Mimi Goldstein ’17 has two hometowns, Tokyo and New York City. This city girl takes fashion inspiration from both locations, but she also loves the unique style of the tiny Wesleyan bubble. Singing in the student band Chef and the a cappella club New Group, Goldstein comes from quite the creative family as well. She sat down with the Argus to get to the root of her personal style.
The Argus: To what extent you consider yourself interested in fashion?
Mimi Goldstein: I’m very interested in fashion but I don’t follow trends or runway stuff. My mom’s an illustrator, so she would have all these old Vogue magazines, like stacks and stacks of Harper’s Bazaar and whatnot, and I would just look through them when I was little. So I do know some stuff about high fashion, but I definitely can’t afford stuff like that; I’m a big thrifter.
But I am interested in fashion and I do judge people based on fashion, which is a weird thing to say. But if you dress well I do want to talk to you—I don’t want to sound like that—but I appreciate people who take time out of their day to look good or look cool or look unique.
A: Describe your personal style in three to five words.
MG: Black. I do wear a lot of black. I would say I do incorporate a lot of weird Japanese things in my style, because I am from Japan. Like a lot of trendy things in Tokyo–whenever I go to Tokyo I buy these weird little things. I don’t know what word that would be. And just like comfortable but stylish, because I hate wearing things that are uncomfortable.
A: What do you like and dislike about style at Wes?
MG: What I dislike is definitely that a lot of people just wear the same clothes, shop at the same stores, and there is a certain Wesleyan trendy kind of thing, which I really like, but at a certain point you just lose your originality, and it’s really boring.
But what I do like is the people who actually are super cool and have their own really cool style, and aren’t afraid to show that. Like, in Japan, I feel like there are a lot of trendy people and really cool people but they are all following a trend in a way. But here, it’s just like, “I can do whatever the fuck I want, I can dress however the fuck I want.” And it doesn’t necessarily have to be following a style as long as—if I can see an outfit or something and be like, “Oh, that’s that person,” I think that’s the goal.
A: Where are your favorite places to get your clothes?
MG: I don’t have like, one place. But I do like thrifting a lot; in Japan I do that a lot. In New York, I live on the Lower East Side, which is a really cool place to shop. I do like a lot of expensive stuff, but I can’t afford it, so I only buy like one piece a year or something. I love Reformation. Their summer line is so nice, but it’s like a hundred dollars for a tank top. I like getting really basic stuff from really cheap places like Forever 21, H&M. It’s really easy. They’re around the corner, it’s easy, it’s cheap, you know? And I’m not trying to wear clothes that last forever. But mostly thrift stores. Like if I find a good thrift store, that’s cool.
A: Do you find it hard to shop while at Wesleyan?
MG: Yeah! I have a few friends that have cars and we sometimes go to the mall, but that doesn’t really fulfill my needs. I go to Savers a lot, which is great. I love Savers. I went to Goodwill the other day and it was really depressing; I didn’t enjoy it. I got like one thing.
I shop for shoes online but I cannot shop for clothes. Especially pants. I do like the guy, Tom, who comes [to Usdan] and sells his sweaters. I bought like five jackets from him last year!
A: Where do you draw style inspiration from on campus?
MG: There’s certainly peers that have amazing styles and aesthetics. Just like, in my grade, some of my friends, upperclassmen, lowerclassmen, whoever looks good!
A: Where do you draw style inspiration from off campus?
MG: My mom is actually incredibly stylish. She’s super quirky, avant-garde, kind of high fashion. I have a funny story, actually. [In Tokyo] we have opening ceremonies when we get into high school; it’s like graduation but for when we get into the school. So all these kids’ parents come, and all these mothers are dressed in pantsuits. But instead of a pantsuit, my mom wore this black tutu; it was like half-tutu, half-pant.
And all these students were like, “Who is that woman? This crazy woman with these crazy glasses and this crazy spunky hair and this tutu walking down the aisle?” And I was like, “Oh, that’s my mom. Yeah, she’s cool.” And she has a lot of weird stuff. I found this whole box of crazy earrings. She had huge chandelier earrings that I can’t wear because [they] hurt my ears. And she used to be a singer, so she had these huge sparkly ’80s dresses, with shoulder pads and stuff.
But celebrities? I like a lot of old French actresses, like Brigitte Bardot. Jean Seberg, even though she’s not French, but she was influenced by [French fashion], and she was in my favorite movie; it’s called “Breathless,” and that whole aesthetic is so nice. But contemporary people would be like Alexa Chung, I love her. Not a lot of contemporary people; I don’t really follow contemporary fashion.
A: What decade would you say most influences your style and why?
MG: Well a decade that I love that I would like to incorporate into my style would be like, ’60s. Or ’20s is really cool. Honestly, any time but now. The ’70s, also cool, but the ’80s, not too much.