Is it ‘In’ or ‘On the Way Out?’: Fashion Trends on Campus

Written by: Sarah “S.J.” Hines

Current trends have been spurred on by pop culture and other widespread movements. Apps such as TikTok, X (formerly known as Twitter), and Instagram have plagued the fashion industry with incoming trends. In this article, we’ll focus on the rising trends happening on campus–starting with the both highly-coveted yet infamous, Stanley Cup. Staying hydrated has become not only a hygienic and healthwise fad, but a worthy accessory in the form of fashionable water bottles, thermoses, and tumblers.

Other fashion trends have revolved around the “clean girl” aesthetic. Minimalist clothing, minimal makeup, and slicked-back hair are some of the trademarks of the “clean girl”. On the other side of the spectrum, is the arguably messier “grunge” or “alternative” look. Smudged eyeliner, clumpy mascara, and wild fringe or parted hair consist of this rising aesthetic. Either look is a resounding show of personality, however minimal or maximal they appear.

On campus, there has also been a rise in comfort and convenience, more so than ever before. Students are especially opting for wearing a nice pair of baggy sweats with baggy T-shirts rather than tight, restrictive clothing. There also seems to be a rise in the importance of the brand. Brands like Carhartt, Aerie, Uggs, and Vans– just to name a few –are as important as the look of the overall piece. The overall sense of fashion on campus seems to follow the idea of “quality over quantity.” And yet, “fast-fashion” apps like Shein, FashionNova, and Romwe are still in high demand. Their affordability and appeal stand out from the capital vacuum that the fashion world is in right now.

All in all, as Gen Z develops their sense of style, we see a rise in individualism. People are more likely to dress in the ways that they want, rather than following a trend to be considered “cool” or “with the times”.