Street Smart: Classic and Sophisticated

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by Erin O’Brien


Even the rainiest of days in Madison won’t keep this young fashionista from putting her best foot (or shall I say boot) forward with a sophisticated ensemble! Where most of us girls would wake up and settle with wearing the typical rain boots, leggings and North Face combo on a showery April day, Sarah Smiley decides to create a stylish yet comfortable look to shed a bit of light on an otherwise gloomy day.

As one of Madison’s best fashion photographers, Sarah has encountered numerous elements of the fashion world, pulling all of these together to create her own sophisticated and classic sense of style. When spotted in her French class, Sarah was wearing a pastel-striped blouse tucked into a navy pleated skirt, all tied together with navy tights, gray socks, two-toned combat boots (of which I’m obsessed!) and a saturated red pea coat.

When asked about her fashion icons, Sarah gushed, “I have a major girl crush on Kate Middleton; everything she wears is perfect!” Though Kate Middleton is a princess and wears clothing many of us wouldn’t describe as “affordable,” Sarah has no trouble embodying the same sense of elegance and true put-togetherness as Kate in her own thrifty ways. With 90% of her closet coming from thrift shops, Sarah does a great job of balancing newer, higher quality clothing with more inexpensive, vintage finds.

Name: Sarah Smiley

Year: Freshman

Major: International Studies, French and Comparative Literature

Wearing: Pastel Blouse – from a thrift store; Navy Skirt – from a thrift store; Combat Boots –; Red Pea Coat –

Personal Style: “I’m that weird person that’s more comfortable in skirts and stuff, I don’t really prefer jeans or wearing yoga pants to class. It’s a fun thing every morning where you can dress up a little bit…It’s a mixture of some classic stuff and then you’ve got to throw the boots in there.”

Inspiration/Icons: On Kate Middleton: “She looks so good all the time, she’s always pulled together and she’s so regal and sophisticated.”

Favorite Places to Shop: “I usually do thrift stores. I’d say about 90% of my clothes are from St. Vincent de Paul, or Goodwill, or any of the really cool stores on State Street. I buy some things new but I try to balance it out with some really quality stuff and then get a $2 skirt, so it balances out.”

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