Look of the Week: Marika Saito ’25 Combines Korean Street-Style, “Academia,” and Personal Comfort

Donning a crisp, white button-down, Marika Saito ’25 pairs her signature untucked shirt with a sweater vest, skin-tight black jeans, and white sneakers. To complete her outfit, she accessories with a broad ring and silver earrings, establishing a distinct style of simple academia.

“I think my style is a little more formal…I like wearing collared shirts because it makes me feel more comfortable. I developed this style for more proper clothing styles just because I feel like people would take me more seriously; there wasn’t any major incident or anything that made me change, but at the same time it was just that idea that made me come up with the overall fashion style,” said Saito.

Although straying from loose and casual clothes, Saito prioritizes comfort in her self-expression. She comments that her fashion centers heavily around simplicity and adapts familiar Korean celebrity styles for a less glamourized self-expression

“I don’t like being overly fashionable because it makes me a little uncomfortable to be expressing myself in too much of a unique way…it’s not a style that I like. A lot of K-Pop idols go all out [with their] style in public, but I [would] tone it down a bit…if they had any accessories or piercings that are more visible, I would just buy a smaller and less noticeable version. My style is just taking [inspiration] and thinking of something milder that I can do on a more daily basis,” said Saito. 

Specifically, Saito delves into primarily academic styles while experimenting with aspects of streetwear in her accessories and footwear. She attributes these traits to the variety of people and styles she sees in Korea. 

“My inspiration comes from sitting in cafes with the big windows back in Korea, [watching] the people that pass by wear fashion that I like, with these Victorian-era coats, bucket hats, silver accessories. A huge part of my inspiration comes from the random people that I never talk to but pass down the street,” said Saito. 

The simple yet intellectual comfort in Saito’s outfits is something noticed by her friend, Leilani Glace ’25. Glace explained that Saito’s style effectively achieves the sense of formality and simplistic comfort that she aims to present. 

“I don’t necessarily think that Marika’s fashion is unique, I just think that she pulls it off really well. It’s less about an outfit being unique and more about what you want to convey with an outfit, [and hers are] very clean, chic…[like] ‘I’m here to do work’, but also ‘just rolled out of bed.’ She conveys cleanliness and put-togetherness in her outfits and I think that attracts people,” said Glace.  

Though she does not plan to pursue a career in fashion in the future, Saito still plans to dedicate large efforts to developing her style. To her, the importance of fashion lies within ensuring that the accumulated change in aesthetic and inspiration over the years can translate into an evolution of her presentation and impression on others. 

“I think a lot of what fashion is important to me is the fact that it changes how I want others to perceive me. Despite the fact that I have never talked to any of the people on the streets, the first impression that I get is from what they wear. From what they wear, it changes my perspective of who they are as a person; not in a negative or positive way, but it makes me respect them. I think just in general fashion has impacted my life in a way where I want people to see me and it’s a part of myself and how I put myself out there,” said Saito.