Belmont University is a small private school located in Nashville, Tennessee -- but it's just like any other school when it comes to style. We've got the mainstream dressers, fraternity and sorority kids and the ones that look like they just rolled out of bed after a night of partying (or cramming for finals). However, there is a small group of individual creative types that put real effort into expressing themselves through fashion -- even during the school week. Since we are, in fact, college students and on a collegiate budget, thrifting and bargain shopping is always the best bet for finding unique and vintage pieces at low prices. That's also my greatest bit of fashion advice that I share with everyone. Scour thrift and resale shops for items that are currently trending or that you find interesting. Vintage camouflage, Levi's denim, floral mini dresses, '90s Dr. Marten's -- you name it, it can be found if you are willing to search. That's how Belmont's Fashionistas/os stay on trend and on budget.
If asked to describe Belmont's ultimate trendsetter, I would have to say she isn't afraid to wear what feels right. She's a free spirit and dresses for herself only. To her, it's just an added bonus if others happen to appreciate and draw inspiration from her looks. That person is Ellie Caudill. She consistently wows the campus with her inventive way of dressing. Sometimes she goes for laid-back and whimsical painter gear, and other times you will see her walking around with a lampshade on her head. You honestly never know what to expect from her and that is what makes her Belmont University's ultimate trendsetter. In my opinion, trendsetters are the ones who start it all but don't necessarily set out to create the latest trend. They simply wear something what makes them happy and people take notice.
Today, Ellie chose to go for her version of a toned-down look. She layered a thrifted oversized animal print sweater over a printed baby pink button-down. She wore some black textured leggings on the bottom with black chunky Jeffrey Campbell heels on her feet. For accessories, she wore her signature vintage fox fur complete with face and paws and a bright pink woven beanie for extra warmth. She layered on tons of rings and bracelets to finish the look, but that little unexpected pop of color against her long blonde hair is definitely the piece that ties the whole look together.
I honestly believe that every Fashionista/o can take advice from Belmont's number-one trendsetter. She doesn't try to be something she isn't. She just goes for it on a daily basis and doesn't stress about what her peers will think. She wears what she wants with confidence. That is ultimately the biggest thing you can take from her. A little confidence can take you so far. I genuinely wish more people could open up and let their inner Ellie Caudill out. The world would be a much happier and visually appealing place for us all!
By Abigail Campbell
Abigail Campbell is a senior at Belmont University pursuing a degree in business. After college, she plans on immersing herself in the culture of fabulous New York City and will use her knowledge of marketing and management to better the business side of the fashion industry.