Student Style Spotlight: Ashley Townsend

For this week’s Student Style Spotlight, I talked to Ashley Townsend, a first-year advertising student. From the moment I stumbled across her Instagram, I could tell that this 19-year-old Miami-native had serious style. Her answers have been some of my favorites so far, so read on to see how she approaches getting dressed and the trends she’s excited about.

Her Campus UFL (HC UFL): How would you describe your style?

Ashley Townsend (AT): "I’d describe my style as constantly changing. I adore color, funky prints, and mixing different textiles. I’m huge when it comes to layering. I’m always embracing new trends and tweaking them to my liking, I like to wear items that are personal to me as they remind me of the things I love. Often times, too many people confuse style as what you wear. It’s not so much about what you wear, but how you wear it. It’s feeling comfortable in your own skin, owning what you got, and not worrying about what those around you are thinking. My friends always ask me, 'Is this too much?' Like, no. You feel good? Good. Who else is to say whether or not what you’re wearing is cute or not. That’d simply take away from your own individual style and we’d all be boring. You like it? Wear it."

HC UFL: What made you get into fashion? Is there a defining moment or was it something you’ve always loved?

AT: "Ever since I was little girl, I’ve always been really independent when it came to my clothes and how I wore them. I remember as a little girl, watching my mom getting dressed in the mornings before work was my favorite part of the day. I fell in awe with the idea of starting your day given the ability to leave a statement wherever you go, feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin. I remember being three years old, crying when my mom picked out the outfits she’d lay out for me to wear, I always wanted to wear what I wanted. Mixing and matching was always my thing, and I loved color."

HC UFL: What are some trends you’re excited about right now?

AT: "Not sure if this counts as a trend, but I’m really a fan of the baggy-on-baggy, t-shirt and tracksuit/sweatpant look. You can dress it down, and wear slides or dress it up, and wear above-the-ankle booties. I’m really girly and I love dressing up, but I also just love being able to just throw my hair up into a messy pony, put on a graphic tee, some baggy sweats, sneaks, and conquer the day. It’s edgy and it gives that “I rolled out of bed five minutes ago, but still have my life together” look. Definitely a college fan favorite."

HC UFL: What’s your go-to outfit?

AT: "My go-to outfit is my light wash boyfriend jean shorts, an oversized knit sweatshirt I wear off-the-shoulder, tucked in, with sneakers. I wasn’t kidding about the baggy-on-baggy look. It's too comfy to resist."

HC UFL: Who are your style inspirations?

AT: "Ah, I have so many! There are so many amazing bloggers now; my favorite one being Danielle Bernstein. She’s on Instagram as @weworewhat. Her style is insane, she sticks with a lot of neutral colors and bold prints, which I love. Another one would have to be  — I know, basic, because she’s a Hadid — but Bella. She’s the perfect combination of edgy and sweet, badass when she wants to be, girly when she needs to be. The girl steps outside and looks effortlessly put together. Her eccentric personality is so refreshing, she never takes herself too seriously, and that says a lot as personality and style go hand in hand."

HC UFL: Tell me about your favorite piece of clothing.

AT: "My favorite pieces of clothing are those I make myself, those I find thrifting. I’ll be out and girls will ask me about my shorts, and that’s when I’m like, 'Dude, I made these myself!' Girls look at me amazed, they just stand there and are like, “No way, make me a pair.” It’s my favorite compliment to receive because it’s one that I took the time to make myself, and it’s a piece you won’t find replicated in any store in the world. What I love most about vintage clothing is that it tells a story. Most of the clothing in my wardrobe is thrifted and it’s those that I get the most compliments when I’m out and about. Nothing like your favorite pair of denim shorts you can wear again and again, getting softer and comfier with each wash. My biggest pet peeve is spending more than I need to. Why spend money on one single item, when you can go to a thrift shop, spend a fraction of the cost, and walk out with a bag full of bargains? But hey, that’s just me."

Thank you to Ashley for taking the time to talk to me about her personal style during finals! If you’d like to see more of Ashley’s style, check her out on Instagram at @ashleytownsend_. You can also follow her art and fashion account on Instagram (@ashspatches) and on Tumblr at ashspatches.tumblr.com.