In her playful pink and white ruffle layered dress, Kennedy Ndiaye ’22 completes her outfit with her favorite pair of distressed sneakers covered in a rainbow cheetah print. Donning a red necklace with stacks of gold jewelry on her wrists, her outfit is accentuated by a mix of earrings, including one to match the red heart ring on her right hand along with the silver rings on the left.
“I feel like jewelry is a huge part of my style… Piercings say so much about character and reveal so many tiny aspects of your identity… I like how you can express yourself with tiny details. It’s the little things that you can put a lot of together. You can wear so much at once,” said Ndiaye.
Ndiaye’s eclectic style is a combination of timeless garments, understated jewelry, and distressed shoes. Ndiaye furthermore believes that matching is not a requisite for successful outfits—she loves to wear clothing that is often difficult to match.
“I feel like if you find a clothing item and you think nothing goes with it, that’s the beauty in it, [since] you don’t own anything like that. I don’t wear things because they match or don’t match, [but] because I feel like wearing it,” said Ndiaye.
Ndiaye’s friend, Sabby Clemmons ’22, believes that Ndiaye’s choice of jewelry reflects her detail-oriented personality. According to Clemmons, although the other parts of Ndiaye’s outfit may vary daily, her jewelry is the one factor that remains constant and always stands out.
“No matter the outfit, [there’s] always jewelry… From a distance, you won’t see much, but when she’s next to you, you’ll see her intricate little jewelry and patterns…Whenever I talk to Kennedy about my day or something in the past, she always remembers it, and I think that is reflected in the jewelry because she always has these tiny little details [which] she can remember too, ” said Clemmons.
Coming from a middle school that required her to wear a kilt and button-down shirt, Ndiaye recalled struggling to express herself wearing the same uniform every day. While Ndiaye appreciates the freedom of the absence of a dress code, she still tries to define her own style apart from social norms.
“I try to not let [the social and physical environment] influence what I wear. It’s cool that you don’t have to choose what you wear based on what everyone else is going to have on, and I think that Andover is a really good example of that,” said Ndiaye.
Ndiaye’s style is largely influenced by her parents, whose outfits often spark creative ideas for her. According to Ndiaye, her parents have always stressed a mentality of independence towards fashion and encouraged her to dress as elaborately as she wanted, regardless of the occasion.
“A quote that my dad always used to tell me from Oscar Wilde is that ‘you can never be overeducated or overdressed,’ and from that, my dad and mom would tell me that ‘you don’t need to save clothes for special occasions because every occasion can be something you can dress up,’” said Ndiaye.