On Trend: Bri Bowers

Madewell trousers, Jeffrey Campbell oxfords, Anthropologie hat, Madewell leotard and vintage coat.

Story and photos by Miranda McDonald

Bri Bowers is an artist and illustrator by night and gallery director at Revelry Boutique Gallery by day. Like art, she curates her wardrobe one piece at a time, and strongly believes that fashion is an outlet we can all use to express ourselves.

When did you start embracing fashion?

I really don’t ever remember not embracing fashion. My favorite toy as a child was the dress up trunk my grandmother gave me. My clothes were my toys.

How do you choose an outfit?

It really depends on what I am most excited about wearing. It could be a pair of shoes I just bought and can’t wait to wear. I may even find a handbag that I haven’t worn in a while, so I will plan an outfit around that. It is usually about which piece speaks to me that day.

What is your shopping strategy?

I don’t buy things as an outfit. I will buy a piece individually because I like it. Some people say that you shouldn’t shop that way. However, when I look at my closet and I see all of these things that I love, they all somehow seem to work together because they all represent me.

If you like something and it speaks to you, then you should buy it regardless of whether you have anything in your closet to wear with it. That is my motto.

Do you have any favorite local shops?

Crazy Daisy is a place I like to go to to get my vintage. I’ve also been getting vintage pieces from friends and other artists lately. This fringe jacket was given to me by another local artist. The last two pieces of vintage I got are from people just giving them to me. And I always go to Revelry for jewelry.

Is vintage a large part of your wardrobe?

Vintage is always a smart buy. If you like it, then you will probably always like it. Vintage isn’t usually about being on trend. I also do a lot of shopping at Stella’s since it is resale and vintage. They have pieces that are very fashionable and good quality. I don’t own a lot of vintage, but I wear it a lot because the items I do own are usually practical items.

What do you love most about fashion?

I love that you can express yourself and tell a story with it. You can even evoke a mood with what you have on. It is an art form. It is also nice that it is art that is on your body, so you don’t always have to talk about it; you just wear it. I am a visual artist, so fashion has become another way for me to express myself artistically.

Do you have any favorite brands?

In general, I have been more conscious about purchasing things that are made in America. 

I have been reading a lot of articles on how almost everything is imported. I come from a retail background, and some of these articles say that salespeople are going to be extinct in the coming years. That is sad to me because a lot of my early memories with fashion include me going to the mall with my grandmother. She knew every sales lady, and there was a real friendship there.

I am not saying online shopping is bad, but I am trying to be more aware of brands that are keeping things in America. I do love brands like Zara, but I will pay more money for brands that are keeping jobs here and are of better quality.

Are there any pieces you are really inspired by right now?

I was recently gifted a vintage biker jacket from the 80s. It is also made in America, and it has this amazing fringe on the sleeves. That is a piece I will be wearing as a staple this winter since it is just so unique.

Do you ever have a casual day?

I don’t always dress up, but I do always wear things I like. My dress down day usually consists of a band tee, denim and Chucks. You can still be comfortable but wear things you feel good about. VT

Topshop pleated skirt, Lewit suede heels, LACAUSA tee, hand-painted Bob Dylan pin by Bri Bowers and vintage leather jacket.