Veronica Harrington ’17 is a champion of rejecting easy trends in favor of embracing individual tastes. Fond of prints, patterns, and colors, Harrington’s style is fearless, fabulous, and unmistakable. Harrington sat down with The Argus to chat about cringe-worthy outfits, breaking the rules, and how to dress for a breezy day.
The Argus: Describe your sense of style in three to five words.
Veronica Harrington: Eccentric English garden party!
A: I knew you were the right choice for this! To what extent are you interested in fashion as an industry—keeping up with trends, runway stuff?
VH: My best friend is in fashion school, and from her, I’ve learned more about it. I’m interested in its environmental impact. It’s incentive for me to make money, because I love fancy things and fancy fashion stuff—I want to have it all.
A: What’s an article of clothing you couldn’t live without?
VH: This robe I have that I wear all the time. It was my mom’s. It’s just this cotton robe that’s really nice. It has, like, pale greens and pale tans and stuff. It’s really pretty.
A: Do you ever wear it out, or is it just for lounging?
VH: I’ve worn it out a few times. But it’s mostly for being around the house.
A: What’s your method of getting dressed in the morning?
VH: Usually, unless I have ample time, I honestly just wear something really comfortable. I have a lot of fun clothes, and one of my goals is to wear more fun clothes, because I just usually wear slouchy stuff and warm, fleecy stuff. So it really depends. If I have a lot of time, I’ll try harder and look in the closet and wear something else. But other times, I’ll wear the same pair of jeans for a week and rotate them out.
A: What are some regrettable younger-self outfits that you remember wearing?
VH: XXL men’s tee shirts that I used to wear as dresses in eighth grade. And then my chorus teacher kicked me out of class. Anything American Apparel I wore in eighth grade, because I never had a uniform and had ample time to make regrettable decisions. When I first went to boarding school, I didn’t wear pants the whole year, even though it was the worst winter Massachusetts had ever had. I just wore dresses and thick leggings. No pants. Also, in third grade, I wore four collared shirts buttoned to the very top, and that’s all I wore in third grade.
A: Cute! What are some trends here that you think are really good or really bad?
VH: I don’t like how homogenous the Wesleyan look is, but I do like individual aspects of it. I do like Blundstones and clogs that people wear, but I guess I don’t like how trends seem to go in cycles here and everyone ends up wearing them, so people aren’t as individually styled as they could be. I really didn’t like our freshman year when everyone was wearing a beanie with the label at the front. I don’t like that. I guess I’m anti-Adidas track pants now. I liked them, but then it became too much.
Good trends? I like the no-makeup trend that’s big here. I like striped shirts. I like light-wash denim.
A: Where do you shop?
VH: Etsy! Etsy, Savers. I’m trying not to shop that much. Topshop? But then I feel bad, because fast fashion is so wasteful, and I’m trying not to do that anymore. I like Zara, though, but honestly, a lot of my clothes are from Etsy or random stores in L.A.
A: Last night, you posted a photo on Instagram captioned, “Never be afraid to mix opposing styles.” Do you stand by that claim?
VH: Oh, yeah. I totally stand by that claim. That’s how I live my whole life, in multiple spheres, not just fashion. I’m a really big fan of clashing patterns—that’s probably my favorite one—or clashing colors, I love. I love pink and green, or green and red if it’s not Christmas-y red.
A: What do you clash in the non-fashion realm?
VH: My music taste is very different. I have a pastiche of my parents’ favorite music: punk, rock, and, like, Prince and disco and acoustic stuff. I feel like I like everything except country music. Or, like, metal rock.
A: Who are some of your style icons?
VH: Oh my God. My childhood friend, who I’m not really friends with anymore, is a great style icon. She has a ton of Instagram followers. She sort of dresses like she’s in the middle ages, which I love. Anyone who dresses out of time period, I’m a fan of, and I respect completely for doing their thing. My parents and stepdad all dress really chaotically and funnily and true to self, and I like that. I oftentimes will see pictures of people from the 60s and 70s and think that everyone was trying harder then—they just wore whatever they wanted. My mom has a friend who’s always wearing at least one cheetah-print thing, and I love how true to brand she is. So I think anyone who sticks with something or does something they like.
A: Can you discuss your legendary all-white, grandma-on-a-cruise outfit? How did that come together?
VH: Okay! I bought a pair of pants at a store in New York four years ago, and then recently, in March, I went back to the store and they had a matching shirt, so I bought the matching shirt. That’s the kind of thing where I’d wake up and decide to strike it big that day. And it’s sort of secretly really comfortable, like pajamas, but also looks good, so it’s a happy medium of both. And I’ll wear such an outfit on a nice, breezy day when I don’t want leg chafe.
A: Do you follow old rules like “no white after Labor Day”?
VH: No! My family will always say when I’m wearing something—like I’ll wear this in, like December [gestures to gauzy lavender dress]—“It’s winter; what are you doing?” But I literally don’t care. I wear what I want to wear when I want to wear it.
A: Is your wardrobe consistent throughout all the seasons?
VH: Basically. Actually, Uniqlo has ruined my style in some ways. I get really cold, and then it just sticks. They have a thing called heat tech, and I basically just wear the heat teach from September to March, and it’s sort of boring, but I just love the warmth. My closet was at risk of being overcome by fleece, and I’m trying to wind it back.
A: Old things or new things?
VH: More so old things, but both!
A: How do you accessorize?
VH: I’m trying to accessorize with jewelry more because it’s so easy to throw on. I don’t like purses that are small and I have to hold—I like the cross-body ones. I like when things look good but are simple and versatile. But oftentimes I’ll become obsessed with something and it’s unwearable and ridiculous and just sits in the back of my closet. I like shoes a lot, but I have a bunion, so I can’t wear a lot of nice shoes. I’m too young to have a bunion–it makes it hard to wear cute shoes!