Photos by George Beblo.
JACK WILLIAMS | STAFF REPORTER | Jrwilliams@butler.edu
College fashion is constantly shifting in order to accommodate function, follow trends in form and reflect the changing nature of the world that students live in. Here on Butler’s campus, students are finding new ways to merge their leisure time with their professional life. Read on to discover the next of our Dawgs with Style through a Q&A style interview.
Seniors Coley Zeigler, an English and biology double major, and Gillian Cutshaw, an electrical engineering and math double major, were randomly selected to be roommates their first year on campus. During the three years they lived together, they leaned on a shared love for fashion — and a shared closet — to develop their own unique styles.
The Butler Collegian chatted with them about their joint fashion journeys and their advice for those seeking to develop their own style.
THE BUTLER COLLEGIAN: How would you describe your style?
GILLIAN CUTSHAW: If I have to use a few words, probably casual and classic.
COLEY ZEIGLER: If this doesn’t sound weird, I think I have to say edgy grandma. I love an old lady sweater; it’s my go-to.
TBC: What has been your journey to get to your style?
GC: I did not care about style at all until I got into college. Before that, I wore what everyone else was wearing. Through COVID, I had a little bit more time to figure out what I liked. At first I copied people that I saw, like influencers, but as time progressed I found my own thing, which is good.
CZ: Yeah, same here. In high school I mainly wore a sweatshirt every single day. Meeting Gillian has influenced my style quite a bit.
TBC: How do you collaborate on style choices?
GC: When we lived together, we would literally pick out each other’s outfits. It was so fun.
CZ: It was a nightly ritual.
GC: I usually had something in mind I wanted her to pick, and then she didn’t always get it. If she didn’t pick it, I’d say, “Hmm, try something else.” We love to go thrifting together.
CZ: Before I buy anything, I’ll text her. There’s a saying in our friend group that [new clothes] have to be Gillian approved.
TBC: Besides each other, where do you get your style inspiration from?
GC: It’s basic, but Emma Chamberlain for sure. She is the perfect example of casual and cool, and I love her style. That’s who I think I emulate the most.
CZ: It’s hard to think of one specific person, but I would say Willow Smith’s vibes. I love everything about her; I adore her. I [also] follow a bunch of plus size influencers because sometimes it’s harder to find clothes and stuff.
TBC: What are articles of clothing that you feel everyone should have in their closet, or what is your go-to essential?
GC: For me, it would be a pair of Levi’s jeans. I wear them with every outfit; I have at least five or six pairs. I think the best way to do it is thrifting them.
CZ: I would say grandma cardigan.
GC: What would you describe as a grandma cardigan?
CZ: You look [at the cardigan], and you’ll know it’s a distinctly grandma print. It looks old, and maybe it still has shoulder pads in it.
GC: Yes! The shoulder pads are a giveaway.
TBC: Do you have any favorite thrift stores?
GC: Yeah. My favorite is probably Zodiac Vintage in Fountain Square.
CZ: I really like Thrifty Threads and Goodwill, any Goodwill. I can usually buy a couple things [there].
TBC: What is some advice you have for people who might be struggling to find their own style or struggling to find the confidence to wear what they want?
GC: Find influencers or people you know whose style you like, and start from there. I think that’s the easiest way to do it. [In order to] feel confident, I tell myself that nobody really cares, so I’m going to wear whatever I want. If they like it, they like it, and if they don’t, they don’t.
CZ: At first, making yourself wear [an outfit] even if you’re a little scared can help. Then you get used to it, and you feel good. If I have a good outfit on, I feel that much better about the whole day.
GC: [A good outfit] really makes the day, and helps me to feel more productive too. When I’m in a full outfit I think, “Okay, now I can go to class.”
CZ: Even if everything else about the day is bad, I’ll think, “Well, at least I have a cute outfit on!”
Creating a personalized look can be intimidating at first, but influencers, thrift stores and the people around you are great places to look for inspiration. Swapping ideas and clothes with a friend transforms style from a personal venture to a shared experience. Zeigler and Cutshaw have used this knowledge to turn the at times tedious task of choosing an outfit for the day into years of fun memories.