My Look: Idalia Wilmoth, Indiana University Professor

This Indy fashionista is serving lessons in more than how to put together a flashy, well-put-together look.

AN ASSOCIATE faculty member at the Indiana University School of Education in Africana Studies, Dr. Idalia Wilmoth is also a fashion curator and Noblesville resident. Here’s what she had to share on her unique style.

How would you describe your personal style to someone who’s never met you?
I describe my personal style as “Styles of Unity,” meaning that I merge my cultural identity, the imagination of high fashion, and contemporary threads together.

Do you have a fashion philosophy?
Whatever makes your soul happy, wear it. I believe that I make memories every day.

Are there any specific colors or patterns you’re drawn to when picking out clothing?
I’m drawn to vibrant patterns and empowering silhouettes. I am a layering queen! I love unique items. My color palette includes lots of brights, such as mustard yellow, fuchsia, apple green, and orange. However, you can never go wrong with black. When I wear black, I gravitate toward texture. In addition to this, I have an aesthetic eye for vintage clothing, as well.

Who has influenced your style?
My gift of putting wardrobes together is one of a kind. That said, I very much admire Tracee Ellis Ross, Tamron Hall, and Ja’Net Dubois [who portrayed Willona Woods on the ’70s series Good Times]—her fashion on that show was impeccable.

What’s your go-to place to shop for clothes?
Ninety percent of my closet comes from thrift stores, consignment, and online boutiques, including Goodwill, The Toggery Resale Boutique, Thrifty Threads, and Broad Ripple Vintage.

What fashion designers or stylists do you gravitate to?
My favorite fashion designers include Daniel Hawkins, Swanky Jerry, and June Ambrose.

Do you have any go-to outfits for different occasions, such as work, parties, or casual outings?
From church, to work, to social events, to casual outings, or even to the grocery store, I show up and show out. I am very consistent in my authentic expression. 

Do you have any significant accessories with special meaning?
One of my go-to accessories is a hat. Hats tell a story, especially in the Black community where a woman’s crown symbolizes triumph over hardship.

Are there cultural influences in your fashion choices?
Absolutely. As a proud Afro Latin, Caribbean, second-generation Roatánin [from Roatán, an island off the coast of Honduras] woman, African tradition and expressions influence the way I approach fashion.

Mix and match or traditional cohesive looks?
Mix and match, always! Take the style to the next level.