New class creates fashion savvy students

Students will leave the class as conscious, fashionable consumers

First impressions can be important in creating a positive perception. On that first encounter, people will take note of how someone speaks, their nonverbal communication and of course, their style.

Personalized Style and Wardrobe is a new class ASU's fashion department is offering in the fall that aims to imbue fashion majors and others with the fashion know-how necessary to make a lasting impression.

The class will benefit people in any profession that has human interaction, which encompasses more-or-less every career, according to Naomi Ellis, the faculty associate who will be teaching the new course. The class will have in-depth discussion on all of the topics that help create a well-rounded, fashionable individual.

Ellis said the class will help students understand what makes an outfit look good or bad.

“Understanding how your skin tone relates better to certain colors, how you can make yourself appear taller, shorter, skinnier, bigger,” Ellis said. “Any of those things using clothes and tricks in fashion.”

The class will also help students learn how to judge the quality of clothes they are purchasing so that they can make smarter, more economical clothing purchases. 

Ellis said students will learn how to create a wardrobe collection for themselves — meaning that the students will have outfits that suit their personality, have colors that complement them and even know the cost-per-wear of their collection.

She said the cost-per-wear is important to know because it allows students to have more flexibility with the cost of their clothing. For example, an expensive dress that is worn many times may be a better investment than a few cheaper articles of clothing that are rarely worn.

Ellis said that the knowledge from the class will also focus on sustainable fashion, helping students become more responsible consumers.

Galina Mihaleva, a visiting assistant professor at ASU teaching classes in fashion construction and wearable technology, said sustainability is an important topic to discuss as clothing consumers.

Read More: ASU explores sustainable fashion during Arizona Eco Fashion Week

“The fashion industry is the second biggest world polluter behind oil,” Mihaleva said.

Cara Koehler, a design management senior, said that while taking a fashion construction class she became more aware of the issue and now tries to keep that in mind when she shops.

“What I actually try to do now is order clothes or fabric from small businesses,” Koehler said.

Ellis said the personalized style and wardrobe class will help students understand how to be more conscious consumers, on top of identifying what's in style.

Ellis and her students researched current trends and what will be trending in the future, and said sartorially minded students should look out for mixed prints, micro purses — multiple, if necessary — oversized tees, items with exaggerated sleeves and clear pool bags.

But at the end of the day, Ellis said the class is about more than fads and trends, as it addresses a variety of fashion concerns and will help students leave feeling empowered.

”Students will feel like they have a wardrobe that represents who they are — their personality,” Ellis said.

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