Since moving from Omaha, Nebraska to start her freshman year at KU, Mekenna Whitney has continued to develop a strong sense of personal style.
Growing up, Whitney always put thought behind her outfits.
“Even when I was just wearing an Aeropostale t-shirt and department store jeans, I would try to coordinate my colors and come up with different ways to wear my clothes,” Whitney says.
Whitney’s interest in style started in middle school when she received a tablet for Christmas.
“I was exposed to the world of fashion on Pinterest and YouTube,” she says. Today, Whitney still uses social media for outfit inspiration, but the content she enjoys has grown and evolved with her style.
“Now I love to watch high fashion runway shows on YouTube and find photos from vintage magazines on Pinterest.”
The majority of Whitney’s wardrobe comes from second-hand stores.
“I have been thrifting since sixth grade, so part of finding good pieces comes with experience,” she says. In Lawrence, Whitney frequents the Goodwill and Salvation Army.
To shop consciously, Whitney recommends making a shopping list and going to Pinterest for inspiration before heading to the thrift store.
“This helps me make sure I only buy things I need or love, and not over consume,” she says.
Although Whitney’s style is “still evolving,” she says the foundation of her style is “based on a classic and simple aesthetic with a lot of inspiration from the 70s and 90s.” Whitney says she finds fashion inspiration everywhere.
“I take tons of inspiration from the movies and TV shows I watch, and also from the music I listen to.”
When it comes to getting dressed, Whitney says she places a lot of value in coordination.
“I try to create cohesive color palettes in my outfits and pay a lot of attention to details to achieve that, down to the color of my socks or what earrings I’m wearing,” she says.
Whitney says her advice to anyone trying to develop their own sense of style would be to not put so much pressure on following trends.
“I’ve learned that focusing on clothing that brings me joy and makes me feel comfortable is much more valuable than keeping up with trends,” she says.
Whitney’s style goes beyond just how the clothes appear. The personal relationship she has with clothes is what Whitney believes makes her style unique.
“What makes my style special isn’t necessarily the clothes I wear, but the feelings behind them,” Whitney says.