Everything you put on your body tells a story.

 

So we asked 10 people that Portland considers style icons to tell the story of how they found their bold personal style, and what it says about their values, backgrounds, and how they show up in the city. (You’ll notice we didn’t include cisgendered dudes. Maybe next time?)

 

As fall fashion season nears, we hope their choices can inspire some of your own.

 

Photographs by Sarah Morrill | Stylist: Estelle Glendon (Kutz, Inc.) | Hair and Make-up: Reeve Baker

 


Erin Ackley

Member of Voulez-Vous Cabaret; buyer at Find | Insta: @joaquinoaphoenix

 

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Gingham dress from Find; necklace from Moody Lords; scarf from Goodwill

 

Who is one fashionable person you admire nationally? Locally?

 

I grew up admiring ’60s icons like Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot. They always seem so effortless and comfortable in their beauty. Locally, I’m biased, but Portland’s second-hand store workers have some of the coolest style I’ve seen. I love seeing people mix pieces from decades past into modern looks. Sara Tarbox and Justine Henry are two people whose personal style I really aspire to.

 

Is there a designer or boutique in town that inspires you? 

 

I’m obsessed with the Portland Patch Project patches and Luna Moth jewelry. I’m a big fan of all the second-hand/consignment boutiques in town. Laura Ker’s Takeko line at Find has been hugely popular as well!

 

I’m on the go a lot, so I wear a lot of dresses because they’re easy to build an outfit around. I’m having fun exploring casual looks and loving my body.

 

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Pants from Haberdashery; shirts from Find

 

 


 

Sena Phin

Server, Blue Spoon

 

Black, billowy, drape-y, U.S.-made, short-sleeve linen dress from LA Fixsun, black leggings from I.N.C., and light-tan strappy heels all from Material Objects

Black, billowy, drape-y, U.S.-made, short-sleeve linen dress by LA Fixsun, black leggings by I.N.C., and light-tan scrappy Dansko heels all from Material Objects

 

Who is one fashionable person you admire nationally? Locally?

 

I don’t have one person in mind. I enjoy stories and storytelling, so I admire people whose clothes tell me a story. I dig people who wear their clothes with confidence.

 

Is there a designer or boutique in town that inspires you? 

 

I get the majority of my clothes from Material Objects. I don’t like spending money on clothes, so I buy second-hand or at a discounted price. That said, I don’t believe personal style has to be sacrificed for the sake of saving money. I love natural textiles like cotton and linen, clean lines, solid colors … and the occasional fabulous print that I just have to have.

 

White short-sleeve linen top from FLAX and black high-waisted BDG jeans purchased at Material Objects

White short-sleeve linen top from FLAX and black high-waisted BDG jeans purchased at Material Objects

 


 

Osgood

Director, Portland Outright | Insta: @ladybear666

 

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What sort of fashionable people do you admire?

 

I get my inspiration from the folks around me: queer, trans femmes who dress fierce and go out and get each other home safe, and poor and working-class folks whose style is about reclaiming their own power. Rachel Kobasa is always my inspiration to make time to paint my nails and wear my cutest sneakers.

 

Is there a designer or boutique that inspires you? 

 

I don’t have strong feelings about any local shop or designer, but I’ll tell you this: Fashion is boring without the story of where folks come from and why they’re wearing what they are.

 

Everything I wear is some combination of thrifted, borrowed, or found. I feel like I wasted a lot of time when I was younger creating weird rules about what I should and shouldn’t wear, and outfits like this one are my way of making up for lost time. Fashion is wrapped up with power in all kinds of ways, and what we wear is always in relationship to what makes us feel our most seen, vulnerable, or fierce.

 

My besties made me this body chain for my birthday entirely out of supplies from Jo-Ann's Fabrics. It's one of the most special gifts I've ever been given.

My besties made me this body chain for my birthday entirely out of supplies from Jo-Ann’s Fabrics. It’s one of the most special gifts I’ve ever been given.

 

 


 

 

Carly Anne Bouchard

Works at the Center for Grieving Children | Insta: @carlsbad59

Boots, shorts, belt, and t-shirt from Goodwill; hat from Nordstrom Rack; sweater from Old Navy

Boots, shorts, belt, and t-shirt from Goodwill; hat from Nordstrom Rack; sweater from Old Navy

 

Who is one fashionable person you admire nationally? Locally?

 

I’ve always admired my grandmother’s fashion. She was unapologetic in her choices of loud patterns, huge jewelry, and bright lipstick. Western casual is my favorite aesthetic.

 

Is there a designer or boutique in town that inspires you? 

 

I almost exclusively shop second hand except for basics like black pants. Love Goodwill and local thrift stores like Find and Material Objects.

 

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Shirt from Goodwill, pants from Old Navy, shoes from Designer Shoe Warehouse

 


 

Kate Sullivan-Jones

Coastal Pharmacy; clerk at Pinecone + Chickadee; plays bass in the English Muffins | Insta: @sullivanjones

 

I got the patterned pants from TJ Maxx (with my mom); the frilly blue shirt from Ferdinand; eyeball pin and claw necklace at Pinecone+Chickadee; earrings from local designer Emily Diaz Norton; broken watches from my memere; and bug bracelet from Clay City Redux

I got the patterned pants from TJ Maxx (with my mom); the frilly blue shirt from Ferdinand; eyeball pin and claw necklace at Pinecone+Chickadee; earrings from local designer Emily Diaz Norton; broken watches from my memere; and bug bracelet from Clay City Redux. I wore this outfit because it represents my everyday jewelry look … and because my friend told me my butt looks good in these pants.

 

Who is one fashionable person you admire locally?

 

I really admire Althea Pajak, who always looks really badass but put together. I’m frequently super jealous of what she’s wearing and have purchased clothing she’s sold to Find/Material Objects without realizing it.

 

Is there a designer or boutique in town that inspires you? 

 

I’m super into the shirts/jewelry at both Pinecone + Chickadee and Ferdinand. I find myself wearing something from one of those places almost every day.

 

Dress from Birds and Skylines (and purchased at PICNIC); earrings from Ferdinand; boot-shaped knife necklace from Ponomo; velvet Doc Martens from Find; and a leather jacket I got in Provincetown when I was 17.

Dress from Birds and Skylines (and purchased at PICNIC); earrings from Ferdinand; boot-shaped knife necklace from Ponomo; velvet Doc Martens from Find; and a leather jacket I got in Provincetown when I was 17.

 


 

 

Grace Foxen

Interior design at The Bearded Lady’s Jewel Box; stylist at More & Co.; marketing/merchandising at Jen Burrall Designs | Insta: @darthbrookz

 

I'm wearing a denim shift dress that I made last summer. I also wore a sweet beaded necklace from Moody Lords and sparkle jellies from Find.

I’m wearing a denim shift dress that I made last summer. I also wore a sweet beaded necklace from Moody Lords and sparkle jellies from Find. I like to dress like I’m “from away” because I am! I’m an Oklahoma girl.

 

Who is one fashionable person you admire nationally? Locally?

 

Nationally, I admire Rihanna because she’s a badass curvy woman. She mixes sporty with sexy and kills it. Locally, I’m most inspired by Sean Patrick O’Brien because he understands how magical the art of dressing yourself is.

 

Is there a designer or boutique in town that inspires you? 

 

I’m very inspired by Salt Grass Jewelry. Her work is minimal, and she uses a lot of raw stones. She’s also adorable and stylish herself. My favorite shop lately is Moody Lords. I love looking through all the vintage clothes and accessories. [Owner] Katrina [Hohowski] makes it easy to shop because she curates it all and has amazing taste.

 

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I’m wearing a crop top I bought in Mexico City, Imogene + Willie Jeans, and (not pictured) Chie Mihara heels from Black Parrot, and a choker I made myself.

 


 

Hamdi Hassan

Portland Racial Justice Congress | Insta: @hamdi.ih

 

Knit top from Forever 21; leather skirt from L.A. Heart; headscarf from Ibado's; ankle boots from Charlotte Russe

Knit top from Forever 21; leather skirt from L.A. Hearts; headscarf from Ibado’s [804 Washington Ave.]; ankle boots from Charlotte Russe

Who is one fashionable person you admire nationally?

 

Rihanna. She’s very unapologetic in what she wears. She doesn’t mind taking risks with her style. I like how she takes critiques from misogynists who tell her to dress slightly more modest with an IDGAF attitude. I try to emulate that.

 

Is there a designer or boutique in town that inspires you? 

 

If I’m shopping locally, I tend to support Somali–owned shops. Ibado’s [804 Washington Ave.] is my favorite. I like mixing “American” clothes with Somali pieces. When I want to show a little cultural pride, I’ll throw on an open abaya with my outfit. It’s great for any season.

 

I'm wearing a basic long-sleeved shirt, black leggings, an open abaya, and ankle boots.

Long-sleeved shirt and black leggings from H&M, an open abaya from Ibado’s, and ankle boots from Charlotte Russe

 


 

Lara Watterson

Women’s buyer at Portland Dry Goods | Insta: @larawatterson

 

Crochet top from a store in the South End of Boston that I got an incredible deal on; pants from Judith; clogs rescued from a friend's closet (not pictured)

Crochet top from a store in the South End of Boston that I got an incredible deal on; hand-made Merica Lee jeans from Judith

 

Who is one fashionable person you admire nationally? Locally?

 

Nationally, Cher. Always Cher. Locally, my mom, Karen Watterson, and my beautiful friends, specifically Shoshanna Freedman and Grace Foxen (in this shoot), who both have fun/killer styles.

 

Is there a designer or boutique in town that inspires you? 

 

I love ’70s clothing and these outfits make me feel like a superb ’70s gal, and are comfortable to boot. I have a lot of admiration and love for Brooke Delorme and Daniel Pepice, who run Seawall and Brook There. They make some really fantastic, simple, organic cotton clothing and underthings that are staples in my closet. I love to shop at Portland Dry Goods, Judith, and Moody Lords.

 

Black jean jacket and pants from Judith

Black jean jacket and pants from Judith

 


 

 

Devon Kelley-Yurdin

Artist, designer, community arts activist with Pickwick Independent Press | Insta: @moodhair

 

Thrift-store shirt that came with puffy sleeves (that I cut off); shorts bought at Target in a panic before going on vacation; necklace by Brunswick-based jewelry designer Heather Perry

Thrift-store shirt that came with puffy sleeves (that I cut off); shorts bought at Target in a panic before going on vacation; necklace by Brunswick-based jewelry designer Heather Perry

 

Who is one fashionable person you admire nationally? 

 

Maybe Janelle Monae? I have a hard time picking specific fashion icons because I love looking at the decisions people make about what to put on their bodies before leaving the house. I don’t care who you are, I just have a lot of respect for bold choices worn casually. And gender fluidity. And going braless.

 

Is there a designer or boutique in town that inspires you?

 

Honestly, most of the things I’ve gotten since moving here last year have been acquired at clothing swaps or while traveling. I don’t intentionally “go shopping” very often, because I have a pretty hard time finding things that are the right size while fitting both my aesthetic and gender expression.

 

I love pattern-on-pattern. My fashion theory is that wearing things within my palette and pattern preferences will naturally go together, even if it seems like it won’t.

 

I wear a lot of vests, because I get cold but I like air on my skin. This striped one was made by a childhood friend in Burlington, VT, who makes beautiful clothing under the name Cheng's Laundry. A v-neck tee with the sleeves cut off has been my summer uniform. The pants were purchased during a surprisingly successful trip to Old Navy when my dad was in town.

I wear a lot of vests, because I get cold but I like air on my skin. This striped one was made by a childhood friend in Burlington, VT, who makes beautiful clothing under the name Cheng’s Laundry. A v-neck tee with the sleeves cut off has been my summer uniform. The pants were purchased during a surprisingly successful trip to Old Navy when my dad was in town.

 


 

Jacquelynn Jones

Performance artist | Insta: @blaqcherrie_94

 

This look is an ode to the ’80s jazz scene. The blazer was my grandmother's (I took it because of the shoulder pads). And no matter the season, turtlenecks are acceptable! The look is regal. The clash of black and yellow is gaudy and a risk, and I admire women who aren't afraid of risk.

This look is an ode to the ’80s jazz scene. The blazer was my grandmother’s (I took it because of the shoulder pads). And no matter the season, turtlenecks are acceptable! The look is regal. The clash of black and yellow is gaudy and a risk, and I admire women who aren’t afraid of risk.

 

Who is one fashionable person you admire nationally? Locally?

 

Monica Belluci and Lianne La Havas — but it’ll change soon! I switch up frequently.

 

Is there a designer or boutique in town that inspires you? 

 

I love to get lost in Encore. It reminds me of my grandmother’s cluttered basement and every item has character. Besides Encore, Little Ghost has captured my attention. It’s a throwback shop. The different eras, patterns, and materials are unexpected but a reflection of my style. I like quirky but funky shops. I draw inspiration from Portland in general, even the tourists.

 

This is a demure outfit. I like to feel feminine, so the clenched high waist gives me that look. The plain white tee is a bold contrast of color and a bit masculine.

I like to feel feminine, so the clenched high waist gives me that look. The white tee is a bold contrast of color … and a bit masculine, too.