Mall à la Mode


Ainslie Watkins


Politics major

Houston, Texas


For my final article, it is my pleasure to highlight Ainslie Watkins, my roommate for the past three years. I want to thank her for being my biggest inspiration in fashion. I also want to thank her for teaching me what it means to dress with confidence and purpose.


Shoes:  Jeffrey Campbell nude ballet flats with a bow

Jeans: Cropped straight-legged white jeans from JCrew

Top:  Black silk shell from Argenti

Jacket: Green seersucker blazer from her sister

Rings: Crystal green ring from Lalique and her great-great-grandmother’s gold wedding ring

Watch: From her grandmother

Bag:  Cole Haan black bag (a Christmas present in 10th grade)


AF: Some of today’s accessories are antique – do you like shopping at antique stores?

AW: Yes. It’s mostly because I love having unique and different things, especially when it comes to jewelry and bags.

AF: How would you describe your style?

AW: I’d say classic, but recently I’ve been working at JCrew, which has inspired me to add more color and gaudy costume jewelry … but the bones of my closet are traditional and tailored. I’m not particularly trendy, but I like to wear clothes that are approachable and easy to understand.

AF: What do you mean by “easy to understand”?
AW: In high school I was really into high fashion, like the kinds of spreads you see in Vogue or W magazines that most people respond to with “no one would ever wear that!” I’m not as risky with my style as I used to be because not everyone is going to appreciate it.

AF: What do you like about clothes?

AW: I think it comes from a desire to have a unique taste. Clothes are a big part of a person’s whole style. I also like to be different when it comes to things like food, literature and furniture. Clothing is a way of wearing a nametag so that my style can speak something like, “Hi, my name is Ainslie. I’m traditional, opinionated, but also modernized and perky.” Someone’s style intrinsically reflects his or her personality.

AF: How do you like to shop?

AW: First, I like to shop alone because I take a long time to decide on things. I like malls because even if I’m not going into the majority of the stores, I at least can be surrounded by clothes and see what’s happening anywhere from Ed Hardy to Urban Outfitters to Saks.

AF: What is one piece of summer shopping advice you can offer to UD students?

AW: I would say invest in a really nice pair of designer jeans. It doesn’t have to have a flashy label, but the right cut and fit can do wonders for making an outfit look more tailored. Plus, if it’s a good wash, it could be very versatile. I think it’s important to invest in quality pieces to pair with other trendy pieces to pull together classic outfits.



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