Bryanna McNamara

“How to put “adventure” in your style”

Bryanna McNamara is the creator of the fashion blog, “My Life in Black & White.” She is a graduating journalism major who plans on pursing an advanced degree in fashion history. An adventurer by nature, Bryanna has traveled the world, but is especially “adventurous” in her sense of style. We asked Bryanna a few questions about having the courage to “dare to wear.”

  1. What does it mean to be “adventurous” in terms of fashion?

It means to take risks and not to feel you have to follow trends. You have to promote your own personal sense of style that doesn’t reflect the current mainstream season. You need to identify what you like in fashion and then be bold enough to follow it. Whether your statement is wearing a scarf, hat, brooch or animal print – you need to find your statement and then actually make it.

  1. Your father was a male fashionista and won “Best Dressed” man in Arizona for a decade. Is a sense of fashion innate or is it learned?

Both. It’s innate in the sense that you either have a personality that expresses a unique fashion taste or you don’t. It’s learned if you’re interested in following fashion magazines and if you appreciate fashion from the past and you can see it with a historical and educated eye. If you want to be fashionable you have to make the effort to learn about it and then have the confidence to express it on your own terms. It’s like being a runner or a rock climber. You need to practice and learn the craft.

  1. Is fashion a form of expressing your personality?

Yes, of course. It’s wearable art that expresses yourself. If you wear boring clothes you’re probably a boring person. If you wear loafers and a tutu around then you’re probably very eclectic. Sophisticated people are often very restrained and wear high quality items. Whether you’re a whimsical or uptight personality will be expressed in your clothing choices. Absolutely, in fashion you can often judge a book by its cover.

  1. How do stylists enter the picture? Why can’t celebrities dress themselves?

Because a stylist can appreciate what the person’s personality represents and then knows what will look good on the individual. They also have access to the top design houses in the industry and they have a particular vision for a person. If you have a similar body type to a well-dressed celebrity you would be wise to follow what she is wearing. These are experts in their field and they really study how to dress people well.

  1. Why is your blog called, “My Life in Black & White”?

Because my favorite type of photography is black and white photography. Also, I am very opinionated and I make definite decisions. I either like it or I don’t. Especially with fashion: it’s yes or no – black or white.

  1. What do you feature on your blog?

I feature music, celebrities, fashion icons, photography, clothing brands, and of course, my own photography. I basically feature what inspires me and what I find beautiful. Beauty inspires me.

  1. What is your most adventurous look to date?

I am really into 70’s style clothing. I like bell-bottom pants and free-flowing hippie clothing. I like taking risks. Think more “Penny Lane” than “Stevie Nicks.” If you want to be “adventurous” in your fashion style you need to “take the path less traveled.” Once everyone is wearing it then it is no longer adventurous. Sometimes it only takes one unique piece of clothing to move from ordinary to extraordinary. Be extraordinary. Find something you love and wear it fearlessly!

  1. Anna Wintour (Editor of Vogue) said people are “frightened” of fashion. Does it take courage to be fashionable?

I think it does. It takes courage to wear something no one else will. For example, most people wouldn’t wear bell bottom pants right now. Safer clothing would be leggings and skinny jeans. If you want to make a statement and really express an individual personality you have to be willing to be different – and to be different always takes courage and self-confidence. Typically, the bolder my choices the more compliments I get. Yes, dare to wear!

  1. Who is your fashion icon?

Sienna Miller is my fashion icon because she has a great sense of fashion. She always looks wonderful. Sienna understands how her body looks and knows what clothes will look good on her. She is a trend-setter because she is willing to step outside of mainstream fashion. She is a risk taker and does a good job of mixing high end pieces (couture) with vintage pieces. It takes time to be able to mix and match from different eras but when it’s done well the result is fabulous.

  1. What is your last piece of fashion advice?

“Keep it away from the cats.”

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