Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Grad School Chic - featuring Laurene

Just some background before reading this post. I'm a graduate student in a computer science-y field and notice than some of my fellow grad students either 1) wear the same shirt to school at least twice a week 2) smell like they haven't showered 3) stick to wearing muted colors. I was curious on my friend's take on style in grad school and how other students can upgrade their wardrobe from undergrad rags to grad student chic. 

1. Introduce yourself (name, school/future plans, hobbies, etc.)
My name is Laurene, I am a grad student at UMBC. My future plans entail changing the world (lol), I will settle for being a doctor. My hobbies, anything artsy, designing, decorating, styling, I love to read fiction too. I guess my real future plan is to find a good balance to merge my artsy nature and science background.
2. Describe your sense of style
My style is a little bit of everything, very eclectic, vintage, tomboy, Afrocentric, eccentric, chic. I'm not a big trend follower, I like to think I set my own. I stay true to myself but current all the same. 

3. Has your style changed since undergrad? How? Why/why not?
The essence of my style I don't think has changed much but there has been some modification. I was always well put together as an undergrad but I was still figuring out myself and my style for that matter. I'm not yet there but I think I know much more about who I am as a person now, what works and doesn't for me, when to be risky,when to play safe both in style and life. 

4. What are some classic outfits you would recommend every female grad student have in their closet?
1. The blazer, it can step any look up. 
2. The perfect Jeans and a plain or graphic tee (not the free ones that are handed out on campus!) 
3. Oxfords never seems to go out of style and they can be worn year round.
Can I vent? (Oh grad students! Sometimes I meet people in the hallways and I  just want to make them over, no offense. I hate when people tell me I must have a lot of time to look decent everyday. If you can devote years to studying mice and flies, you can at least take 10 minutes for yourself every morning to brush your hair and put on a clean shirt. You deserve it).

5. Do you dress differently in class/lab than outside of class/lab? How so? 
I will want to say no but it depends. I am very flexible with what I wear. I very rarely designate this dress for that or that for this. I wear whatever catches my eye in the morning, I like to also easily be able to transition my outfits from day-to-night, business-to-casual etc. I'm in grad school, there is no strict dress code and I'm taking advantage of that before I can't anymore. 

6. Does studying a STEM field affect your outfits in any way?
I feel like it should, but it doesn't. I am the first to know impressions are important and in the STEM field the more 'rundown' you look the 'smarter' people presume you are. I used to worry that people will presume or misjudge me (my intelligence) but now I don't care.People will think what they will and I actually like to pleasantly surprise.
7. I want to upgrade my style from undergrad chic to grad student chic, but on a grad student budget. What advice would you give me?
Don't do it all at one time, it's a process. Take a year if you may and focus on specific parts of your wardrobe (shoes,dresses, shirts, pants. etc) at a time. And invest in quality instead of quantity, you want things that will last.

8. Do you see your style transitioning in the next few years?
Maybe, maybe not but I'm looking forward to it.

9. Where can we check you out (blog/email/website)?
You can check out and follow my style blog at http://its-elle-d.blogspot.com/, my tumblr is at http://myprojectsidewalk.tumblr.com/ and my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/projectsidewalk?ref=hl

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