Quad Style: Isabel Bloom
Hi, I’m Isabel Bloom, and I’m a 4th year Sociology major. I’m a member of UChicago Student Action and I’m on the UChicago Women’s Rugby Team. I also work at Fabiana’s Bakery and love to cook and bake for my friends in my spare time!
How would you describe your personal style?
Honestly I think my style is pretty all over the place because I love to mix it up. As you can see from these outfits I wear a lot of black and love to add a splash of red! I like to wear a fair mix of men’s clothes (both sets of pants for this shoot are men’s) because in college I have definitely been playing around with gender more in how I dress.
My roommates and I always joke about wearing things that are a little off or weird — for example I love wearing these red vans with colors or patterns that don’t really match. Overall my bottom line is wearing stuff that I’m comfortable in and that makes me feel good about myself!
Where do you find style inspiration?
There isn’t really one place were I draw my inspiration, I think it sort of comes from everywhere. I definitely notice what people wear on the street and also follow my favorite artists on Instagram and am sometimes inspired by what they wear. Recently, I think I have been intrigued by 90’s style because I have been watching a lot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch!
I also love sharing clothes with friends and family–it makes your wardrobe so much bigger! Also wearing something like my mom’s belt is kind of sentimental because it makes me think of her when I wear it.
Where do you like to shop?
Most of my clothes right now are from thrift stores. I love the process of digging through clothes in search of one special item. Thrift shopping also allows me to experiment a lot more with my fashion.
I also buy some stuff at Uniqlo and occasionally stores like H&M.
Do you have any fashion regrets?
Wow yeah definitely a lot of regrets from middle school... I really like color and I think I used to express that a lot more through how I dressed—it yielded some color combinations that were probably painful to the eye. I specifically remember that I could choose the color of the rubber bands on my braces when I had them and so I walked around for a while with a different color on each tooth. I’m not sure if braces count as fashion but the fact that I considered them fashion still haunts me.
What is your relationship to fashion? Has it changed over time?
I remember in middle school and most of high school fashion was largely about conforming– I really didn’t want to stand out because I was super insecure about my body. I used to wear skinny jeans all the time because they were trendy despite the fact that they were really uncomfortable. Since coming to college I have become a lot more comfortable in my body in part because I have figured out how to dress in a way that works for me and that feels comfortable. Now fashion is an everyday way to express myself and do a little something that feels like it’s just for me; like maybe I’ve been feeling down or super busy with work so I wear a wacky outfit that makes me laugh!
Why is fashion important to you?
I used to get so stressed about getting dressed for school in the morning–I remember wishing I had a uniform or some other way of opting out of choosing what to wear. Now I think of it in kind of the opposite way; i.e. what can I wear today that will make me happier or feel better about myself? I also think I just care a lot less about how people perceive of me now which is super liberating. I can wear more silly stuff just as a joke with myself or my friends!
All images courtesy of Charlotte Wang.