Breaking the College Fashion “Norm”
August brings a lot of new things to Fayetteville. A new semester, new classes, new friends and a new wardrobe that looks exactly like everyone else’s. With thousands of students walking around campus each day it’s hard to stand out, and wearing the “typical” style doesn’t help. Although learning is the main purpose of college, it is also for making lifelong friends and even relationships. First impressions can make or break them, so making minor changes to your look can turn heads — even in a sea of people.
Girls, we all know that comfort is important when going to a school with hills up every corner (my first day started with me looking fierce in wedges and ended with a blister party on my feet), but there are definitely more ways to do this than oversized T-shirts and Nike shorts.
Forever 21, Francesca’s and Dillard’s have recently picked up new styles that pair cute with comfort. Loosely shaped dresses and rompers are in when it comes to dressing up for school. Not only are they cute and colorful, but they also have a looser fit so they won’t be hugging every inch of your body as you strut your stuff up those hills.
Wide legged shorts are a good way to get the fit of athletic shorts but look like you put more effort into your outfit.
Sheer tops are here to stay in fall 2012, according to fashionsnoops.com. These thin colorful threads come in crop tops, tanks and butterfly sleeves and fit so loosely you hardly even know they’re on.
Realistically, I know that every girl has those days where only an oversized T-shirt will do, but I have one word for girls like this: accessories. Accessories will transform your outfit and make you look unique without breaking your comfort zone or your bank account.
Head wraps, bracelets, rings and watches can add color, style and a tone to your outfit. Dress up your Nike shorts and sweatshirt by adding sandals instead of chacos and throwing on an arm full of bracelets or go for a polished look by adding pearls on your ears, neck and wrist. Bows, flowers and wraps can make your simple ponytail go from “I just woke up” to, “Yeah I’m cute, I know.”
Guys, girls love when you dress up. We can’t get enough of your bowties, colorful pants and henleys. So why wouldn’t you want to make us want you on a daily basis? The average Nike shorts and spirit T-shirts just don’t cut it anymore.
Now I know that men’s fashion has always been limited and that’s where color and patterns come in. Button-downs paired with a funky bow tie can add style and uniqueness to a classic outfit. Patterns such as hogs, American flags and “Southern” icons are seen all over the Vineyard Vines catalog and can be found at just about any department store.
Burnouts and baseball style T-shirts should replace plain shirts and color should be added to everything including hoodies, sweaters and pants.
Even your backpack can be trendy with color splashes or chevron prints. You don’t need a reason to dress up anymore so take advantage of being a risky guy and pull off all kinds of crazy looks.
I can’t expect to tell you to dress up and look trendy for class without hinting on places to get these hot pieces. Girls, head to Dickson Street and downtown. Stores such as Monroe, Maude and Riffraff offer up unique yet trendy clothes and accessories for the girly girls in Fayetteville. The Mustache and Something Urban are good for the vintage-retro look as well as game day garb.
Boys will want to head down to Walker Brothers. This store is packed with different styles, patterns and colors and carries brands like Brooks Brothers, Vineyard Vines and Southern Tide. Everything from hog print pants to pastel bowties will have you looking in style, but different than the rest. For a classic style, guys can visit Gap in the mall, for essential pieces at a friendly price (and the sales are great). Edgier looks can also be easily found at the Mustache store, or Brit & Turks.
So remember girls, looser fitting styles like rompers and dresses can keep you comfy and cute, while your accessories can add your unique style to a “typical” look. For guys, standing out is all about adding color, prints and patterns to classics like slacks, T-shirts and polo’s. Fashion is supposed to be about having fun and being you. Be inspired by your fellow students instead of just copying their look. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but adapting and honing in on your own style can be an invigorating start to a new year.