Avant-Garb Mag interviewed Holly Hornbeck ’18 who shared about thrift shopping in her hometown of Baltimore, her love of chunky heels, and 80’s style.

Interviewed by Hailey Wozniak

Photos by Kayli Weiss

HW: What’s in your closet?

HH: Mainly stuff from thrift shops. I have a lot of clothes from high school that I like to mix with thrifting. And then I love shoes—mainly heels, but I also love sneakers.


HW: Tell me about your style.

HH: I feel like it’s really changed over time. In high school and the beginning of college I really liked throwback things like 80’s stuff. I still have and wear a lot of that stuff but with a more adult twist to things, especially now that I have a job. I’m wearing simpler things. I like wearing all the same color a lot of the time—color blocking.


HW: Where did this 80’s inspiration come from?

HH: My friends and I got really into thrifting and finding things like knockoff Members Only jackets, high-waisted pants, and stuff like that. I had a pretty stylish high school. When I was a freshman, a senior told me that the halls were like a runway. Many people wore heels, but then we got a uniform my junior year. So things changed a little bit. A lot of my style is from that high school time.


HW: When you came to Bowdoin, you obviously didn’t have to wear a uniform. Did you go back to your previous style?

HH: When I got to Bowdoin I was so excited, because the thrift shops in Baltimore would really clear out. Here I would go to the thrift stores, and they had all these clothes that I thought were so stylish—tons of old 80s ski jackets. I thought those were so cool. I went on a shopping binge when I first got here.


HW: How would you characterize Bowdoin style?

HH: Lots of athletic apparel. I definitely stuck out more freshman year which was a new feeling as Baltimore wasn’t homogenous style-wise. I would wear crazy things for the heck of it. I wore a beret one day and people were like, “That looks great. That’s so stylish.” It felt like anything I wore that was different would get a compliment. I have developed an appreciation for the Bowdoin style. It’s comfy and nice-looking. I own a flannel now, and my style has become simpler.


HW: Do you still pull back with your style here?

HH: I don’t even bring some of my clothes here because I know I would never wear them. Recently, because I love heels, and I feel like no one at Bowdoin ever wears heels, I’ve been like, “I’m wearing my heels!” I also used to have this bright red jumpsuit that I’d wear around. It was intense. And I’d wear it with red Nikes. I have this belt from my mom from the 80s. I’d look kind of crazy, but I really liked the outfit. I wouldn’t wear that now.


HW: How do the seasons in Maine affect your style?

HH: What I do when it gets super cold is wear whatever I want and then wear these giant Bowdoin sweatpants that fit over anything on top. You’ll see me trudging around outside looking like a mess and then I’ll get inside. It’s like Cinderella.


HW: Is there something in your closet that you can always count on?

HH: These are definitely my favorite shoes. I have no snow boots, which isn’t the best thing in Maine, so I wear these instead. I’m really proud of figuring that out. They have a thick, rubber sole. I especially like heels because they make me taller and I feel like I have a better walk when I’m wearing heels. I waddle when I’m wearing sneakers.


HW: Tell me about your accessories.

HH: A lot of my jewelry is my mom’s. I have a lot of vintage jewelry as well. There’s a block in Baltimore that’s mainly funky vintage stores. I’m into big earrings.