Bubble breakers: Erika Naegeli

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Erika shows off her style in Los Angeles. Image: Erika Naegeli.
Erika shows off her style in Los Angeles. Image: Erika Naegeli.
Erika shows off her style in Los Angeles. Image: Erika Naegeli.

Within the St Andrews bubble, style appears to be based on a uniform of Barbour jackets, Hunter wellies, and Ray-Bans. While exploring the streets of St Andrews however, it is possible to find some people – the Bubble Breakers – that have style inspired by far off places.

This month, The Saint is featuring Erika Naegeli, a first year International Relations student from Minnesota. Often found sporting a bleached denim jacket and skull John Lennon glasses, she is the epitome of hipster chic. We interviewed Erika to discover what inspires her unique look, which defies St Andrews’ posh sartorial tendencies.

The Saint: What are some of your favourite items to wear? Why?

Erika Naegeli: [Laughs] It’s hard to say exactly what. For the most part, every morning I just look at what’s clean and throw something together from there. The jacket I got at a thrift store and then proceeded to throw bleach on it, and everything else just kind of goes together, but it doesn’t at the same time. I love that.

TS: What have been the main influences on your style throughout your life?

EN: Honestly? Probably my mom. She definitely doesn’t dress like I do, but growing up she never really bought me nice or expensive clothes. Anyway, through her I learned to find value in things that I liked because they were unique and cool, not because they were expensive or trendy. That mindset continues to this day.

TS: How have you changed your look to accommodate the St Andrews lifestyle – without changing your style to the stereotype?

EN: [Laughs] Well I don’t think a lot about the ‘St Andrews lifestyle’ requires Barbours or Hunters. You pretty much need waterproof stuff, which I’ve gotten. I have this Freitag messenger bag that I love to death – it reminds me of the year I spent in Switzerland and it’s waterproof as well!

TS: What are your favourite stores to shop at?

EN: Oh god, I’m all over the place when it comes to stores. I definitely have Only Child Syndrome, the condition where if I have it, no one else can. I need to be unique. I find flea markets to be gold mines and I love stores like H&M, Zara, Doc Martens, NAFNAF, the Gap (I always went shopping with my mom and I’d actually find a lot of cool, unique clothes on sale there – probably because the middle-aged women would be too scared to wear it), and Urban Outfitters.

TS: If you could steal any celebrity’s closet (dead or alive), whose would you steal and why?

EN: I LOVE Kurt Cobain’s 90s grunge style. I try not to cross-dress too much though [laughs]. I also love Miley Cyrus’ wardrobe. I’d probably steal that one, too.

TS: Why do you not own Hunter boots, a Barbour or Ray-Bans? Was this rebellion intentional or unintentional? What do you wear instead?

EN: I got to St Andrews not knowing much about its collective style. I kind of laughed; I felt like there was some email sent out about a uniform that I didn’t receive. So it was definitely unintentional, but I don’t really have much of a desire to change. I wear Doc Martens rain boots, and I have a few favourite jackets that a Barbour couldn’t replace in a million years.

TS: If you could have any store in the world come to St Andrews, what would you have brought over?

EN: If Zara or NAFNAF came to St Andrews, I’d probably go broke. It’s such a treat for me to shop there, since we don’t have one where I live in the States.

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