Campus Chic: Quirky, Pop Culture Influenced Style

Photos by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

Melissa Baron has always been off-limits as a woman to feature for Campus Chic. Due to her position as editor of the Scene section, there was always a conflict of interest.  The same dilemma occurred for me back when the scene section was edited by the fashionable Lulu McAllister and the funky fresh Maro Guevara.

But seeing as how this is the last Campus Chic I will ever write for the Foghorn, EVER, (that’s right EVER!) I can do what I want.  And what I want is to recognize Melissa Baron as a pivotal USF fashion icon.

Last Thursday USF students were making there own kombucha, frolicking with goats, sitting in tents on the lawn – you know the usual – and Melissa Baron was chatting it up with Christopher Moore (as many of the Campus Chic-ers are oft to do). I stopped her conversation to ask her about her outfit.

Melissa’s black button up sweater with white pearls is from Nordstrom.  She purchased it sophomore year of high school to wear at her little sister, Kate’s Bat Mitzvah.  Her blue Beavis and Butt-head shirt, more specifically “Beavis and Butt-head Do America,” is part of Melissa’s extensive collection of graphic T-shirts.  “I have a hundred graphic tees,” Melissa said ranging from Star Wars, Twin peaks and Bruce Springsteen tees.  The Beavis and Butthead shirt represents her love for MTV cartoons.  “They are universally more relatable than anything on TV,” she said.

Photo by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

Melissa pairs her tee with a floral high-waisted skirt from Forever 21. “Everyone hates on big box stores, but I find lots there so everyone else can suck it.” Around the skirt she wears a thick bright red belt that she found in the sale section at Anthropologie – $40 off.

Photo by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

Her black tights are from Costco. “For a brief moment in time you could get a pack of two tights for $10 bucks.”  Her white lace up boots were thrifted from Savers in Tucson, Arizona. Over her outfit Melissa has a brown leather coat from Redlight Vintage in Portland. “I desperately wanted a leather bomber jacket, but ultimately determined I don’t really have the right body shape for one. I like the super 70’s shape of this with the high belted waist and big pointy collar. It’s a great color to wear with anything. Plus, the woven collar and pockets make it look funky and unique.”

Photo by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

Melissa accessorizes with her “Jurassic Park necklace,” an amber necklace with a mosquito inside.  “If I extract the blood from the mosquito I can re-create the dinosaur race,” she explains.  She found this lovely gem for one dollar at the Goodwill in Seattle.

Her silver ring was made by her crafty little sister who was in a jewelry class.  Her sister decided to make rings for everyone in the family.  Melissa also has two piercings, a nose ring and a Monroe, both from Slave to the Needle in Seattle.

Her bag is from the L.L. Bean flagship store. “It was like heaven!” Melissa says of the store. “Duck boots, cardigans, the works. I love their clothes and accessories.”

Photo by Cass Krughoff/Foghorn

The accessory that complete Melissa’s look are her thick-rimmed glasses.  She purchased them at Eyes on Fremont in Seattle, where she buys all of her frames. They were made in Argentina and the inside lining of the framers are just as cool with a city skyline drawn on the sides.  “Glasses and tattoos are my best accessories,” Melissa said.

“I have really schizophrenic style,” Melissa summarized. “I like a lot of things that don’t go together at all.  I try to fuse all of my interests into girly outfits.  I like a lot of nerdy boyish interests, but I also like to look like a female.”

When it comes to fashion icons, Melissa looks to Molly Ringwald’s various John Hughes incarnations for inspiration. “She strikes the perfect mix of boyish and girlish looks in such an effortless natural way. She’s pretty and put together, but also funky and original. Her look is really special.”


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