“College is a chance to find yourself in terms of identity and fashion. Until now it’s been mostly trial and error, but as we grow older we become more confident in picking styles that suit us best, inevitably falling into a category.”
College can seem quite intimidating and daunting at first. It’s an ecosystem of so many different personalities and egos. It’s so easy to get lost or lose one’s sense of self.
Young men are now more than ever concerned about their appearance and the way that they are perceived to be. Their style is a way for them to express themselves and take control of a crucial part of their identity. Young men are now more comfortable with themselves and as a result their style and fashion sense has become more defined, making the campus a diverse showcase of style, trends and expression.
Here are a few styles you might notice in your college/university.
The college roadman, a popular trend on campus these days, offers a kind of effortless look, combining style, warmth and comfort. The key to pulling off this trend is to go minimalistic: simple patterns with very plain colours. Layers are crucial, weather depending, as this style really comes to show when more garments are worn: a plain hoodie or sweatshirt under a parka jacket, bomber, trench coat or even a puffer jacket gives a more authentic look. When it comes to bottoms, this look puts comfort over style; a nice pair of slim joggers, slim fit jeans or even tracksuit bottoms are perfect to compliment this style. When it comes to footwear, go for trendy sport shoes, Nike, Adidas, vans, puma etc. Everything else you’re wearing almost provides the background for your shoes to really own the platform. For accessories, nothing too much; a simple sports cap, baseball cap or tennis visor completes the look.
College wouldn’t be college without the notorious group of kick-flippers and rail-sliders, making their way through campus on decorated planks of woods they call skateboards. Yes, skaters: the laidback, chilled, easy-going, converse-wearing dudes and broskis. Although there’s a variety of trends in the skater’s fashion wardrobe, I’ve gone with the most common look, which I feel includes:
- Graphics! Graphic prints, artwork, lettering- statements: whether on a plain t-shirt or a pullover hoodie, skaters are all about being fun, carefree and edgy. Tops that might include a 90s cartoon character, symbolism, slang terminology, or just cool artwork, are very common amongst skaters.
- Colours. Skaters are not afraid to indulge in vibrant and eye-popping colours. Usually mixing and matching, skaters go for an animated yet aesthetic effect. Could be something as simple as a red flannel shirt or a bright yellow sweatshirt with pink floral prints.
- Denims and shorts. Skaters are well known for their “short-shorts”: usually rising just above the knee, worn in season. For autumn/winter, skaters rock their denims usually folded up to their ankle to show off their ‘stance socks’, and of course their feet are equipped with comfortable canvas trainers – usually Converse, Vans, or Nike. For accessories, once again keeping it funky with colourful/graphic beanies, snapbacks and fitted caps.
The preppies: their style says it all. The sleek, tailored look that’s not too smart and not too casual. Their style remains sophisticated without looking like they’re trying too hard, or they’re too dressed up. The ‘preppies’ look, simply put, is a mature, neat look, and one you’ll definitely see on campus. Usually spotted in some nice fitted denims or trousers; straight, slim, or skinny, depending on the individual. Colours that really blend well with the season, nothing too outspoken or abstract. Smart-casual boots or brogues go well with the outfit. Of course, some might opt out of the smart department and go for something a little more casual with a pair of minimalist monochromatic sneakers.
Usually preppies are suited with something plain and casual on top, e.g. a casual sweatshirt, sometimes worn over a buttoned up shirt or underneath an overcoat or even a bomber jacket. A polo neck for those cold college mornings and evenings, or just a scarf will do the trick. Items such as cardigans or cable knitwear get mixed in with the style as well.
Preppies usually sport a classic watch; nothing too extra, just something nice and simple to compliment the overall look.
You know the ones. The ‘wasted youth’, the Kanye West glorifiers and Travis Scott fanboys.; the sneaker-heads, the distressed look mongers, the new school fashionistas.
Whether you’re with them or against them, the urbanites are a growing population in the fashion world, sending out a young, free and untamed message, breaking the boundaries of masculinity in menswear, creating a futuristic urban culture. A few popular trends amongst the urbanites are follows: Skinny fit ripped jeans (the more rips, the better); distressed t shirts and hoodies (distress everything); dark, tanned, khaki and camo colours as well as pastels – popular this year was the dessert pink, as well as the nude pink. In terms of style, oversized and longline fit are a must-have, whether it’s a curved hem tee, an elongated sweatshirt with side zips, or a plain oversized hoodie. Urbanites usually mix it up however, and also follow what’s trending.
It’s nice to see a balance where the style is kept urban but still looks neat, rather than a complete collage of trends. As many of you are aware, this style can get rather messy. When it comes down to it, less is more! Footwear, also extremely important to the urbanites, usually going for the high-end trainers that have the same edgy, futuristic look. An example would be Y-3 Qasas, Adidas collaboration with Yohji Yamamoto.
Remember, though, that this is by no means an exhaustive list. If you’ve not found your sense of style and you still live in whatever is clean and comfy when you wake up 4 hours late for your 9AM and you’re trying to salvage what’s left of the day, that’s fine too. Take your time: experiment with different styles and try so many different things – style is a journey, not a destination. It is evolving and growing with you. If you think you’ve a unique style, or if you have any questions on fashion you’d like us to answer, then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.