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Amplify V3I1: @austinallred98

This lover of basics and neutrals is anything but basic. Austin, @austinallred98, a Virginia native and senior at Liberty University studying fashion merchandising, uses the world around him to inspire his looks; all while trying to reduce his overall fashion footprint.

When he first started getting into thrifting, he wasn’t into it. “I’d done some thrifting in high school, but my mom actually brought me thrifting, and I would always be like “oh my gosh, no. I’m not doing this.” But he’s done a full 180 since then - now he works at a thrift store, curates pieces on his second page, and uses his platform to educate and inspire people to move away from fast fashion.

“I’ve really tried to promote thrifting and the kind of capsule wardrobe movement about like, just wearing things in different ways instead of buying a new outfit. And trust me, I love shopping. But I found that, opposed to just going to H&M and buying like the whole new season of stuff, really taking the time and curating pieces in my closet has helped me.”

It first really hit him after watching the documentary ‘The True Cost.’ “It’s about how damaging the fashion industry is and how much inequality exists, and how buying more sustainably can help people to just kind of better the environment.”

“You don’t have to completely be like ‘I’m never buying something from fast fashion again’ - just take baby steps. I would say before, none of my stuff was thrifted, and now probably over 50% is. I’m taking steps to eventually not buy at all from fast fashion brands - I guess that’s the broad definition of what my platform is about.”

But Austin says that through thrifting especially, having a great wardrobe doesn’t have to come at such a heavy cost. “I think that a lot of people sometimes think that, ‘if I don’t have this crazy budget, I can’t be fashionable,’ and that is so not true. You can dress nicely on a budget, and I think that’s where style comes in.” First impressions, Austin says, whether in the career world or otherwise, can really set the tone for everything. “I wish it wasn’t like that, but style helps people just kind of communicate who they are. I think the world just needs more people that are just like unapologetically themselves, and are just out there doing their thing.”

Austin describes his own style loosely as “preppy.” His emphasis is on neutrals, earthy tones and the power of basic pieces. “I own tons of blues and lots of neutrals, and a few floral shirts, because you can’t go wrong with that. I would say the majority of my closet is neutral, but I have fun with my accessories, and I don’t think people think about that sometimes.”

His small town in Virginia is where his inspiration often comes from. “I pull inspiration from nature. We live on a farm, and one time I was taking pictures of the field and honestly, that’s what got me into Earth tones. I was just obsessed with the colors - the browns and greens, the blues. I just kind of took inspiration to what I was taking photos of and applying it to my photos.”

And this cohesive theme is clear throughout on his page. When visiting @austinallred98, you’re met with calming, light and airy, soft colors and styles that match that; it takes you to a completely different place, and that kind of content creation is like no other.

Though he admits that Instagram, like everything else, has its faults, he is inspired by other creators and loves the platform. “I think sometimes people can get overwhelmed, taking photos or creating an “aesthetic” feed - you know, whatever that means. I think it’s starts with a foundation of similar colors and editing. My opinion is that the foundation is just color. Once you find out what the majority of your wardrobe is, you can kind of create a cohesive feel that way.

Though he was originally a music major in college, he switched during his sophomore year to fashion merchandising after Next in Fashion showed him all of the different avenues in the fashion industry to be pursued. “Alexa Chung did a little thing on Youtube where she talked about the different positions in the fashion industry, and after I watched that I was like … oh my goodness, I’m not a designer, it’s not where I think my talent is, but I’ve always been really good at putting things together,” (as evidenced in all of his posts on Instagram) “So that’s why I got into styling and visual merchandising. I want to go in that lane in the future.”

He’s already working on that career path with his second Instagram page, @allredthrifts, where he’s working on curating thrifted pieces - currently through Poshmark, but hopefully soon through his own website.

The page started his junior year, when he took an accessories class and made pendant necklaces and showcased them there. “I work at a thrift store in town which has proven to be interesting because it’s like anytime I see something cute I’m like okay, I’m holding that. I would love to expand in the future to maybe, curating more pieces, maybe having a website. A lot of people have done that , I get that Poshmark is easy because it takes care of the shipping costs and tax costs, it’s just, they do take out a portion of the proceeds. It’s an easy platform to use for me because I’m not the most tech savvy - the convenience really helps.”

It’s still a work in progress, Austin says, but he wants to eventually curate specific pieces for his audience. “I definitely want to get to a place where I’m curating the things that will sell easily, like a great denim jacket, a great jean, just like really good basics. And I haven’t kept up with it as much as I’d like to but this summer I really want to start fresh and start curating things. I would say that my lane is probably going to be really good basics, because I see how much those basics have helped me in my wardrobe and just getting ready in the morning.”

Find him here and here.

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