In another installment of ORANGE's Closet Confessional series, which features individual UT students' style, ORANGE writer Kristen Hubby takes a look inside Kelly Rector’s closet. Story and Photos by Kristen Hubby
With the windows propped open, the smell of clean linen and fresh air fill the house. The wooden interior and quaint decorations give the house a down-to-earth vibe. Although it is said that a home should reflect your own personal style, Kelly Rector’s closet is anything but homey. Packed with embellishments, leather, lace and patterns galore, her closet speaks to fashion's current trends.
Originally from Washington D.C., Rector had plans to return and attend college in the northeast. After applying and being accepted into 20 schools, she decided to attend UT for its journalism department. “I'm really glad I ended up at UT, though, because I feel like this school, and a lot of people I've met here, have really shaped my passion for fashion and blogging,” Rector says.
Rector had no interest in fashion until two years ago. After reading one of her now favorite blogs, “The Blonde Salad,” she was quickly inspired to kick start her fashion career as a blogger. “Before then I was so lost, I did not even have an idea what I wanted to do with my life. But now I am so set on fashion. There is no stopping me,” Rector says. With this inspiration, she began her blog “Kelly Ann’s Closet.” Promoting her blog through social media hotspots, such as Twitter and Instagram, helped the blog grow in popularity. “Whenever I post a new look on my blog I usually get over 6,000 views on it,” Rector says.
With just one look inside Rector’s closet, someone might find it hard to imagine a time when she was not serious about style. Inspired by different designers, like Jeremy Scott, Isabel Marant, Ted Baker, Burberry and more, her style is not restricted to one genre, but rather a mix between grunge and bohemian. Eye-catching pieces, such as her printed “Janis Joplin" pants, intricately detailed lace dresses and leather platform Jeffery Campbell’s, are some of the showstoppers in her closet. As for patterns, Rector has an affinity for plaid, graphics, silk and anything with embellishments tacked on.
When it comes to style advice, Rector offers up one rule: “There are no rules in fashion. You can wear whatever you want." In blue jean overalls, Rector explains that her freedom with fashion has given her a unique sense of style, but has also made her the recipient of criticism. Her boyfriend, Grant Keefer, sometimes doesn't understand Rector's style (he playfully says her overalls make her look like a farmer), but he is still a big supporter of the blog and photographs Rector for every post.
After graduation, Rector hopes to take her next step as a blogger and move to London, a city as fashion-forward as she is. “I would love to either work for a British fashion magazine, or work as a fashion blogger for a British designer,” Rector says. With the rise of the Internet, blogging is at an all-time high, especially in the world of fashion. Although most bloggers are dead set on working for themselves, and not for other people, Rector is the opposite. “You get to meet a lot of people who share the same passions as you. I love working with other style-savvy people because they always end up inspiring me in some way,” she says.