Quad Style: Anne Wang
Meet Anne, a fourth-year majoring in Economics and minoring in Visual Arts and NELC. On campus, she’s in AKPsi and helps run Pareto Solutions, a strategy consulting RSO. Her free time is largely spent on painting/drawing, creative writing, and studying Chinese history or Hittite.
How would you describe your personal style?
The two outfits probably gave it away, but I pay basically zero attention to brand and all my attention to the vibe that a piece gives me. Although I’ve never thought of any labels as describing some sort of personal style, I can list things I like, and something might arise from them: turtlenecks, oversized things, muted colors, loose pants and loose sleeves, high waists, and having as many earrings as possible. So lots of muted colors, pairing loose with tight, and honing in on one standout accessory. I also have to credit a large part of my personal style to hair and glasses—they’re there everyday and not changeable in the short term, but people often underestimate how they affect others’ perceptions of their style.
Where do you find style inspiration?
Generally, I find that people at UChicago dress in interesting ways and are pretty good sources of inspiration. I’ve been to plenty of other campuses and I think I can confidently say that we dress more interestingly as a school. Images on Instagram are fun to look at too, particularly the accounts that feature random people on a street rather than a set of curated models. I always pay more attention to someone’s clothing when they carry themselves confidently—I’m always interested in “how he/she pulls it off”.
Where do you like to shop?
Uniqlo, thrift stores, H&M, and my grandma and mom’s closets. I’ve got plenty of aspirational shopping destinations in mind, but they’re going to have to wait until I become a full time salaried worker.
Do you have any fashion regrets?
Early middle school was rough—I think I wore all possible permutations that you can get from two polos and 3 pairs of Bermuda shorts. I don’t regret wearing clothes from Walmart throughout my adolescence, though. Walmart was where my mom really honed my instincts for finding an incredible deal—the kind that’s $15 or under.
What is your relationship to fashion? Has it changed over time?
Changing your outfit everyday is just fun. It actually used to be really tedious for me, particularly when high school started at 7:20 AM, but somewhere along the way I discovered that clothes could be convenient, comfortable AND look interesting. Once that epiphany was had, and since I’m always shopping on a budget, it became an exciting challenge to look for a piece I wanted that wasn’t going to break the bank. I was never big on watching runway shows or following high level trends, but clothing and “look” became another way, along with writing and painting, to explore what pleased me to make, wear, and be.
Why is fashion important to you?
I think understanding and appreciating the diversity of clothing styles and “looks” can be key to appreciating difference in general. For example, I may think that neon colors look terrible on myself, but I will not stop gushing about a particular person’s ability to pull of neon athleisure. Whether it’s musculature, haircut, or lifestyle aesthetic, there’s a reason one person can rock a look that I can’t (yet).
Being able to recognize how someone pulls something off goes a long way to appreciating your own unique qualities that allow you to pull off what you wear. Sometimes it can be a step to exploring something new for yourself. Honestly, this philosophy applies to lots of other things outside of fashion, but clothing is relatively accessible and common among all of us.
All images courtesy of Yamini Nambimadom. See more of her work on Instagram.