Girmay isn't intimidated by an off-the-shoulder knit or wide-leg daffodil pants. "A bold outfit can bring out hidden aspects of your personality and make you stand differently," says Girmay, a poetry professor at Hampshire College in Massachusetts and author of the forthcoming collection Kingdom Animalia. Girmay, who is Puerto Rican, African-American, and Eritrean (Haragu is her grandmother's name), describes herself as "relaxed and a little mischievous. I always want to be able to say yes to the carnival ride."
Sweater, United Colors of Benetton, $69. Pants, Sportmax, $485. Sandals, Piazza Sempione.