Laura Levitt

TTN: How would you describe your style in college? LL: My style in college? I was into a lot of vintage stuff in college. It was like the 80s, so I did a lot of

TTN: How would you describe your style in college?
LL: My style in college? I was into a lot of vintage stuff in college. It was like the 80s, so I did a lot of vintage-a lot of vintage.

TTN: How has your style changed since college?
LL: It’s always been eclectic. I think that I go for higher quality; I think that’s a big piece. I love cashmere. I like texture, and I like playing. I like dressing up … I wear more jewelry and scarves than I ever used to wear when I was younger. I didn’t do as much then. And I do dress up more on a regular basis. I’ve always been a bargain shopper, my mother taught me to do that. You never buy anything on sale.

TTN: What do you like most about vintage shopping?
LL: What we like in Chestnut Hill, is we go in and play dress up with the people. We met someone who was going to a wedding … she was just drop dead gorgeous. And she would try on these fantastic shoes and we’d be like, ‘Oh those are really good.’ And this other woman came in with her jogging stuff and she’s really fit, and she could just like wear things. And we would say, ‘Oh no, this looks good,’ and it’s not like we work for them [the store], but it’s actually very therapeutic. And if the scale is smaller then people can get really into it.
I buy for all my friends, for relatives, my brother’s girlfriend … I mean, whatever. And kids. I have a Gap card just so I can buy Gap Kids stuff for my friends’ kids, literally!
My clothes like to go out. And so sometimes I have people who need an outfit for something, I’m ready and willing. I’ve had friends come over and shop in my closet because they have an event and they don’t know what to wear. And because I’ve had things in such different kinds of styles, some things are big and some things are smaller. People who are pretty much a range of sizes can wear my stuff. People do borrow stuff regularly, and I like that

TTN: Have students ever complimented your style?
LL: They like it when I play dress up. If I wear leather pants, sometimes that doesn’t go over too well. If I like what someone’s wearing, I’ll say something to them, in the hallway, or the elevator, or whatever.

TTN: What is the oldest piece of clothing in your closet?
LL: I have some vintage things that are really old. I have a turn of the century suit that I wore when I got my master’s degree. I have a Victorian blouse that kind of goes with that. I have a couple of things that I keep because I can’t let them go. I have a skirt that I have from high school; I have a couple things from high school slash college.
I have some 80s things because I really fell in love with Betsy Johnson in the 80s. I was in New York in the 80s and I used to go to the sales at her store so I have those dresses with the huge shoulders, a couple of those I just kind of put to the side and decided I would keep them.
I gave some of that stuff to students a few years ago in one of my classes. So yeah, I have a bunch of that stuff. I have a cocktail dress of my mother’s from the 50s, actually two of them, and when I was in college my roommate and I, I have a picture of the two of us in our closet in our dresses. We all had a big party, it was a black and white party, and we all wore black dresses, the four of us, our senior year in our house. We served white wine. That was the concept … and we all wore vintage dresses. They were black kind of cocktail dressy things.

TTN: Do you have any style icons?
LL: No. There are designers that I’ve come to like, but they kind of cross all the boundaries.

TTN: Does your style stay the same everyday? You had mentioned leather pants…
LL: Yes, I do have leather pants. Some very close friends of mine, we were all shopping in New York. … And they were like, “Um, you have to get them.” So I got them.
I have lots and lots of Michael Star T-shirts, and other T-shirts, stuff like that. I don’t like to wear things that are too tight, particularly pants. I think it looks great on people that are young.

TTN: What are your favorite fashion trends around campus?
LL: The thing at Temple is, you just see a real mix. I’m not so crazy about the whole belly button showing all the time, although I kind of have an admiration for the people who are bigger who just say ‘The hell with it’ and go for it. I kind of admire them.
I’m not so crazy about the way low cut jeans. I don’t do real youth. I wouldn’t go to H&M because I’m too old. There’s just things I can look at and I’m like, ‘You know what, that’s really cute, but that over 40 thing, I just can’t do it.’

TTN: What’s your favorite piece of clothing that you own?
LL: I have a pair of brown J.Crew pants that have buttons down the side that I love to wear, and I’ve had them for five or six years. They’re just really basic, they’re really comfortable. You can dress them up or dress them down. And I have some vintage stuff that I don’t wear very often, but I like to pull out.
I have a pair of cowboy boots that I bought in college. They’re falling apart but I love them, and I wear them once a fall with a skirt that has … it’s a big skirt with leaves on it from the 50s. You have to wear it for the season. I kept those boots [because] the boots are kind of a sacred object. I bought them at a cowboy kind of store outside Carlisle, Pa.

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