November 1, 2015

Campus Collective

Now that I've been back on university campus for two months, there are some very definitive trends that have arisen. In fact, spend just one day walking around campus, and you'll have acquired a full trend report by the end of it. This is where trends become amplified, and we sometimes spin inexorably towards a campus of carbon copies. Nonetheless, below are some trends I observed during September and early October. Entering the meat of autumn, new trends have already begun popping up (I've already seen four UGG boots on campus...why do people continue to wear boots that resemble loaves of bread?), so let's get started!

Ripped Jeans

Ripped jeans were cool when we were angsty teenagers, and now they're back for the grown up stylish set. There are two versions of this trend: boyfriend jeans with tears along the leg, or skinnies with rips across the knees. If you ask me, I prefer the former because the sight of two bare kneecaps can sometimes chop up the flow of an outfit. Plus it's not particularly flattering when one has to sit and one's bent knees cause the seemingly narrow rips to become gaping holes. But while ripped jeans generally elicit cries of confusion from people who don't understand the concept of buying ruined jeans - you know what, I get it. These aren't just any ol' rips. These rips don't resemble regular wear and tear because they are consciously created as part of the design. I call it "strategically ripped" (a phrase to which a guy friend of mine looks at me like I'm insane and cackles in dismay at the state of the world). But regardless, these rips are done just so and placed just so to make it a visual statement rather than a sign of sloppiness.

Blanket Scarves

So forget about tying a button-up shirt around your waist, the trendy thing to do this season is drape a scarf across your shoulders. Instead of a shirt flapping nonchalantly against your hip, now it's all about the dynamic movements of a scarf fluttering in your wake. I'm pretty sure this is a remnant of Burberry Fall/Winter 2014 (those blanket shawls!) finally catching on among the younger crowd. I do enjoy this trend, though. Its ease and oversized stature are really hitting the current cultural mood: cool and carefree. I can attest this trend is definitely worth a try; I felt amazing when I tried it out earlier this summer. Although, as a word of warning, if you are using a scarf as a poncho, it can sometimes be difficult to keep the scarf in place and arm movements can be limited. But hey, you only need a still shot for your Instagram anyway.


This was not a trend I had at all anticipated, but here it is, materializing before my very eyes on campus. I knew sneakers were all the rage over the summer, and I had expected to see more rubber pounding the pavement, but instead, girls are taking the comfort trend in another direction: Sperrys. In all honesty, I haven't seen Sperrys cropping up in any street style photos (or elsewhere, for that matter), so I'm guessing this is simply localized within the campus crowd. Coincidentally, just this summer, I discovered my grandmother's pair of old cognac leather loafers in the basement. I've been giving those loafers a second life, and although they are a great way to add colour and texture to an outfit, they can sometimes be too chunky and casual to do some outfits justice.

Thigh-High Socks

Admittedly I haven't seen this look happening too often on campus, but because of its complexity, it's worth a mention. The mini skirt - thigh-high socks - ankle boots combo. It's a look that can be cute, sexy and indie all at the same time, but it requires many parts of the equation to align flawlessly in order to work. Frankly, there are certain leg shapes that will pull this off better (ie. long and lean), and you have to be comfortable wearing a short skirt because you'll need to ensure you show off enough skin to achieve the look (tip: go with a romper!). Shoes can be heeled or flat, but generally look best when they hit the ankle bone or slightly above, and fit snugly around the ankle. Socks should be of thicker material and not look to be pinching your thighs. But despite these guidelines, the look can be quite hit or miss; sometimes girls look great in it, sometimes the outfit looks choppy and awkward.

Bodycon/Ribbed Dress

I have an inkling this trend was inspired by Kim Kardashian and her curve-hugging dresses, although, bodycon dresses have been around for years; what makes them so special this year? One, the fabric. The latest bodycon dresses are often done in ribbed fabric or thin material (quite unforgiving!). Two, the colour. For some reason, grey is the go-to shade. A Google Image search of simply "ribbed dress" will give you almost two entire rows of grey dresses. Perhaps people are drawn to its casual yet steely vibe, or grey just so happens to be a great neutral for pairing with other pieces. Three, the neckline. Necklines that cut in like a halter with two spaghetti straps are quite popular, and even if they don't cut in, the dress is at least sleeveless. I am personally not a fan of this neckline on myself because I don't like how my shoulders and marshmallow-soft upper arms look in it, but all the more power to girls who rock it. Last but not least, the hemline. I suppose to combat the seductiveness of va-va-voom curves, the latest bodycon dresses tend to hit at the knees or below. A surprising move to modesty, but I'd say it's a good design decision to keep this trend just the right amount of classy.

Image Source: Jeans,Scarf, Sperry, Socks, Dress

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