how grad school changed my style

New chapters and new affinities.

In case you missed my little announcement on Instagram last month, I’ve made an important life change: I’m going to grad school. I’ve got the first few weeks of the term under my belt, and for the next two years I’ll be working towards my master’s degree in nutrition. (Most people don’t realize this, but my undergraduate degree is actually in biology, chemistry, and exercise science — the typical assumption is that I was a business or fine arts major!)

With the adjustment period of having a new schedule, and the onset of fall weather here in Portland, I’ve found myself getting dressed for class in a whole new way. In the two years since leaving undergrad, my style has changed dramatically. Gone, but not forgotten, are my days of French Girl Chic — a style I loved deeply and sought to emulate constantly.

French style is often front-and-center in fashion news, and indeed, it does have a certain allure to it; with it’s understated, feminine, classic, yet still put-together looks, French women have truly mastered the art of getting dressed. French style played a huge role in my style inspiration early on, when I was first exploring this fashion hobby of mine. But these days, I find myself reaching for different pieces with a different vibe altogether. The clothes I wear now are simple, minimal, and boyish. They’re menswear-inspired basics that can be worn again and again, in a variety of ways. I like to think of them as a larger capsule wardrobe. I still love French style, but I think I became bored with how I dressed. And as I get older, I’m finding that I’m more of a tomboy than I thought.

leather and jeans

Over the last six months, I’ve fallen in love with Scandinavian style. I love how practical, comfortable, and generally fuss-free it is. I still go for a neutral color palette, as it makes laying a breeze, especially when I have early morning classes and there’s a chill outside. Athleisure-inspired looks have also been at the forefront of my sartorial decisions; think cargo pants, cropped hoodies, and chunky sneakers, like Nike’s Air Force 1. Oversized or relaxed silhouettes offer comfort and coziness, as well as the ease of layering — no one enjoys having a chilly class in the morning and then sweating after lunch.

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In a nutshell, my clothes are now about comfort. I spend hours sitting in classes or studying, so I don’t want to wear things that are tight or restrictive. I walk to and from campus whenever I can — aka, when it’s not raining — so sensible shoes are a must. If I want to look more “polished,” I throw a blazer on over a t-shirt or sweatshirt and call it a day. With my jewelry, I’m now wearing thicker chains or big hoops — things I never would have worn a year ago. My makeup routine has changed too, and I’m going makeup-free more often than not. (More on that later.)

As the temperatures continue to drop, I’m looking forward to bringing my favorite pieces back into rotation. I’ve missed my wool coats, leather leggings, and thick, chunky knits. These items are all versatile — which is why I bought them in the first place! Thank you, past self, for you love of timelessness. I’m happy that my closet transitions easily from my French Girl look of yesteryear to my practical boyish style of today: the key players haven’t changed, but the accessories and pairings have. I’m swapping my beret collection for beanies, but keeping my favorite skinny jeans.

wool coat and sneakers

I’ve never expected myself to be locked into a particular style, and while my recent affinity for a more relaxed look did catch me by surprise, it’s been so good for my creativity. I think, in the months of blog radio silence, I hit a rut with my style. What better way to break out of that rut than trying something new?


Outfit details: Madewell Curvy Skinny Jeans, Aritzia hoodie, Zara leather jacket (old), Article + Goods bag (gifted), Everlane boots (old).

To view the outfit collages in their entirety, visit my Fashmates page here.