Growing up, Justine Wang ’15 would spend countless hours crafting her own beaded bracelets, studying the outfits on mannequins in large department stores and browsing designer’s collections online. These creative activities provided Wang with an opportunity to transcend the bounds and trends of Andover, Mass., where she lives, and develop a love for high-fashion and dressing well.
“In my mind, fashion aligns a lot with beauty and art. Scouring those collections was a way for me to creatively explore what I found to be beautiful and to form my own opinions around that. I didn’t care as much about what was popular than what had the most beautiful aesthetic,” wrote Wang in an email to The Phillipian.
Through creating her own definition of what is beautiful, Wang has developed a personal style that she defines as “classic with an edge.” Wang achieves this look by combining typical New England pieces, such as collared shirts and cable knit sweaters, with items that reflect the relaxed taste commonly found on the West Coast, including flowing floral dresses and loose boyfriend jeans. And while Wang does have a few go-to pieces, including white sneakers and turtlenecks from her large collection, she keeps her daily looks fresh and ever-evolving.
“My wardrobe is composed of minimalistic pieces and statement pieces, and I just end up blending them together. I don’t really subscribe to a specific mantra: I like mixing different styles together,” said Wang.
One of Wang’s recent looks included a basic black top tucked into a white mini skirt that was covered in a subtle black pattern. Wang tied the outfit together with a clear-beaded bracelet that she made herself. This accessory made the outfit entirely her own and showcased her childhood hobby.
Wang also continues to follow high-fashion trends, particular those followed by actress Blake Lively, one of her style icons. Wang admires Lively’s ability to take risks with her clothes while maintaining a classy composure.
“I like how [Lively is] really feminine and so confident in everything she wears. I think that’s really important when it comes to your everyday life because when you dress well, you feel good!” said Wang.
Wang tries to emulate Lively’s confidence by wearing the clothes she feels most comfortable in.
“Wearing what makes you feel the most confident in allows your character to shine through. If, on a given day, I feel best wearing an old, worn-in tracksuit, let me live. If I feel like wearing a ball gown, that works too. Why spend your precious time thinking about what other people will compliment you on? Looking good is something you should be doing for yourself,” said Wang.
In addition to Lively, Wang seeks inspiration from the Instagram accounts of several bloggers, including @blaireadiebee, @sincerelyjules and @garypeppergirl. Wang even had her own blog for about a year. Even though she stopped writing the blog, Wang still aspires to incorporate the fashion world, something that’s fascinated her since a young age, into her future career, whether that’s on the business or journalism side.
“Working in the fashion industry, I honestly would never get bored. And that means the world to someone like me, because I love trying and exploring new things. There is so much variety out there now, and the fashion industry really highlights the dynamic change going on in society,” said Wang.
Editor’s note: Justine Wang was a Copy Editor for The Phillipian vol. CXXXVII