If you ever need some fashion tips or someone to shop with, you’ll want Santa Rosa Junior College student and economics major Claire Ernst.
Ernst, 19, is a student whose fashion style will impress you. The way she brings a classic outfit to life with her own unique flare will definitely inspire people to be fearless in their own way.
Oak Leaf: What inspires your sense of style? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Claire Ernst: My sense of style is so eclectic that sometimes people have trouble recognizing me from day to day. I like to dress for my audience. When I’m at a tailgate I like to pull out my bright red cowboy boots and star spangled cutoff jeans. When I’m teaching I might wear studded floral heels, a turtleneck and a pink blazer. When I’m at a car show you’ll find me in a Hawaiian shirt and Birkenstocks like all the other 40-something-year-old car guys.
OL: What is your fashion obsession and why?
CE: I love, love, LOVE heels! Over the knee heeled boots, pointed toe stilettos, velvet pumps, spiked platform boots, highlighter pink business heels, floral print wedges…I’ve got them all. I can confidently walk in the sharpest of high heels, and that’s a skill I like to show off as much as possible.
OL: Do you think fashion enables people to conform to current trends or does it help break away from it?
CE: I don’t consider conforming to current trends really fashionable at all. If you can get the whole outfit at Forever 21, it doesn’t count. I’m looking at you, baggy jeans, cold shoulder tops and faux-Birkenstock sandals. Fashion is, by nature, about breaking out of those trends and adding twists or playing around with color palettes and different textures in clothing. It’s all about calculated risks—doing something different—but still looking good from the perspective of a passive observer.
OL: How do you think the fashion industry can improve?
CE: I don’t like the division of young ladies’ attire and women’s attire as it stands. It seems that in any department store the “juniors’” section is just cheaply made, overly-revealing clothing, and the “women’s” section is completely lacking in terms of color palette and imagination. I want bold and well-fitting clothes!
OL: What’s a fashion tip you give out?
CE: Wear your clothes, don’t let your clothes wear you. Not all trends are made for every body type, and branching out into styles that compliment your assets will make you more fashionable. It’s all about picking clothes that cater to YOU, not the mannequin in Forever 21.