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“It makes no difference to me whether something in the shop is for men or for women”

“It makes no difference to me whether something in the shop is for men or for women”

Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes

Dress to express

Joost Wijffels (19), second-year UCM student, describes his style as: “sharp with a twist. I have a number of basic items to which I add something exciting.”

Leopard print blouse

“I couldn't wear my favourite outfit. That is a heavy pair of jeans with a polo-necked jumper; it was too hot for that. But this outfit also describes my style quite well. The blouse is a bit daring for a man; they are not quick to wear leopard print. The same goes for the necklace, which is from the H&M ladies department. As far as that's concerned, I follow my own feeling. I buy something because I like it; it makes no difference to me whether it is in the shop for men or for women. I like to play around with things. Sometimes I wear a very male outfit, other times I choose softer and more female.”

Different

“I only became interested in clothes in secondary school. In the beginning, I thought it was very exciting to wear something different. But after I came out of the closet, I became more and more sure of myself. With my style, I want to show that I have fun doing what I do. It is also a way of being creative, looking to see what I can come up with next. I dress in such a way that I can think: ‘I look nice again today’. Not because others like it or not.”

Inspiration

“My style has developed further at UCM. Many of my friends have their own personal style and people here appreciate that. Sometimes I get my inspiration from them, sometimes from fashion. I only follow a trend if I like it. It makes no difference to me whether something is in or out of fashion, I have been wearing a lot of my clothes for years. The same goes for brands. If I think a jumper is ugly, I still think so if it has Nike on it.”

Vintage

“Buying sustainable and ethically responsible clothes is difficult on a student budget, so I try not to buy a lot and to go to second-hand shops and vintage markets. If I need a new pair of glasses, I make sure that I choose a pair that will last me for a long time.”

Bun

“I'm letting my hair grow. It's the first time in my life that it has been long enough for a bun. I wanted to try something out, I also considered shaving it all off. Otherwise I don't do much with my hair, it is quite nice as it is.”

Dr. Martens

“Shoes can give an outfit a certain vibe. If you wear sneakers, it's the 80s/90s, with Dr. Martens it is sharper. My Dr. Martens are important to me. I have wanted them for a very long time and when I finally bought them, I had to wear them in for a whole month. Starting with half an hour and then a little longer every day. Now they are very comfortable, by wearing them in they have adapted to my feet.”

Piercing

“Accessories can add that little bit of extra excitement that I might be looking for. For example, when I wear my favourite polo-necked jumper, I wear chains over it. I also have a big ring with petals and a nose piercing. When I just had my piercing, a guy that I hardly knew came up to me. ‘Beautiful piercing’ he said, and walked on. That kind of compliment – from people you don't know – I like most of all. It feels like it is truly meant.”

In this series we get to know students and staff members better through their style.

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