Ashley Williams

The Baltimore Sun

There was no better place to check out current fashions recently than at the Ebony Fashion Fair show at Morgan State University's Murphy Fine Arts Center. And we don't mean what was on stage. MSU student Ashley Williams was a great example of eye-catching style in the audience. The 18-year old Frederick resident loves to mix and match to fit her mood. And she knows how to do it on a student's budget. "I feel that you should always incorporate fashion into your life because you never know who is watching." We certainly were.

Age:: 18

Residence:: Frederick

Job: : Morgan State University student

Self-described style: : "Classy and trendy, yet casual."

The look: : Orange ribbed-cotton/spandex, cap-sleeve, V-neck Planet Gold T-shirt. Black cotton puff-sleeve F.A.N.G. jacket. Skinny jeans. Turquoise-and-wood beaded Dollhouse gladiator sandals with a cork wedge. Coach clutch handbag. Silver-tone heart pendant. Large silver-tone hoops.

Where it came from: : The tee and sandals were Macy's purchases. She picked up her jeans at Forever 21, and her jewelry and jacket at Kohl's. Her handbag was a gift.

Her style has its mood swings: : "Fashion is very important to me, in that it is an expression of how I feel. Fashion says a lot about someone's personality and the way they may be feeling that particular day. ... I love to wear heels, but I also love variety, I like to switch things up a bit. ... I am a college student and I don't work, so I have my days where I will dress up. Then there are some days when I like to take it easy and maybe wear sweats."

She takes semi-monthly shopping "field trips": : "I shop about twice a month. While I don't have a favorite store to shop in, I find myself shopping in Forever 21 often. My shopping ranges anywhere from Kohl's to BCBG. ... To buy dressy clothes I usually shop in Macy's or Kohl's. ... Wherever the best deals are, I'm there."

She shops on a student's budget: : "Money does play a huge role when I shop. Most people think that you have to have the priciest clothes to be stylish, but you can bargain-shop and still look your best. I do it all the time."

She shops to get the most out of her wardrobe: : "Most of the time, I don't shop specifically for outfits. If something catches my eye, I usually grab it on [the] spot. Shopping like this allows for your collection of clothes and accessories to build up. When it is time to go out, you have so many different outfits to put together."

Her Achilles heel is ... her heels: : "My fashion weakness is shoes. I love shoes over any type of clothing, and it is seen by my knee-high pile of shoes in my closet. I would love to start my own shoe company."

When she became a trendsetter: : "One morning I was getting ready for school. I was so in a rush that I didn't realize that I had on two different color earrings. When I arrived at school, I did my routine check-up in the bathroom and realized that they were different colors. I was so self-conscious for the rest of the day, however. When I [went] to school the next morning, I realized that two of my friends had done the exact same thing. When they told me that they thought it was cute and different, I was in shock because I had mistakenly made a fashion statement."

Her "A-B-C's" of style: : "My cousin gave me my sense of style. She is about four years older than me. She would always tell me 'A.B.C.' which meant Always Be Cute. She instilled in me to always look your best when leaving the house, even if that [just] means throwing on some earrings and a bracelet."

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