My Style: Hayley McCoy

Photography by Jayden Kennett

Hayley McCoy moved to Indianapolis from Cedar Rapids, Iowa to pursue a masters in museum studies, but the sense of community and amount of opportunities she found have kept her in Indianapolis post grad. When Hayley isn’t working part time as an Archives Assistant at the Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives at IUPUI, she can be found creating content for her fashion and lifestyle blog, City of Shay. Keep reading to learn more about Hayley, her blog, and her style inspo!

What is your earliest memory of a noticeable interest in fashion?
In fourth grade, my best friend and I would draw fashion designs during indoor recess while other kids played board games or read books. We drew the whole outfit on a model with accessories, shoes, bags; the works. Then when I was eleven or twelve my mom bought me my first Seventeen magazine subscription and I remember cutting out pictures of outfits I liked or makeup I was inspired by and taping them to the back of my door – it was a life-size vision board of sorts. My mom would always tell me my outfits wouldn’t fly in Iowa because “we don’t live in New York City” but I loved wearing them anyway.

Who or what influences your style?
I love taking older pieces and making them modern. One of the reasons I do the Vintage Lookbook Spotlight series on my blog is to show my audience you can find trendy pieces at thrift stores for much less than fast fashion stores, or find pieces that may be hard to style and make them trendy. I follow a lot of fashion bloggers to keep up to date on what’s new and then I head to Goodwill to find pieces that are more in line with my post grad life budget and my personal sense of style.

What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
@lauryncakes, @savvystylemom, @josie_sanders, @iindiefoxx, and @pabstblueribbon

Describe your personal style in four words or one phrase.
Easy vintage with a modern twist (but also sweatpants and leggings most days).

What’s your go-to item in your closet?
It’s hard to choose between my classic combat boots or my large cardigan collection. I am a proud museum and library person and they practically don’t let you graduate the program without having a few cardigans on deck (I’m always cold anyway so they definitely come in handy!). But my combat boots are so well loved and I can wear them in all seasons, so I see myself investing in some quality Doc Martens before 2020 is over.

Who are your favorite designers, and what do you like about their designs?
I’ve always loved the classic silhouettes and designs of Chanel. I’m not a big “designer” kind of girl but I love the era Chanel represents and how her designs have stood the test of time. Her brand represents elegance and class, which is always something I’ve aspired to have. Maybe someday while thrifting I will stumble upon one of those infamous quilted leather bags!

Did you ever consider leaving the Indy area? If so, what made you stay?
Indy was actually my second choice when picking a graduate school. I was looking into museum studies programs and it was between here and St. Louis, but once I saw the size of Indy’s population and visited the city, I knew it had to be home, at least for two years. I finished up my program last May and graduated with my masters five days before turning 22. 120 job applications later, I took it as a sign that maybe Indy still had time for me, and turned to blogging. I’ve found such a great community in this space and don’t see myself leaving for a long time. Oh, and I met my boyfriend here so that definitely keeps me here!

What trends are you noticing for spring fashion?
Tons of pastels, as usual, but also tie dye! As a 70s and 90s fashion lover, this makes me so pumped and I love that it’s something that can be easily DIY’d or thrifted; you don’t need to buy an expensive piece to stay on trend. I’m also seeing jeans go from skinny to bell-bottom which is pretty exciting since those go with everything and are definitely tall girl friendly, which I love and need.

What’s next for you? What short and long term goals are on your list?
I’m still trying to figure this part out. All those job applications really took a toll on my mental health, and as much as I love to say I’m strong and can handle “no,” that many rejections hurt a lot. Blogging has become a refuge for me, helps me to connect with others, and allows me to turn my passions into income. Short term, I’d love to work with more local brands. While I may not be a fashion blogger, I still want to share affordable and stylish clothing with my audience and I would love for it to be local. We have some pretty amazing doers and makers in the city and I love connecting with them. Long term, I would love to find a way to further blend my academic pursuits with my social media passion. It can be hard to translate what I’ve learned in museum studies classes to SEO and marketing my brand, but I’m learning everyday and I love that I still work part time in my field and am able to do both.

Define fashion.
Making what you feel on the inside match on the outside.

Worst fashion trend?
Sneakers with dresses or skirts. Unless they are Converse (the only sneaker I own other than gym shoes), I find this to look so childish. I get that it’s an easy look to throw on but I just don’t see the appeal.

Best fashion trend?
I love that someone decided that menswear, or menswear inspired pieces, belong in womenswear. As a tall, skinny girl with not too many curves, I love a more boxy and baggy look on myself, and these pieces definitely lend themselves to that kind of look.

Last but certainly not least, name your favorite fashion icon.
Lana del Rey always looks like a sad 70s goddess and I love her for it. She inspired me to learn winged eyeliner which can take me from at least a 3 to a high 8 on a good day.

Check out City of Shay and follow Hayley on her Instagram!

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