Lenice Bailey talks about her inspiration for her unique style full of colorful patterns and funky earrings. Photos by Lauren Hough.
CASSANDRA STEC | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lenice Bailey, a first-year mechanical engineering and astronomy astrophysics major, can often be seen on campus wearing a variety of colorful and unconventional clothing and jewelry. She is partially known for her unique patterned masks and funky earrings. Bailey’s style can be traced back to online inspirations such as Freddie Ransome — a video producer at Buzzfeed — as well as familial influences like her mom and sister.
The Butler Collegian: How would you describe your style?
Lenice Bailey: All over the place really. I don’t really have one set thing that I like to wear; my style usually fits my mood. If I’m happy then bright, if I feel lazy then I’m just fine coming out in sweats and a t-shirt like, ‘yeah, I rolled out of bed, but this is whatcha gettin’ for today.’ Really anything.
TBC: What kind of things influence your style?
LB: My sister definitely influences my style. She was the first person that really introduced me to style, per se. Like I said usually I would wear t-shirts or sweatpants but she’s like, ‘hey colors.’ Coming into college it’s [been] nice to find my own thing and just wear whatever makes me feel comfortable, whatever makes me feel happy.
TBC: Besides your sister, have any friends or family influenced your style?
LB: Mainly my sister and my mom. [My mom is] also a stylish person — she mainly introduced me to jewelry; that’s why I have these alien earrings. They both helped me out with makeup, so I was like, ‘you know what I’ll try something new today with the colors that match my shirt.’ It was the first time I’ve [matched my earrings to my outfit] so I’m glad it turned out okay.
TBC: What’s one of your staple pieces?
LB: I don’t have it now, but I’m really into my silver choker. I can’t really wear a choker with a turtleneck, but that’s usually my staple piece. I’ll wear that with t-shirts, tank tops, dresses, because it’s just so simple and works with everything.
TBC: Are there any social media accounts you follow specifically for style inspiration?
LB: There is this girl named Freddie [Ransome], she is one of the creators with Buzzfeed. I love her style, she just emits confidence in whatever she wears; I read about how she’ll just wear whatever she wants and that’s what the people are getting today. I aspire to have her confidence and just be able to wear whatever makes me feel good and makes me feel happy and just go out there and not really care what other people think. Be like, ‘you don’t like my outfit? That’s okay, I like it thank you, moving on.’
TBC: What’s some advice you have for people who are struggling to find their own style or the confidence to wear what they want?
LB: I would definitely say find a group of friends that are going to help you get out of your comfort zone. Before I came here, it was really my sister that got me out of my monochrome-type deal; it was with her that I gradually gained more confidence to wear more colors or wear more revealing clothing and be able to walk out the door and not look back. If I felt uncomfortable in something I [used to] quickly change, no matter how late [I was] … But now it’s nice to be like, ‘I like this piece, I’mma wear it with that… I’mma walk outside and that’s what I’m wearing today.’ Just find that group of people that’ll be able to help you with your confidence and go outside of your comfort zone.
TBC: When did you start to develop the style you have right now?
LB: I would actually have to say this year because I have been to a lot of private schools and we had to wear uniforms so it was really dull; the only thing that would make me stand out is what I’d have in my hair, or if I wore hats or scarfs or other things — even though it wasn’t allowed, I’d wear them anyway because I need to have something that’s me. Coming to college and going thrift shopping with my sister or going out to different malls and finding different patterns and colors that I could put together and finally wear here [made me develop my style.] It was definitely this year that I was able to express myself outside of the color of my hair or what I put on my eyes or the earrings or jewelry I wear. It’s nice to be able to put it all together into one big Lenice.
TBC: How do you stay true to your style in an environment like Butler where students’ style tends to stand out?
LB: I wanna tie it back to definitely Freddie [Ransome] and her confidence. Cause like you said, Butler style-wise is pretty dull. But I feel like that’s the reason why I want to stand out, I don’t wanna conform to the typical things you’d see at Butler’s campus. There’s this girl, a friend of mine, named Enali Rogers, she also has amazing style. It’s just like it’s nice to have her with me and we just wear whatever makes us feel good. We don’t really care about what other people are wearing. We just wake up in the morning and we’re like how do we feel today? What do we want to wear today? And that’s just what we wear. And yeah, we’ll get a few looks because it’s dull out here and I’m just like sunshine. But it’s also really nice to stand out in that way, cause I’m not any other person; I’m me. This is Lenice and this is what Lenice is wearing today and it feels really good to stand out once in a while.