Avant-Garb Mag interviewed Havana Caso-Dosembet ’20 who shared about her trusty cardigan, thrift store finds, and the importance of her rings.
Interviewed by Hailey Wozniak
Photos by Darius Riley
HW: Generally speaking, what’s in your closet?
HC: A little bit of everything. I’m a big sweater person and I own many turtlenecks, cardigans and chunky sweaters. I also own the tiniest little shirts. I like to dress like a grandma or a toddler—at least that’s what people say.
HW: Where do you get most of your clothing?
HC: I’m from New York City and when I’m home, I try to thrift. I like to be a part of sustainable consumerism. I also own some brand name clothing. I own stuff from Urban Outfitters and Sara [my roommate] and I like to buy things from Free People sometimes. At thrift stores, I’ve bought overalls that I love and a weird slip piece that nobody knows how to wear. I found a cool pair of Levi’s jeans but since I zip pants very aggressively, I broke the jean’s zipper during lab. Zippers are the biggest thing I need to get fixed on all my clothing.
HW: Is there something in your closet that has a special significance?
HC: I treasure my cardigan that says Eustace, Maine on it. I like to wear this out to parties. I’ve never been to Eustace, but I know that it has a population of about 600 people. Over Fall Break in New York City, I was walking around with my friend Ben and somehow, I lost my cardigan. Because weird stuff happens in the city, I went back a few blocks and found my cardigan hanging on a pole, but its pins were missing. I didn’t care about the pins, I was just happy to get my cardigan back.
HW: Have you changed anything about your wardrobe since coming to Bowdoin?
HC: For the most part, I dress the same here as I do at home, though I wear more relaxed clothing out now. At home, I usually don’t wear sweatpants or hoodies outside.
HW: Did you think that there’s a norm with how people dress here?
HC: I do think that there is a certain pressure to dress a certain way, but I try not to conform to it just because my clothes don’t align with the norm and because I don’t want to. I own many Bowdoin sweaters, but I chopped one to make it different so now it’s cropped and it has flare sleeves.
HW: How do you choose an outfit in the morning?
HC: I try to dress up for class, but I don’t think about it too much. It just depends on the mood I’m in. On a regular basis, I like to wear turtlenecks with my fleece. I like layering and I try to make sure the colors in my outfit work well together. This windbreaker from Lazy Oaf, one of my favorite brands, is fleece-lined and has a little kangaroo pouch. It’s a staple for me.
HW: Why is fashion important to you?
HC: The way I dress brings me joy. I’ve always liked to express my identity through my clothing. When I was little I didn’t have a uniform in school, so clothing gave me a chance to stand out. I don’t like that at Bowdoin, there’s a negative connotation to dressing a certain way or looking at clothing online. I don’t think that enjoying clothing makes someone shallow.
HW: What item can you always count on?
HC: This is my favorite jean jacket and it’s it from Salvo. I got it for $5 and I wear it very often. People ask me if I’m a Looney Tunes fan since it has Betty Boop on the back. It just fits well.
HW: Tell me about your accessories.
HC: I’ve worn one of my rings so much that it’s molded to my hand. I feel different if I’m not wearing any of my rings. My family really likes Jazz music, so we go to the Newport Jazz Fest every year. We have a friend who sells jewelry there named Tommy Conch. He makes jewelry out of vintage buttons and my family loves to get stuff from him.