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Who: Maite van Lith (21), third-year Geography, Spatial Planning and Environment (GPM)
Style: Colourful and chaotic

How would you describe your style?

‘My style is chaotic and colourful. I like to wear crazy patterns and unexpected combinations. For example, right now I’m wearing a short-sleeved shirt on top of a long-sleeved shirt. If you would have worn this in 2015 you were a real nerd. I don’t know whether the fashion has changed since then or I just look at it differently, but I like the way it looks. My undershirt has a busy pattern. I have scared friends with that before, because it looks just like a tattoo sleeve when it’s dark. The top shirt is ochre yellow, my favourite colour, and I think that the banana from the Velvet Underground on it, is really cool. Sometimes I add accessories to my outfit for a fun touch. Today, for example, I’m wearing my own crocheted gloves and earrings I made from pine cones.’

How did you develop your style?

‘I used to go to the city with my parents to shop for clothes at the H&M. It was so busy there that it made me nauseous, the store has those bright lights and there’s no oxygen inside. When I was 17 I decided that from now on I would only go to thrift stores. That is where my style originated. In such a store it’s nice and calm, just me and three grandmas, which allowed me to concentrate on what I actually like. Where the H&M only offers a pre-packaged style, a thrift store has all kinds of stuff and you really have to think of what fits you as a person, without thinking about what’s in fashion this season. A thrift store is more my style, because I’m a bit of mismatch and a scatterbrain myself.’

‘I could join the Talking Heads on stage looking like this, I just need a triangle.’

Where do you find inspiration for your clothing style?

‘I get my inspiration from pop culture, especially from the indie rock and punk I listen to. Take the Talking Heads, for example. Their music is colourful, chaotic and rhythmic, just like my clothing. I unintentionally dress like the old-time bands that I listen to. I often wear blouses with those crazy 70s patterns and look like I’m in one of those bands. I could join the Talking Heads on stage looking like this, I just need a triangle.’

‘My friends are a source of inspiration as well. If one my friends is wearing a cool outfit, I’ll start wearing that too. We add to each other’s strengths like this. I would recognize my friends anywhere, purely based on their alternative clothes. They each have their own style.’

Do you ever get clothes from other people?

‘Definitely! They think, for example, let me give this shirt to Maite, because it fits his style. Or this watch: a friend dropped it and when I picked it up he suddenly said that I could keep it. I had thrown together a style from the thrift stores and that style keeps evolving because of what others have given me. This way I get more and more clothes. I also switch items of clothing with my friends. I like that I have a lot of clothes that have a connection to people I know. Through my clothes I feel connected with my friends.’

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