Campus Style: Julia Betancourt, BC '21

It's no secret that style is a huge part of people's lives here in Morningside Heights. Living in New York City, it's hard to avoid the eye-catching ensembles that stroll across campus each day. In our series "Campus Style," HC Columbia Barnard sits down with students from across the undergraduate colleges to talk about getting dressed, finding inspiration, and being yourself. This week, we're chatting with Julia Betancourt, Barnard College '21, a New York native with wise words to share about personalizing your look from head to toe.


First thing's first! Tell us a little about yourself in general.

I'm currently a first-year at Barnard, but I grew up a mile away from Columbia's campus-- I was even born in the medical center! lived my whole life in the Barnard area. I'm not sure what I will major in yet, but I'm interested in pretty much any kind of humanities subject. Oh, and I spent most of my life in Catholic school, so I know all about dealing with uniforms!

How would you describe your personal style?

A lot of people I know tell me my style is super elegant and classy, but for me it's honestly all about casual, everyday stuff. I like to be comfortable.

Describe a typical dressing situation for you. What goes through your head when you're putting an outfit together?

Number one is always comfort, but after that I think about the weather. Will something be too warm, too chilly? I also take into account what I'm doing that day, so I can transition easilu from class to work.

How has college changed your style?

I love not having a uniform anymore! In my high school, there was a lot of competition over who could get away with most accessories with their uniform, but know I can get away with wearing regular clothes.

What are your go-to or favorite items in your closet?

I have this dress that looks like a stained-glass window that I love-- I stole it from my mother! I wear it at least once a week. A lot leggings, as well, mostly neutrals like black, or else blue or maroon. I'm also really into necklaces, particularly a heart-shaped one my friend gave me in seventh grade.

Where do you get style inspiration? Do you have any "icons"?

I don't really look at fashion icons, but a large part of my sense of dressing comes from the whole uniform thing. In school I always looked up to the older kids to see how they would personalize their looks. And I still use a lot of those lessons today, particularly when it comes to livening up a look with jewelry like my favorite pair of pink earrings.

Alright, time to spill: where do you shop?

Kohl's! Or else my mother's closet.

Last question! What is your advice to someone looking to develop their style?

I would tell someone to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable physically and socially, and that the best way to go style-wise is to follow what you identify most with. Clothing is first and foremost a necessity, but also a way to give yourself an extra bit of emotional protection and whatever else you need that day!

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