Sidewalk Style: Easy Sophistication

A George Washington University student from New York proves that black doesn’t have to be boring.

By: Rachel Cothran

Melanie Kimmelman, 21
Student, George Washington University

What she’s wearing: Club Monaco jacket, her mother’s Hermès scarf, Brochu Walker tank top bought on Ruelala.com, J Brand jeans, La Canadienne boots, sparkly necklace from J. Crew, Coach watch, and Tiffany necklace and bangle. Another bangle is from a trip her father took to Peru.

I’m seriously loving that scarf, Hermès or not.
“My mom gave it to me because she never wore it. You just fold it into a triangle, and then fold it over toward the triangle. I have one from a trip to Prague and a few others. I wear them under jackets like this and a leather jacket I got recently.”

Tell me about your style.
“Being comfortable is important. I like classic clothes. I wear blazers a lot, and one of them is part of a Theory suit I got for college interviews. I like to mix up the classics and do more with accessories, which might be a holdover from high school, when I wore a uniform. You had to get creative with accessories—your bag, your jewelry, even your planner. I think about details.”

You clearly have the accessories down.
“I wear this little necklace every day. I feel naked without it. I like to wear a bunch of small things.”

Is there a person or place that influences your style?
“I wer black a lot, and since I’m from New York, I’m sure that’s a part of the reason. It’s sort of a stereotype—wearing all black. But it’s easy to build and add to. New York women want to look good when they walk out the door, all the time but with little effort. Sophisticated but not overdone. It’s like the streets are your runway. Also, my mom is my partner-in-crime when it comes to shopping. And actually, she picked out these boots.”

What’s on your winter wish list?
“Definitely those little bootie heels. Low-rise, close-toed, either leather or suede. And big sweaters to wear with leggings or jeans and flat boots.”

Rachel says: I’m so inspired by Melanie. I’m terrible when it comes to investing in well-made basics, and accessorizing. Even Melanie’s tank top was well-cut. This is an example of paying attention to the details and having it add up to a casual but well-kept look. And then to top it off with that scarf—such a great detail!

Weigh in on Melanie's style!

Earlier:
Sidewalk Style: Night Vision
Sidewalk Style: Equal Access
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