UMD Student D.I.Y.’s Her Denim

by DEEPA RAMUDAMU

courtesy of Alexia Mingo-Smith
courtesy of Alexia Mingo-Smith

When she couldn’t find affordable distressed jeans, senior broadcast journalism major Alexia Mingo-Smith came up with her own solution: destroying them herself.

“To buy cut up jeans [from retailers like Nasty Gal], those are like $100,” Mingo-Smith said. “I couldn’t afford those at the time.”

Her plan: go to the thrift store, buy some mom jeans and follow YouTube tutorials to get the look she wants without exceeding a college budget.

Alexia-Mingo Smith distresses only one leg of her jeans. Deepa Ramudamu/Pulsefeedz
Deepa Ramudamu/Pulsefeedz

Mingo-Smith said her interest in fashion started when she was in fifth grade, drawing clothes and outfits during classes.

“I became interested in fashion without even knowing that it was fashion,” she said.

While she said there’s no one word to describe her style, her looks are based on her moods.  When she feels bright, she wears vibrant colors and on fall days, she opts for outfits that include elements like plaid.  

Mingo-Smith gives her white jeans a makeover. Deepa Ramudamu/Pulsefeedz
Deepa Ramudamu/Pulsefeedz

Mingo-Smith said she draws inspiration mostly from people she sees on the streets, rather than the latest fashion shows and blogs.

“When I’m out, I see people with nice outfits and combinations,” she said. “I just remember those and I try to put something together like that.”

Mingo-Smith also cited singers Rihanna and Kanye West as two people whose style she admires and finds fashion-forward, but she doesn’t feel the need to buy whatever celebrities are wearing like many others do.

“I feel like people think fashion is like you have to have all this money and you have to afford fancy designer clothes [but it’s not like that],” she Some of the current trends she said she likes include wearing long-sleeved shirts tied around the waist, platform shoes and lots of beanies in the colder seasons.

Following tutorials like these from JairWoo and Rachelleea will help denim lovers achieve Mingo-Smith’s distressed look.