Hot styles for hot days: Trends on the Danforth campus

Jillian Shah | Contributing Writer

The quad is once again littered with a backpack-carrying juggernaut, students have gasped at sightings of Chancellor Mark Wrighton in the Danforth University Center and it now takes four times longer to get pizza Postmated than it did during the summer. Ah, the beginning of the school year. With all the kinks of moving in and discovering that syllabus week lasts less than 10 minutes, I still managed to continue with my creepy habit of staring. As I tripped over stairs and squinted into oblivion while the sun burned my flesh this past week, I discovered a few style trends on campus. To jump onto the bandwagon of fashion trends at Wash. U. (or to avoid wearing the same outfit as your suitemate), keep on reading. 

It’s no surprise that the most sighted trend on campus for girls is miniskirts. Jean skirts were by far the most popular during the day; after the sun set, however, an onslaught of black leather could not be ignored. Solid colored crop tops and lace-up shirts were the typical icing on the cake, paired alongside classic black Vans or white Adidas Superstars. If you decide to head out this week in your favorite skirt, try something new. Pair a baggy tie-dye shirt, tucked into your skirt, and tie a flannel at the waist. A cute pair of Keds will round out the look, while still providing comfort. 

Sharon Park, Class of 2020.Jillian Shah | Student Life

Sharon Park, Class of 2020.

Another fashion favorite for females is none other than the basic sundress, and the option makes sense. These billowy drapes of fabric are easy to pull on, provide mobility and make you look like you spent time getting dressed when the reality is that you still haven’t showered. But the commonplace, solid-colored Old Navy sundress is becoming, well…too common. Try mixing it up with a denim jacket and some Sperrys. Finish the look with a high ponytail and a knotted bandana headband. 

Leah Kay Thompson, Class of 2021Jillian Shah | Student Life

Leah Kay Thompson, Class of 2021

Birkenstocks have become the Uggs of the fall season; for some reason, girls are drawn to the beauty in more subdued shoes. These shoes go well with just about everything: dresses, jeans, shorts and even potato sacks. While I admit that these beauties should be a staple in every wardrobe, be a little more adventurous when styling them. Why not slip on your Birkenstocks with some crew socks and short-alls? The possibilities are endless. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, try the ever-so-feared combination of Chacos and crew socks. It’s the perfect time to venture outside of your comfort zone and start a new trend on campus! 

The first day of class brought out polos in every color of the rainbow in the male realm. After the first few days, however, the polos were tucked away and Wash. U.-shirts replaced the collars and buttons. The guys on campus seem to have an affinity for functionality, a style choice I quite respect. These humble bookstore shirts can create a more unique outfit when paired with atypical accessories. For example, tuck one of these simple tops into a pair of relaxed-fit jeans rolled at the ankle. Slip on your favorite pair of Sperrys and prepare to be welcomed by compliments as you walk into class. OK…so maybe you won’t get many compliments with a look like that, but you never know, right?

Cameron Bryant, Class of 2021Aaron Brezel | Student Life

Cameron Bryant, Class of 2021

I must say that the male population on campus shares refined taste in footwear (well, as refined as a college kid can get). My personal favorite male shoe trend this past week was Sperrys dressed up with crew socks. The simple, yet defining, addition of the socks adds dimension to any outfit, taking one’s shoe game up from a solid four to an eight or nine. Vans, a favorite on the West Coast, have been spotted innumerable times on campus this past week. In fact, both Wash. U. guys and girls share a love of these fabric sneakers. With a chill beginning to set into the nighttime St. Louis air, I predict even more students trading in their Birkenstocks and Chacos for Vans.

Davis Holmes, Class of 2021.Jillian Shah | Student Life

Davis Holmes, Class of 2021.

Well, there you have it: the most revered trends on campus this past week. Fall will introduce new clothing staples, pumpkin spice lattes and freshmen crying over their derailing GPAs. When all is said and done, however, feel free to wear whatever you like (including potato sacks, togas and bubble suits). Years from today, your wardrobe will be replaced by suits and white coats and –so that Wash. U. shirt you were mailed with your admissions letter, and whether you wore skirts or sweatpants to class, will be irrelevant.