Ashley Gilbert

The Baltimore Sun

Towson University student Ashley Gilbert has a thing about the decade in which she was born. "A lot of stuff from the '80s is coming back. ... I love the look." When we "glimpsed" her at Towson Town Center, the 21-year-old Towson resident was sporting one of her current favorite looks: a big graphic T-shirt over leggings and boots. For Gilbert - a finance and economics major - her fashion is her art. She loves to mix and match pieces that she picks up at various stores. "I can find a shirt at a random TJ Maxx and just dress it up with accessories. [You can] look at it in a creative way and you can put anything together."

Self-described style: : " '80s vintage-y, plus modern."

The look: : Black North Face fleece jacket. Teal graphic long-sleeved tunic T-shirt from Victoria Secret's Pink line. Chocolate cotton leggings. Tall camel Ugg boots. Black Chanel tote handbag. Cream cotton, crinkle-gauze scarf. Black Versace sunglasses. Silver knot stud earrings and ring. Pink tourmaline ring.

Where it came from: : The jacket and boots came from Nordstrom. She got the T-shirt from Victoria's Secret. Her leggings were purchased at the American Eagle store. Her handbag was a gift. Her scarf was an H&M; find, and she picked up her shades at the Sunglass Hut. Her earrings and silver ring were from Tiffany's. And her tourmaline ring was a sweet 16 present.

Her fashion philosophy: : "I'm kind of creative. But, I'm terrible at art. So, this is a place to let my creativity out. ... I feel fashion is kind of an art. If you're painting a picture and it's looking out of whack, you change it. If I see something [in a store] that I don't see other people wearing, I usually buy it. That's how new trends come out. Trying new things. When you get good feedback, when something looks good on you, you know you did things right."

Mixing and matching: : "I think people are more worried about making their outfit look perfect, than making it something that stands out."

The '80s were awesome: : "I'll wear a high-waisted jean with a shirt tucked in. I'm not intense '80s. I like a lot of things that come out new. But, I like that whole look. ... I like the big shirts with leggings, and heels. I like graphic Ts with necklaces; vintage graphic Ts. High-heeled boots go with another ['80s look]. And lots of accessories like a clutch, or a big bag, or big earrings and necklace. ... A lot of the clutches have come out that are sequin-y and metallic, and animal print. They come from the '80s, too."

Her recent trendsetting successes: : "I've been wearing a lot of dresses. And a lot of dresses are '80s-inspired: the ruffles, cinched at the waist, and they pouf out around your legs, but they're not long. ... Even [doing my] hair for the '80s, like teasing, is kind of fun."

She shops about once a week: : "I like Towson mall. Nordstrom, Forever 21. Sometimes you can find random stores in malls and get a shirt or two. ... I baby-sit a lot, so I have a lot of money to spend. I'm religious with my jeans. So, it's pretty much getting a new shirt. I mix and match with stuff in my closet."

About those jeans ... : : "Joe's Jeans are good. But they're expensive. I probably have one or two pairs of those. ... Forever 21 jeans are really great. They're cheap, but they do the job. People spend $200 on jeans. I figure if you can find a pair that fits you well for 20 bucks, why not?"

Her fashion do's and don'ts: : "If I wear a big bracelet and a big necklace, I usually wear just a stud earring. I don't like big, big, big. I like color. I pretty much save the blacks for when I go into work, or the little black dress. I love skinny jeans. Pretty much every jean in my closet is a skinny jean. But, that's also why I have the high-waisted bell bottom, I can wear a small shirt with that. I think, 'Balance.' If you have a big shirt and big jeans, it won't look put together."

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