During my time at Trinity, I have had the pleasure of meeting a lovely girl named Renee Salem, a now- sophomore communications and international affairs double-  major.  While she is both kind and hilarious, one aspect of her drew my attention immediately: her clothes.  From her cat sweaters to her tribal skirts, this girl dresses like a Manhattan- born fashionista. All that’s missing is her Cosmo and entourage.  And, on top of all that, Renee designs and makes her own outfits, PLUS I’ve personally seen girls bring her articles of clothing for repairs or modifications.  I don’t know if anything can get cooler than that.  So, obviously, I had to have a sit- down with Renee and learn her trendy secrets.

“My roommate says I’m ‘Comfortable Chic’”, says Renee, “but I’ve never really thought about it before. 90 percent of all the clothing I own is super comfy, but I can still dress it up. If I could wear running shorts and an oversized t-shirt every day I probably would, but I like dressing up. That’s the other 10 percent: Fancy dresses and a couple of pairs of heels.”

Obviously, every designer needs an inspirational moment, and Renee’s comes in the form of one of her favorite outfits she’s ever worn.

“In high school, my nana’s friend custom made me a Tinker bell costume. I picked out the fabric and the style of the dress. This jump started my interest in making clothes. Then, for my senior prom, I designed the dress and had her make it for me. It was based on Irene Adler’s black dress in BBC Sherlock.”

Renee has learned and developed her own sense of style.

“My favorite [article of clothing is] the maxi dress. It’s versatile and comfortable, and I don’t have to wear underwear. They’re the best for when I’m really lazy, because everyone thinks I tried to look as good as I do. Well, now they all know! Also, running shorts. The ones with built-in underwear are my favorite. I hate underwear,” Renee said.

Don’t we all? However, like many others in her field, Renee has some insightful advice for all of us fashion disasters to incorporate into our daily lives:

1. Accessorize. A few pieces of jewelry, a belt or a headband can make any outfit pop.  It can also dress up or dress down an outfit.

2. Don’t buy something if you’re not 100 percebt in love with it. I’ve failed to follow this many times, and it’s terrible. I’ll wear it once and never again. And it’s money wasted.

3.  Your outfit can be great, but, if your shoes don’t match, it ruins the whole thing. I still do this when I’m really lazy or just going to the POD.

4. Wear what makes you happy and comfortable, and lets you feel beautiful. You are wearing these clothes, no one else (well, maybe other people, but you get my drift).

5. Coco Chanel said, “Fashion is made to become unfashionable.” We go through different trends so fast that I don’t bother keeping up most of the time.  So stick with what looks good on you, not what others think looks good on you (unless it really does look good, then go for it).

6. Save and Splurge: I prefer thrifting because it’s cheaper and I feel like most of the stuff is one-of-a-kind. But allow yourself a tiny splurge every now and then. Mine is set at once every two months. It’s a way to reward yourself and enjoy shopping.