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The Style Diaries

Courtney Kessler Growing up, sophomore Courtney Kessler could not identify with the pieces shown in fashion magazines. She admits, “I remember looking at the ‘Get it for Less’ section and thinking I still can’t afford that.” As a result, Courtney finds most of her attire at thrift and second-hand clothing stores. For her, part of the thrill of dressing lies within never knowing what she’ll find; which has ultimately translated into her spontaneous style. From Courtney’s perspective, rules are meant to be broken – especially “fashion rules.” Whether it’s mixing prints or metals, she loves to prove that various stylistic elements can work together when others believe they can’t. She describes her style as ever-changing, choosing to dress for herself, her mood, and for the purpose of self-expression. She believes that fashion is not superficial; rather it shows who she is, where she has been, and who she will be. Written By: Victoria Fok Photographed By: Roberto Leon

monday: black + black

Working as a photo editor for The Daily Cardinal this year, Courtney’s weeks are inevitably filled with late nights. Thus, after finally retiring from the Cardinal offices, Courtney gravitates towards this simple black-on-black ensemble of high-waist jeans and a crop top. For her, this chic look is perfect for a busy day, as it can transition from class to work and even to a quick photography session. Courtney has learned the hard way that dresses and skirts should not be worn while shooting. After accidently displaying too much in a dress while photographing a wedding, Courtney only sticks to pants as they allow her to move without any worries.

tuesday: ripped jeans + structured blazer

An outfit is never complete without a girl’s lucky clothing item. For Courtney, these ripped jeans have been dubbed as her lucky pants, which have been in her possession since the seventh grade when she bought them at a garage sale from an older girl who she, at the time, thought was “so cool.” The rips have gotten larger over time, so much so that she is no longer allowed to wear them to work. Yet while the pants are no longer appropriate for work at the Student Health Insurance Center, they are for a day of classes when paired with a tan blazer and a Ramones band tee. The blazer gives Courtney structure and a professional touch while still allowing her to be herself.

wednesday: white dress + tattoos

While a new addition to Courtney’s wardrobe, this white dress is one of her favorites. She loves the way that it showcases her tattoos, which she notes are her best accessories. In particular, her favorite tattoo, a mosaic sun etched onto her back, is emphasized by the gorgeous open-back silhouette. Courtney described that this detail is important, because it allows her to show off a part of her that holds a special meaning. “I’ve had some big pieces of my life fall apart and I had to reassemble in a different way, which is why it’s a mosaic,” she explained. She then went on to tell how her dad helped her through these difficult times in her life by singing the song “Here Comes the Sun.” Putting these details on display, Courtney’s simple white dress acts as a blank canvas, allowing her tattoos and style to speak her story.

thursday: printed pants + crop top

When it’s going to be a long day, the first item Courtney will reach for is her pair of printed, wide-legged pants. Additionally, crop tops are her current obsession and this black one adds a further air of simplicity to her comfortable ensemble. To accessorize, Courtney is not afraid to pile on layers of jewelry. According to her, “When it comes to jewelry, the answer is always yes.” Rings in particular are Courtney’s eternal obsession and she’s willing to spend more on them than on actual clothing items. Silver or gold, she doesn’t have a preference; however turquoise is something that she always seems to gravitate toward.

friday: maxi skirt + bustier

When an item “doesn’t work,” Courtney simply alters it. After originally purchasing this blue top from American Eagle Courtney was in a conundrum when she realized that so many people owned the same item. As a result, she decided to transform the top into a bustier by altering it and cutting off the straps. Whether it’s cutting up jeans into shorts or cutting an old t-shirt into a crop top, Courtney modifies pieces to achieve her desired look. Juxtaposing the altered bustier with a long printed skirt, Courtney creates an ensemble that is effortlessly comfortable to wear. Of the long skirt she dons in this photo, Courtney says that it has become a staple in her current wardrobe. For her, comfort and versatility are key elements to her style as she is always on the go and her style preferences are constantly changing.


The Style Diaries: Courtney Kessler  

MODA Madison

The Style Diaries: Courtney Kessler  

MODA Madison