Your Style: Donna Unseth | Lifestyles

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Motto: I’ve always had to stand out.

Donna Unseth envisions attending the University of Minnesota as a graphic design major. In the meantime, she says, she is learning a lot through her life here.

Homeschooled with her sister, Unseth says she has had an interest in art and fashion since childhood and has spent time exploring interests and career options since finishing high school in 2014. That includes work as a barista at Cafe Steam.

“What I didn’t know about working at Steam was that it would open up some very helpful job opportunities, personal connections and cherished friendships over those next two years,” she said. “I have been able to get an internship at a neuro-engineering lab at Mayo Clinic for graphic design, work in screen-printing, get hired to sketch dogs at the Dogs Downtown event, gain many strong and beneficial connections — and I get to be featured in this style column.”

How do you describe your style?

Edgy-classy with just a pinch of punk sprinkled here and there.

My style originated from the need to do my own thing or display my independence. I’ve always had to stand out; I never feel too comfortable wearing commonly worn outfit combos. Some of my style icons are definitely Audrey Hepburn, the hipsters of Minneapolis and whichever friend encourages me the most to do something crazy. … I was and always have been extremely particular about what I will and will not wear.

The most essential components in your wardrobe?

My sunglasses/glasses, high-waisted shorts and my hair. That counts, right?

What should every well-dressed woman have in her wardrobe?

A nice watch, sleek wallet, unique earrings, statement sunglasses, little black dress, black high-heeled shoes and a white short-sleeved shirt — anything that makes you feel classy. It’s really subjective.

Priceless sentimental pieces?

I have a mink stole that my grannie gave me. I don’t think I could give that baby up. I also have a retro wide-brimmed fedora that I have a strong bond with. I am not a hat person, but I wear it anyway once and a while. The last thing is a pair of dress pants that I wore impersonating Charlie Chaplin when I did theater. They turned out to be very stylish and good for the times I need business/casual pants.

I own a cheesy inspirational quote T-shirt. If you knew me better, you’d understand why that’s an atrocity.

Anything people joke about?

My friends and family, and people who don’t fall in that category, tend to make fun of the pair of ’80s cutoff mom-shorts that my good friend, Corrie, gave me. They’re just jealous. (Wink.)

I wear a lot of muted colors. Green, black, greyed-yellow, deep maroon are usually my go-tos. Once and a while I pop out the white and the floral patterns. I have a bright yellow bomber jacket now that I unexpectedly fell in love with. I will not wear bright orange, bright blue or brown.

Something especially Minnesota about your style?

A lot of legging-wearing.

Anne Murphy is a Rochester freelance writer who has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years.

Do you know somebody who’s got special style? Send nominations to or call Life section editor Jeff Pieters at 507-285-7748.


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