Elina Choi ’22 dons a light gold midi dress layered over a black long sleeve and black tights, accompanied by a fuzzy, beige sweater and black leather boots. For accessories, Choi mixes a cross necklace with silver and gold rings.
“I think I wear what I want to. On the weekends, you’ll only see me wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt. But in general, I don’t think I really have any rules for myself,” said Choi.
Instead of wearing outfits specific to a certain style or aesthetic, Choi aims to express herself with consistency in color throughout an outfit, often experimenting with clothes that match or contrast one another. Specifically in the winter, Choi loves to dress up her outfits by mixing different-colored scarves.
“I always try to make sure that if I’m wearing a certain color, it will also be represented in another part of the outfit, unless it comes from a complete statement piece. I think it’s more color-oriented, in that way…I think colorful scarves are nice because they keep you warm, but also have a pop of color. The jacket that I wear every day is a dark navy, so it’s good to have a contrast between bright and dark,” said Choi.
The diversity of Choi’s fashion choices do not only apply to color, but to different articles of clothing as well. A friend of Choi’s, Ablah Siddiq ’22, noted that instead of sticking to a specific style, she tends to switch it up each day.
“Her closet is so eclectic. Like, one day she pulls up wearing cowboy boots, and another she looks like a spring fairy. She has so many different styles, and she can pull them all off. She layers so well! Also, her accessories are on point,” wrote Siddiq in an email to The Phillipian.
Living in Korea and attending a junior boarding school, Choi’s ability to develop her fashion was limited by mandatory uniforms and strict dress codes. However, since coming to Andover as a new Lower, she has been able to experiment with different clothings, suiting her personal style and self expression.
“When I first went to Andover, I was really happy about the fact that I could wear sweatpants all the time, but then I think with the Covid-19 year I began to realize that your outfit is your first impression… Although I don’t think my style is necessarily better than it was two years ago. I think I have a different look. I’ve gotten more into wearing more skirts and dresses during the week,” said Choi.
Choi draws inspiration for her outfits from numerous sources online. While many of her favorite pieces reflect the unique style of her home city, Seoul, she also uses apps like Instagram and Pinterest to spark outfit ideas.
“I live in Seoul, and I think it has a lot more niche pieces that I really love. I find a lot of [pieces] on Instagram and Pinterest– the algorithm really knows what it’s doing with me! I also have this Notes app that I create before the start of each term. I’ll come up with five categories of general outfits, and then I’ll do variations within those branches,” said Choi.
When choosing each of her outfits, Choi thinks about how her clothing affects the way she is seen. Unrestricted by a specific aesthetic, she emphasizes experimenting with different styles and types of clothing.
“It’s been really fun for me to think about and picture what vibe I’m giving off to the people who first meet me… But when it comes down to it, I really want to say that I’m just wearing whatever looks nice,” said Choi.
Editor’s note: Elina Choi is a Video Editor for The Phillipian.