Quad Style: Sophie Hoyt
Hello hello! I’m Sophie, a fourth-year English major. I work as an actor in Chicago so between auditions and rehearsals, I don’t have a lot of time for RSOs. When I have some free time in my schedule, I try dramaturg UT shows because I’m a nerd and love being able to give actors and directors more background info that they can (hopefully!) use to flesh out their performances. I LOVE food so I’m always testing out new recipes, baking for my friends, and finding new restaurants to try.
How would you describe your personal style?
One of my friends always calls my outfits a “power clash” and I think it really embodies my sense of style. I try to have fun with my outfits, playing with layers and texture and patterns. I’m definitely a maximalist in every sense of the word. More is more is more so I always try to add one last piece to my outfit before I leave the house.
Where do you find style inspiration?
I love the Man Repeller blog! I love the idea that women should dress for themselves and themselves alone. Their style has really helped me start wearing myself on my sleeves. And my mom, she’s a fashion icon in her own right and some of my favorite pieces in my closet are hand-me-downs/stolen from her.
Where do you like to shop?
I’ve been trying to shop more eco-consciously and a big part of that has been avoiding fast fashion, which can be really difficult when it comes to price and convenience. I definitely love Mango and Madewell, though, and they’re really the only stores I go to because the student discount and sales are just too good. Overall, though, I’ve been moving toward shopping mostly at independent, small-scale designers or stores like Lacausa or even Asos Eco Brands.
The one downside, of course, is that these brands tend to be more expensive, but it’s definitely been a good thing for me because I can’t impulse buy things I don’t need; so I try to find things I really like and then wait a couple of days to make sure I still want the piece before I commit. If I’m definitely in need of a closet revamp I go to thrift stores and vintage shops like Knee Deep or Beacon’s Closet, and sometimes trade or borrow things from my roommates.
Do you have any fashion regrets?
I definitely have a couple. In the 6th grade, I had the chance to meet Beyoncé and I wore lavender cargo shorts, a “Little Miss Bossy” t-shirt and a sweatshirt; it was tragic and there’s photographic evidence. I also had an unfortunate color pop phase that involved a pair of Crayola yellow ripped jeans. One of my biggest regrets, though, was not treating glasses like an accessory for a really long time. I think it’s important to treat everything that you put on your body as a statement and once I started caring about my glasses as an extension of my style I became more confident and started having more fun with my fashion.
What is your relationship to fashion? Has it changed over time?
Fashion used to be something I tried to fit into, but now I see as something that I can adapt to myself, which sounds simple but it took me a long time to get there. I think my relationship to fashion really crystalized in college because I stopped trying to dress for other people or trends. Coming into my first year I was really worried about losing my sense of self so I promised myself that I’d never go to class in my pajamas or sweatpants, which sounds silly, but it’s really helped me make a small investment in myself every morning just by finding clothes that make me feel good about myself.
Why is fashion important to you?
Fashion is one of those things that will always be a constant in our lives and will always be in a state of metamorphosis. For me, I find clothing to be really grounding; even the slight difference in the way I style a piece of clothing acts as a marker for where I am in my life and how I’ve changed, no matter how small that difference it. We have to encounter fashion every day and if we choose to really engage with it and enjoy it, it can have a huge impact on how we receive ourselves.
All images courtesy of Jaire Byers. View his photography portfolio here.