The Fashion Grind

Maddie Moore ’22
Fashion Columnist

On April 1, the Motley Coffeehouse will open. And I will officially be back on my bullsh*t.

You see, I based most of my personality on being that one cute barista behind the bar with the funky earrings who doesn’t make drinks but will draw cute animals on your to-go cup. April 1 marks the day I return to my full power.

Since I last went behind the bar, I’ve undergone a bit of a butterfly moment. My aesthetic has been refined, and my clothing rack is full of garments I would rather not get coffee on. You see, much of what I wear these days would not be conducive to a three hour, our-espresso-machine-isn’t-working-and-it’s-parent’s-weekend shift at the Mot. Pink plastic Barbie shoes are, unfortunately, not up to health code.

The Unofficial Motley Barista Dress Guide: Hair must be up. You must wear closed-toe shoes. And you will spill coffee, milk, syrup, and more on yourself during a shift.

To get some help figuring out how to adapt my style to the Unofficial Motley Barista Dress Guide, I met with some of the most fashionable baristas I know.

Diya Pereira ’22 has been working at the Motley for four years. She is a barista lead, which means she works as a “liaison between [the] barista team and manager team” or is, as she lovingly likes to call it, a “barista mom.” Pereira’s favorite thing about working as a barista at the Motley is the community. She loves connecting with new people, meeting new people, and supporting her fellow baristas.

When asked how she would describe her aesthetic, she told me it changes based on her mood. “Some days I have a very androgenous vibe going on, with big shirts, big pants, and big boots, and then there are days when I want to be more feminine, and I wear cute little dresses or flowy skirts,” she said.

However, one facet remains constant: Pereira is always decked out in gold jewelry. Today she sports a combination of the two styles which she dubs: neutrals & femininity.

Katherine Ward ’22 has worked at the Motley since fall 2018. She too is a Barista Lead, and also my shift buddy of four years. When asked about her favorite aspects of the Motley, she responded enthusiastically with, “everything!”

Ward’s style is more minimal; her go-tos being “jeans or trousers and a fun top.” She mostly dresses in earthy neutrals and has been obsessed with sneakers lately — she wore a quintessential Ward pair to our interview: Nike Dunks in a pastel palette.

On a typical shift, you will find Pereira in a sleeveless top; due to the hot climate and the ability to display her sick arm tattoos (the latest: a beautiful grand piano), as well as long pants or a long skirt because of the amount of movement required on the job.

Her primary suggestion for barista fashion: prioritize comfort. Ward usually wears jeans and a t-shirt or tank top, also emphasizing the importance of comfort behind the bar. Skirts, however, are a no-no; lots of bending is required to reach our stash of oat milk.

In terms of modifying her aesthetic to working at a coffeehouse, Ward finds that her “style is pretty health code.” However, she does love wearing something fun and flirty underneath our black, coffee-stained aprons, and makes sure to always adorn shoes she is okay getting milk on. Pereira loves to get creative with her hair — since we must wear it up — and also keeps her favorite shoes at home.

A fun fact about me is that I am also the Co-Head of the Motley Coffeehouse (despite not actually liking coffee). My amazing Co-Head Manager is Camila Mejia ’22 — a wondrous human that not only actually likes coffee but also has an incredible fashion sense. Mejia has been working at the Motley since fall 2019, and her favorite thing about the coffeehouse is the community it has brought her at Scripps.

“Before I started working there I didn’t feel a huge sense of community and through the Motley I’ve gotten that,” reflected Camila. “Not only in the sense of having a team of people I get to work with but also in a more broad sense… the space we get to cultivate all together.”

Mejia mostly buys second hand, so her aesthetic can be described as a mix of “unique/colorful/interesting pieces with basics.” Some of her favorite clothing items right now include “my loafers, my friend’s black & white sneakers I’ve stolen for the past month, or this t-shirt with 2000s vibe animated fish on it.” Behind the bar, Mejia likes to wear “a comfy pair of shoes, probably a pair of pants or shorts, and a cool shirt.”

She lets her style shine at work: “I really like to wear fun outfits but I also keep in mind that coffee can stain, so I do a mix of clothes I have from working in the food service industry and fun pieces,” said Mejia. “With the health code, I always wear close toed shoes of course, and throw my hair up in a classic low pony or claw clip.”

Thanks to these lovely baristas, I’ve learned not to wear my ballgown to work — unless I think it looks better covered in coffee grounds. Oh, and also that Motley baristas will single-handedly be keeping claw-clip companies in business for the next century.


That One Pink Girl

P.S. See you at the Motley opening April 1! I’ll be the one in the pink 😉

Image Source: Maddie Moore ’22