Mix and match: Teacher inspires through creative fashion picks

By Stephon Vaughns

Freshman English teacher at Carnegie Vanguard High School Erica Harris is the woman who every little girl wishes she could be when she finally grows up; or at least who they want to dress like, students say.

“She keeps up with young trends so it seems like she can relate to us. It also shows that she has an open mind because she’s always updating her style,” Carnegie Vanguard senior Maya Fontenot said. “It just brightens my day to see her outfits.”

While many women choose to abandon their everyday style after having children, 31-year-old Harris seems to be doing the exact opposite. Over halfway through the pregnancy of her second child, she remains as fashionable as ever.

As an ardent supporter of anything local, over half of her clothing is vintage from Houston stores such as Buffalo Exchange and La Camella. Some of her biggest fashion influences include Alexa Chung and Rashida Jones, who she admires for not being afraid to experiment with color.

She describes her wardrobe as full of juxtaposition.

“This idea of putting together two different things – for instance, if I’m wearing something a little dressy, I’ll wear something a little rugged to offset it or to balance it out,” Harris explained.

While getting dressed each day, the most important thing to Harris is comfort. “I don’t wear as many heels, obviously,” she describes of her style now.

Instead of having to buy maternity wear, she has discovered that buying clothes in larger sizes helps when she wants to continue shopping at her usual favorite stores.

“I don’t necessarily buy a lot of maternity clothes. The only part that I do get maternity clothes for are bottoms because I have to. Those I get from stores like Target,” the thrift shopper explained.

She compares her sense of style to her personality and culture, which encourages mixing unlikely things together.

“I’m mixed, my family’s mixed. I’m all about things that don’t seem like they go together and knowing that they could work,” Harris said with a smile.

Although she loves teaching, she admits that she would jump at the opportunity to become a stylist.

“I would love being able to go out and shop for other people and maybe even keep some of the clothes for myself,” she said jokingly.

Stephon Vaughns

Stephon Vaughns is currently a senior at Carnegie Vanguard High School in Houston, TX. He is an editor for the online publication of Insight and contributes to the print publication.

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