, you don’t have to prove your angst! I feel like a lot of myself was angsty and I was angsty to wear black clothing, and then I was like Mila ”you can be angsty and dress like a rainbow!”. Your personality is not defined by what you are wearing. So, as soon as that dawned on me, I started wearing different things.
Cristina: What are some of your specific places you go to find cool places?
Mila: At home, my favorite place is called American Way and it is a thrift store and I love it, I love it so much, just because there’s such good stuff there. But also, since it’s so much cheaper than other thrift stores.
Cristina: How do you in one word or phrase describe your style?
Mila: Colorful. Or patterned. Funky. Groovy. I think funky works because you see it and your like okayyy and sometimes people are like, “yeah! That’s funky” and other times people are like, “that’s funky”. But also patterned because I like patterns and I feel like a lot of the things I wear are archetypes of the same thing but with a bunch of different patterns so it seems different but really I’m fooling you all, it’s all a facade.
Cristina: There’s a rule in fashion that you don’t wear patterns on patterns. How do you mix patterns?
Mila: Hmm, it depends. I break that rule sometimes but I am careful about breaking that rule because I’m aware that a pattern is already very much in your face but if they are patterns that sort of work together...it’s about psyching yourself up to do it.
Christine: I can see that. But you can make anything work, as long as you like it.
Mila: Yeah, that’s my philosophy. If it makes you happy, wear it.
Cristina: Which came first? The moral desire to shop at thrift stores, or the want for the style. The look?
Mila: I think part of it was just the necessity because it’s cost effective to shop at thrift stores, you can transform that to make it about style. But I think it wasn’t first style. I think it was more cost effective, moral effective thrift stores make more sense to me, but as you get in the habit of going to these places you gotta make it work for you, so I started searching for certain things that fit my style, and it sort of became my mission. Like it was my mission two years ago to find mom jeans under $5, and I did. And then I cut them into shorts!