“I’m from a town in Wisconsin where plaid was worn long before hipsters took it over.”

Say ‘hi’ to Tess Ryckman ’12, our best dressed for this gorgeous week in New Haven. Her simple pieces take on new form each day as Tess changes up her style based on what she’s listening to when she’s picking out her clothes.

In my brief e-mail exchange with Tess, I learned that she is not only fashionable, but also very practical.

“Whenever I had no idea what to wear, a scarf is great to throw on over a rather unremarkable top,” she said. This is a great point. Tomorrow when you realize you haven’t done laundry since before break, find a bright scarf long enough to look like Tess’ does. With scarves it’s all about length. Too long and it looks like your drowning and you have no neck and too short and I don’t even know what to liken it to it just looks ugly. A pretty scarf can instantly make an otherwise unimpressive outfit polished and cute.

The coolest thing about Tess’ style is her method of picking an outfit out in the morning. She says that her dress is often “heavily influenced by what I’m listening to. Chill music means something casual, bolder music means something a little gustier.”

I’m a huge fan of dressing in accordance with my mood or rather, the mood I’d like to be in. I can’t tell you how many times my mom has told me, in regards to an outfit selecting struggle, “It doesn’t matter — this isn’t a fashion show.” I always explain that it’s not about other people; it’s about how I want to feel. I don’t like wearing sweats during finals week because it makes me feel lazy. I spend time figuring out what to wear before a test because feeling like you look good makes you feel great. For Tess, everyday fashion is a form of self-expression, an opportunity to put intangible “feelings” into a descriptive and cohesive image (read: her outfit). Sooo deep, I know.

In short, less convoluted, actually comprehensible terms, what makes Tess’ style so great is that it works as an extension of her personality in physical form. And she also wore plaid before it was cool. BOLD.