Satya Tara Nelms, 30, Swarthmore, Novelist and mother of three
Style: I like timeless pieces, things I could’ve worn 50 years ago—and could wear 50 years from now. I love pockets and I love dresses. When you put on a dress, it can completely change how you feel.
Fashion icon: My grandmother, Joan Robinson, who always said I’d feel at home in the 1940s and ’50s. I look at pictures of her and my other grandmother when they were my age, and their clothes were so cool. Also, Tracee Ellis Ross. She has amazing style.
Shopping Strategy: I usually go with a purpose. I have a particular event in mind, but I want to buy something I can wear after the event, too—multipurpose outfits. A great promotion will draw me in, even when I don’t need something.
Worth the splurge: A classic dress or an awesome pair of shoes.
Indispensable accessories: My bracelets. I have bangles given to me by my mother-in-law after she returned from Africa. My sisters and I also take a trip every year with our aunt. We went to an art fair in Atlanta where there was this guy banging out beautiful copper bracelets.
Favorite Footwear: A fantastic pair of Betsey Johnson heels, pale pink with a black-ribbon accent and a huge bow at the heel. I love wedges, too.
Where to find her without makeup: On a daily basis, I wear lip gloss and mascara. When my kids see me in the bathroom putting on eye shadow, they immediately ask where I’m going.
Signature fragrance: In summer, Exotic by Jimmy Choo. In winter, Dolce & Gabbana’s The One. Both are gifts from my husband, who has a very good nose.
Oldest thing in her closet: My wedding dress. It’s five years old.
Most recent purchase: A sweet little dress, white on top and navy blue on the bottom, with white polka dots.
What she’s wearing (at Compendium, Swarthmore,): Dusty-rose Ya Los Angeles sheath dress with pearl-embellished neckline, Girly clutch wallet and bangles.