Marquette Wire

The fashion of a college student

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  • College students' style varies coast to coast depending on weather
  • Clemson students may sport their school color, orange, on campus, and dress up for class
  • Many Belmont students wear a more "hipster" look, shopping at thrift stores and American Apparel
  • Many Marquette students say they dress in a trendy, casual style

A sea of orange meets the eye at Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., football games every fall.

Female students dress in orange sundresses, fraternity brothers wear orange button-down shirts and khakis, and the rest of the student body wears orange T-shirts, said Dan Mills, a sophomore at Clemson.

Michael Virostek, a freshman and a fraternity member at Clemson, said he wears a coat and tie to football games.

Students also dress up during the winter, Mills said.

"People don't understand cold," Mills said. "It's 35-degree weather and people are wearing shorts."

Sperry's boat shoes, Rainbow-brand flip-flops, T-shirts with pockets and wearing sunglasses on cords around their necks are popular with students on campus too, he said.

While Clemson students sport school colors in their apparel, fashion on college campuses varies from coast to coast. Some students report Ugg boots paired with jeans or with black leggings and a North Face fleece to be their college uniform. Others wear skinny jeans and baggy sweaters. It all depends on where you go to school, students said.

"It's all dependent on the weather," said Kyle Farmer, a fashion design instructor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Farmer said when he taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga., students did not care as much about their clothes because of the hot weather. But students in San Francisco are much more trend-driven. The way fashion students dress and experiment is almost as important as their studies, he said.

Skinny jeans, cropped trousers, burlesque fashion reminiscent of the 1940s and heavily bleached, asymmetrical haircuts are all apparent on campus.

"It's quite European, cosmopolitan," Farmer said. "You don't get the preppiness. It is very fashion forward."

Students at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., also dress in an artsy, vintage fashion.

Many of Belmont's 4,500 students major in the university's music business program, said Greta Kovach, a freshman. Both male and female students wear skinny jeans, as well as baggy sweaters, scarves, cardigans and an "emo swoosh haircut," she said.

"That whole hipster look is the dominant look here. It's kind of intimidating," Kovach said. "It gets to the point where everyone's looking the same and that's no fun."

American Apparel, Anthropologie and thrift stores are popular places to shop. Kovach said she has also noticed an updated, female version of the mullet haircut on campus.

"They all look like they walked out of their grandparent's closet from the 70s," Kovach said.

On the East Coast, a preppy style is more apparent at some schools.

At Providence College, Providence, R.I., female students wear Seven For All Mankind or True Religion jeans to class, as well as Uggs, a North Face and a J. Crew headband, said Meredyth Lacombe, a sophomore. Most male students wear jeans, polo and button-down shirts, boating shoes and Nantucket Reds-brand clothes, she said.

"Really preppy, I know," Lacombe said. "Basically everyone dresses like that."

Many students also dress up for class at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va. Few people wear sweats to class-just athletes, said Peggy Newman, a senior. In warm weather, some female students wear sundresses. Few wear high heels because campus is paved in bricks, she said.

Many Marquette students said daytime style is casual.

Jamie Cannarozzi, a sophomore in the College of Education, said students' clothes are functional, with an emphasis on warmth.

"I was surprised that everyone dressed so similarly, like (wearing) North Faces," Cannarrozzi said. "It's refreshing when I see someone who has their unique style, who breaks the North Face mold."

Jeans and sweatshirts are also popular choices for students, said Lisa Youngvorst, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. She said she and her friends call the look "the Marquette uniform."

Brad Schwei, a senior in the College of Business Administration, said some students in the College of Business Administration dress up for class but that most students at Marquette are a mix of trendy and preppy.

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