Avant Garb Mag interviewed Amber Rock ’19 who shared about dressing for the weather, her mother’s influence, and her growing love for shoes.
Interview by Lola Motley.
LM: What’s in your closet?
AR: I really just hang up dresses and then I hang up all my pants, and I’m really into vests these days. I have a system where when I wear my clothes and do laundry, I put the new clothes in and move all the clothes to the left--these are the clothes I haven’t worn in a really long time. So if by the end of the semester, if this is still here, I’m like, ok I’m literally never wearing this, I need to get rid of it. I think the funniest thing that’s in my closet is this jacket because I texted my mom earlier and I was like, “I don’t have a rain jacket” because I lost mine in Florida over the summer, so she sent me this! So funny! She was like, “you’ll either love it or hate it, I don’t know.” I think I like it. Also, every single jacket I own has random stuff in the pockets so it’s always a treat when I go back.
LM: All in all how would you describe your style?
AR: I think it’s like...eccentric isn’t the right word, but I think I just find pieces that I really love and then I wrap everything around it. But also, I’ll just use silly stuff---like mix really bold and awful patterns together. Most of the things I buy are secondhand. I like finding little things that spark a lot of joy in me. I really love this shirt: it’s not flattering at all, it’s too big on me, but I really love it and I don’t know why.
LM: You have a lot of really cool shoes. Are shoes a favorite accessories of yours?
AR: Shoes have been the most exponentially growing accessory for me. I used to be like, “I wear crocs,ah, I’m so silly.” My freshman year I basically only owned crocs, sneakers, and bean boots. I think recently I’ve gotten really into shoes. I’m the Heelys campus rep so I have two pairs of Heelys.
LM: On the day-to-day, what factors inform what outfit you choose?
AR: So every morning I go, “Alexa, what’s the weather today?” Rain’s a huge killer for me. I was like do I wear the raincoat? But I thought I was gonna be too cold, so then I put on the vest, but then I was like I still might be too cold. So then I nixed the raincoat and I wore [the vest], which I really love cause it’s really big and it’s really warm and it has trucks on the back of it which is so fun.
LM: What do you wear for parties?
AR: Again, depends on the weather. I’m really big on weather. Also where I’m going and what jacket I’m wearing. I feel like the classic Bowdoin outfit is jeans and a top. I’m really into the short tank top-- almost a crop but not quite. Oh my god! I’m trying to get into halters. I always forget how much I love them! It’s usually something cropped with no sleeves and jeans or this skirt. My friend Ripley didn’t like it and I don’t know why. I love it, so I’ll wear it with this longer-sleeved top and boots or something.
LM: Is there one item that has emotional value or a story?
AR: I really like these pants because they’re very soft and very warm. I like the crop look, and I wore [the pants] when I gave my first talk at a conference because I was really freaking out. It was a science thing and people are very casual- literally everyone was wearing Hawaiian shirts. That’s why I own so many Hawaiian shirts, because I just wanna copy them. I was like, “I wanna be casual, but not too casual”, and I didn’t know what to do, so I FaceTimed my mom. My mom is very involved in my fashion choices, but we dress so differently. She’s a middle school teacher so she’s very conservative with her dressing.
LM: Does any of her clothing influence you?
AR: I think it does. I would never wear anything that she would wear and I don’t think she would wear anything I would wear, but I feel like we both really respect each other’s style. She’ll wear black, which is crazy, and I won’t. But she was always really into bootcut jeans and I was always really into skinny jeans because I was a teenager, but as I’m older now I can respect them. But I still don’t look good in bootcut jeans because I’m too short. She’s really tall and beautiful.
LM: Do you think your style represents who you are, your history or your personality?
AR: I definitely do because I love bright colors and things that show skin, because I like to be hit by the sun. I feel like my style, especially growing up, was a lot of halter tops and shorts. As I’ve grown, I’ve [still] incorporated a lot of those elements. I talk too much and I’m very loud and obnoxious, and that’s never something that I’m worried about. I feel like my clothes are an extension of that, where it’s kind of bold and obnoxious and sometimes things don’t go together. But if someone sees it and they don’t like it--whatever, they can close their eyes.
LM: When did you cut your hair?
AR: I cut it right before Ivies last year. For me, that was a combination of a lot of things: My hair was really thick and it took up a lot of time, and when people complimented me they’d only compliment my hair. People would make weird comments about my hair sometimes. I felt like a lot of my emotion was tied to that, and cutting it off was really liberating. I didn’t have to worry about it. It also really transformed my style. When I first cut it I felt like I looked awful in fit-and-flare dresses. A month later, I felt a lot better about [the dresses] because they’re very feminine, and when I shaved my head I feel like I lost a lot of the features that make me look feminine. So I can play with my femininity and [my hair] has given me more space to do stuff with makeup, which I didn’t do before.