all things trending with: Chic Education
by kIANA MORIDI
Monica Nguyen of Chic Education is equal parts fashionable as she is knowledgable. The English teacher and style blogger is an avid thrifter, creating looks from second-hand treasures and staple pieces from her closet. With a feed full of chic neutral tones paired with tailored vintage piece, Nguyen takes her viewers through styling tips and a real look into finding thrifted gems.
Here, we chat with the fashion blogger about all things style, trends, and normalizing slow fashion.
Describe your style in just a few words.
I would describe my style as “moody vintage." I like to give vintage clothes an edge.
Any Spring/Summer trends you have your eye on?
I know Miranda Priestly would cringe but I’m loving pastels mixed with neutrals for spring. I’m also interested in all of the psychedelic prints coming out.
Least favorite trend?
I’m not interested in the return of low rise jeans or cut-outs in clothes.
My favorite trend lately has been mixing prints. It’s really pushed me to experiment more to add dimension to my mostly neutral palette.
Who is your style icon? Dead or alive.
Grece Ghanem on Instagram is a forever inspiration for me. She’s a continual reminder that style is ageless and I should never give up my passion for it.
We're living in a time where recreating outfits from our closets is trending, and more common than ever before. What are some tips for creating outfits from pieces you already have?
Oh, I’m absolutely for this as I exclusively focus on conscious fashion. I always save my posts on Instagram or Pinterest that I love and find ways to recreate them with pieces I have. I also just play dress up from time to time and see what works. If I love it, I’ll snap a quick picture of it so I know to reach for it again. But if you also have an outfit you absolutely love, you could easily play with switching out a few minor pieces from it to give a nice refresh.
I know you’re an avid thrifter. Do you shop for trends when you thrift, or more for what catches your eye?
I mostly lean towards what catches my eye and inspires me, but when I feel like participating in trends I’ll go thrifting with pieces in mind. Lately, I’ve been on the hunt for pastel pieces to add to my wardrobe. Most of what I thrift are classic pieces that I know I’ll get the most wear out of.
Favorite color combo? Favorite pattern?
If you follow me, you know my true love affair with neutrals. I especially love chocolate brown with a light beige or cream. I tend to lean towards subtle patterns or smaller plaids. I definitely have an affinity for textures rather than patterns, particularly croc print items. Or playing around with contrasting textures in one outfit.
What would you tell someone who is trying to find their style?
Go with what you feel most confident in and expand that across your wardrobe. I always loved neutrals, but I had very few in my closet. Every single time I saw them on someone else, I always loved it. So one day I thought to myself, “if this is what I’m drawn to, why does it occupy so little of my wardrobe?” Over time, I converted my closet to be based around exactly what I loved and I’ve never felt more “me." Don’t be afraid to try new things on this journey, but when you feel most happy, expand on that. When you feel good, nothing else matters.
How do you know you've landed on a good outfit?
I know it’s good when I can’t stop smiling and feel excited to share it with the world! Any outfit that makes me feel like I’m on top of the world has to be good.
Something most people don't know about you?
I think that people perceive me as being a pretty self-assured and serious person either online or as a first impression. But I’m actually a very goofy person. I love to make people laugh and use sarcasm. I use my humor sometimes as a coping mechanism. I am also empathetic in nature. I don’t always show my sensitive side, but I feel emotions deeply.
What does fashion mean to you?
For me, fashion means expressing yourself without harming others. I’ve been on a slow fashion journey for a few years now and I’ve never felt better about my style. I feel that I can truly dive into my passion without the guilt of harming the environment. It has challenged me to be my most creative and thoughtful. It gives my love of clothes a true purpose. I’ve also found the best community while making this change.
Anything else you’d like to add?
My biggest hope with my platform is that I’m helping to normalize slow fashion habits. I’m not the most “informative” person on social media because I honestly don’t have the time and energy to put into things like infographics or long posts with statistics and facts. Overall, I understand my strength is styling and showing others how easy it can be to incorporate vintage, secondhand, or sustainably made pieces into your closet. I also support others who do have the time and ability to create more informative content and share those on my platform as well. I just adore the community I’ve joined because we truly work together and support one another. It’s easy to fall into the shallowness of social media when you don’t have “your people” but I’ve definitely found mine and they’re all-inclusive.
Follow Monica on Instagram @chic_education for vintage eye candy inspo.