Credit: Isa Giallorenzo

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

“I feel like if I’m not disgusted with what I wore a year ago, then I’m not doing my job,” says high school senior Zoe Axelrod, who tries to err on the side of boldness. “If it isn’t going to make a statement, then it’s not worth wearing. Not every look I put together is ‘good,’ but it’ll certainly get your attention.” 

She wasn’t always such a fashion enthusiast, though; up until around her freshman year, Axelrod favored basic items such as low-rise leggings and graphic tees. Her sartorial turning point came when she started following fashion bloggers on Instagram and YouTube. “My current favorites are Beth Jones of B. Jones Style, Tara Chandra, and Allison of Titi Alli. They all give me ideas of outfits to put together, but ultimately, my clothes are what inspire me,” says the avid thrifter, whose personal style has been developed through “a lot of trial and error.”

On the day she was photographed, she ended up missing her school bus because she couldn’t figure out what to layer under her olive button-down—an XL pajama top she found at a thrift store in Arlington Heights, her hometown. “The fabric was so beautiful I couldn’t pass it by,” she says.

The 17-year-old ended up pairing her esteemed shirt with a turtleneck she got on sale at Target a couple of years ago, vintage frames that used to belong to her mom, earrings handed down from her grandma, a belt that used to be a Gryffindor tie from a Hermione costume, and a pair of ASOS platforms, her “pride and glory,” thrifted at the Savers in Schaumburg for eight bucks. Axelrod highly recommends that store.

“They have the biggest and most organized kids section, which is where I get most of my funky pieces,” she enthuses. The precocious and frugal style savant has another shopping tip: “If you want to save time, skim the aisles for the colors you think your closet needs more of.”