UMass Fashionistas: Fall Fashion with Olivia Brown

By Nia Decaille

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Olivia Brown/Courtesy of Alissa Mesibov

I had been on campus for three weeks and it was obvious that at UMass Amherst the bicycle was a cool accessory for getting to class across campus, and that you better own a pair of boots for the weather ahead. From where I stood, UMass students compromised with the unpredictable change of the seasons with grace. It’s true that you won’t find very many fashionistas strutting around in the most darling Jimmy Choo pumps on an ordinary Wednesday, but the women around here sure do know how to sport a trench coat and leather boots. Practical style that demands comfort first can often be considered common place or boring where predominant fashionable stigmas entertain ‘beauty at any cost.’

I can proudly confirm that at UMass Amherst, the balance between pragmatic clothing decisions and fashionable flair is a formula that should be bottled up and sold to any designer who dares to attack the ‘subtle is more’ approach. Before I continue to gush over my fashionable observations, it was this same admiration that lead me to UMass senior, Olivia Brown, standing in line at the Campus Center, I spotted those tall brown leather boots and patterned stockings getting ready to indulge in a scone and small coffee.

She cleverly mixes flannel plaid, florals, and patterns, topped with Ray Ban shades in a casual twist. Excitedly introducing myself , Olivia would flatter me with her in  depth perceptions of effortless personal style.  Her unique look is influenced by two British icons: sultry, simplistic actress Kiera Knightley and contemporary model and entrepreneur Sienna Miller. To top off her self-described “funky” style, she uses her secret scent weapon, Louis Pissano all the way from Milan!

We are not all as creative as Ms. Brown, so if you want to emulate this UMass fashion trendsetter, here are some tips to achieve her style

As seen in photo above:
Plaid Flannel Shirt – Any regular fitted flannel shirt can be found at an American Eagle or local thrift store.
Flowered Mini Skirt- Throw in a little flair and add a flowered skirt from stores, like Forever 21, Express, or Gap.
Patterned stockings – Department stores like Macy’s offer tons of variety to fit any style.
Tall Patent Leather Riding Boot- Your best bet is to look in shoe wholesale stores or outlets, like DSW.

Take a lesson from Olivia Brown and master chic casualty this fall.

Nia Decaille can be reached for comment at  [email protected]