I came to UVA from a relatively small all-girls private school. There were ninety-something girls in my graduating class and a quarter of us were 7-year-survivors who’d been there since the 6th grade. As a result of being surrounded by the same people every day, I got to know everyone pretty well. Even with someone who wasn’t my best friend, I could tell you who they were dating, their signature Starbucks drink and how many pairs of sweatpants they had—this last one was the easiest to figure out. Being an all-girls school, the administration spent much of their time driving home ideas of women’s empowerment, even feminism. In doing so, they enacted a dress code that would supposedly prevent us from drawing inappropriate attention to our womanly figures (i.e. shorts that didn’t reach fingertip length or spaghetti straps without a sweater overtop. You know, all the incredibly vulgar stuff). Some girls chose to ignore the dress-code and bare the glares of the deans, occasionally resulting in having to change into something from the lost in found. Other girls simply found the dress code too ambiguous and avoided any problems by wearing sweatpants (or Nike shorts) every single day. Thus, it was easy to determine how many pairs of sweats a girl had by seeing how many different ones she wore until she had to start repeating; the most I’d counted was 28. Lastly, there were girls like me— girls who decided to work around the dress code but still desired to look stylish. This wasn’t always an easy task, considering many of today’s popular trends involve crop tops and cutouts, but I saw it as a creative challenge. Getting up 20 minutes earlier in order to put together something cute and unique was like my morning workout without the sweat; it got my mind working and the blood flowing before I had to hit the books and I loved doing it. Occasionally I would be in class and the girl next to me in her groutfit (all grey sweatshirt/pants combo) would ask, “why waste time in the morning with worrying about what you wear when you could sleep?!?” Sometimes, on mornings after a nearly all-nighter, I would ask myself the same thing. But my usual response was simple: I don’t dress up all the time because I am preoccupied with impressing others. For someone who is a natural introvert, my style is a main outlet to express my personality and creativity, not to mention it puts me in a better mood. It is this mindset that inspired me to start a fashion blog this summer and it has motivated me to share my thoughts on style with my beloved new school— a place free from dress codes where I can really let my creativity roam. So this is my background in a nutshell. From here on, I will be blogging regularly about my observations of current styles and trends, how-to’s and DIYs, and even showcase my super stylish peers with a “Hoos Got Style” feature. You can feel free to adhere to my advice, or disregard it, for personal style is exactly that – it’s personal.