What are you wearing?

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Moving into a college dorm for the first time is always tough. But for Crystal Smith, narrowing down her clothing collection to fit into one of the notoriously cramped freshman dorms will be her biggest challenge.

At least she doesn't have to face it at the same time as all the other changes - she'll stay on the East Side, where she grew up, for her first quarter and move into Ohio State's dorms starting this winter.

Smith has three closets full of clothes, along with shoes and accessories to match. She hangs onto things forever, and goes shopping so much she's turned her older sister against it, she said.

Her style mantra: anything goes, "as long as it's bright." She doesn't cite any fashion icons, she said, because she's been wearing bright colors since before the recent '80s resurgence.

"I might just go plain - with the silver flats I might just wear a gray shirt - or I might just wear solid pink or solid yellow, or I might mix it up and wear two colors," said Smith, who added that she's partial to orange but loves anything rainbow-bright.

She's also been loving skinny jeans and flip-flops or flats this summer. For those and other favorites, Deb in Eastland Mall is her usual shopping destination.

Smith mixes things up in accessories, too, including oversize, color-coordinating pieces or, at her Alive interview, gold jewelry and a silver bag and belt.

"If this was, like, fake costume jewelry, I wouldn't wear it," said Smith, referring to the silver-and-gold tones. But it's real, so ..." Smith trailed off, swinging the chain between two fingers and showing off another accessory: her nails.

She gets them done every two weeks, religiously, and they've been everything from blinding pink to bright green and all sorts of colored stripes.

The outfit

Gray shirt: from Rave

Jeans: from Rave

Belt: from a "belt kiosk" in Eastland Mall

Tank top: from Fashion City

Shoes: from Deb

Purse: from Deb

Necklace: a gift from a friend

Headband: she can't remember

To share your sense of style with Off The Rack, e-mail bkress@columbusalive.com