The Baltimore Sun

Remember when college grads had to wear white shoes and pantyhose under their gowns? These days, colleges seem to have developed a sense of fashion. At the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's winter convocation, graduates donned all-black under their gowns, which is a great idea - especially given the footwear choices that provides. Jackie Emrich turned graduation into an opportunity to look amazing, in a mini dress, wrap sweater and tall boots.

Age: 22

Residence: Ellicott City

Job: Just graduated in December with a psychology degree from UMBC

Self-described style: "I just wear what I like."

The look: Black wrap sweater, covering a black minidress with lace detail. Black tights and black suede Isaac Mizrahi boots.

Where it came from: Sweater from Mom's closet. Dress from Urban Outfitters. Tights, she can't remember. Boots from Target.

Today is an all-black anomaly: "I don't usually wear all black, really. All black was mostly today because my gown was black and they told us to wear black under it. If I do wear black, I try to throw some color under it because it is kind of a dark color and I have fair skin."

Her everyday look varies: "I usually wear a nice pair of jeans. I pretty much always have on heels because I'm ridiculously short. It all depends on my moods. Sometimes I'm a jeans and T-shirts girl, and then sometimes I'm more dressy."

But "funky" is always in the mix: "I'm a big rock music fan, and all my friends are musicians. So, I guess funkier pieces tend to draw my eye. But whatever it is, it always has to look good on me before I'll buy it."

College-budget shopper: "I look for great sales. Like Urban Outfitters has great sales if you know when to go. There's always great online sales; great Web sites like [], where you can get great designer clothes for like 70 percent off when you know when to look. And I've worked in malls before, so I know the good times to shop."

Ugg boots? Yes. Sweats? No: "I have Ugg boots, but if I ever wear them, I like the look of a short skirt with them. I can't leave the house in sweat pants. I wish I could; it would make things so much easier. ... I don't ever really make plans, so if I'm out and someone calls me and says, 'Come here,' I'd rather be dressed nice and be prepared, rather than be in sweat pants."

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