Wearing black to express individuality, creativity

When freshman elementary and special education major Aly Binck says she dresses mostly in black, it’s not what you think.

No, she’s not one of those “the width of one of my pant legs could fit my entire body, every one of my T-shirts alludes to blood or death, and I have more metal in the chains hanging off my pockets than was buried with Tutankhamen” types of black wearers.

On the contrary, Binck knows that wearing black is the height of both sophistication and elongation.

“My inspiration comes from the whole late ’60s vibe. I love it,” she said. “Edie Sedgwick [Andy Warhol’s muse] is my style idol.”

Binck incorporates her icon into her everyday outfits with bold geometric patterns, big, “crazy” jewelry, ankle boots and, of course, lots of black.

Day to day, Binck wears mostly dresses and opaque tights, and this season, thick sweater tights are among her favorites.

However, she is quick to differentiate between tights and leggings.

“I don’t like the footless look,” Binck said. “It’s just too trendy and doesn’t look well put together.”

As for her other fashion dislikes, Binck lists Uggs and people who seem as though they’re dressed right out of a store.

“Everyone should put their individuality into their outfits,” Binck said. “Wearing something right off a mannequin doesn’t say anything about you.”

And although she wears dresses most days, Binck insisted that her style is actually pretty casual.

“I don’t know if I’m always ‘dressed up,’ but I don’t look like I’m out of A√©ropostale either,” she said.

As for her favorite shopping spots in the city, Binck prefers South Street to Center City, and can never turn down a good thrift shop. She loves Buffalo Exchange and – like every last Temple student I’ve profiled – H&M.

Binck is also an advocate of discount shopping, but she cautions bargain hunters to still stick to high quality pieces.

“Just make sure you look for good brands and good materials,” she said. “I get so many compliments on stuff I didn’t get at designer or department stores.”

Binck’s final advice to fellow fashionistas is to draw inspiration from the eclectic fashion vibe you experience and see every day here in Philadelphia. She has no qualms about copying a look or an aspect of an outfit she sees on a stranger on campus or around the city.

“To wear something you’ve seen on someone else is the best compliment you can give them,” she said.

Mary C. Schell can be reached at mary.schell@temple.edu.

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