Fashion trends are prevalent across social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, yet they’re also reflected in students’ clothing choices on campus. At the University, some students have begun experimenting with spring fashion items, like platform shoes, beaded jewelry and plaid jackets.
Clinical assistant professor of fashion Susan Becker said that for trends to occur, there must be an available supply of the trendy item.
She also said there has to be an absence of a trend before it can come back. If there is a fashion item people haven’t seen in a while, the item could come back as a trend.
She said that greater culture — like COVID-19 — can influence how people feel and their clothing choices.
“There are ways in which our clothing exists within greater culture,” Becker said, “Things like the pandemic, where we wanted to wear things that were nurturing and caring for us and soft. We can’t discount the ways that things like that affect trends.”
She said that people on campus may follow trends because clothing is associated with their identity. A lot of trends develop because people want to identify with a certain group of people, such as their friend group. Becker said that while some people might like a trend, other people may only wear trends so they don’t stick out.
She described the circle of influence that inspires people to adopt trends.
“I talk about how clothing is a language, and it communicates to the other people who speak the same language,” Becker said. “That circle of influence as far as how trends happen, it depends what circle you’re in and what kind of language amongst those people is spoken.”
Becker said that social media is also a big outlet for people to discover trends. She also said global manufacturing is a reason that trends are easier to adopt and extinguish quickly.
“In addition to social media, there also is a change in manufacturing that has allowed the fulfillment of that bigger demand,” Becker said, “because clothing can be manufactured at a lower price point and for higher volume overseas than it can here.”
Regarding trends on campus, Becker said clothes like plaid jackets are becoming trendy again because they were out of style for a while.
“There’s been such an — especially pandemic-wise — embracing of comfortable fabrics and knit fabrics, so something more tailored like a plaid or a wool (jacket) would feel very different from what we have been experiencing,” Becker said. “There is that classic lack in order to fill the presence of something new.”
Puffer jackets, trench coats and plaid jackets are some fashion items that students have been styling on campus this spring season.
“Right now, the puffer jackets kind of came back, so I’ll pick one thing that I like out of the trends I’ve been seeing and kind of incorporate that,” said Alyssa Solis, a junior in AHS.
Anika Chakraborti, a freshman in LAS, said she wants to wear her trench coat more this spring.
“It’s a beige wool coat as opposed to the puffer jacket I’ve thrown (on) a lot of the time,” Chakraborti said.
Sarah Tate, a sophomore in FAA, said she likes her puffer jacket and plaid jackets.
Other students say they have been wearing wider leg pants and straight leg jeans.
“At the moment, I would say I’m really enjoying wide-leg pants, like an oversized jean and a graphic hoodie,” said Victor Avitia, a junior in FAA.
“I really like the flare yogas. I’m very much into straight jeans, mom jeans. I’m kind of leaning more toward without the rips now,” Solis said.
“If I wear jeans they’re typically straight leg jeans. I have some wide-leg trousers I like, too,” Chakraborti said.
She also said she wants to try trousers with different types of materials, such as businesswear trousers. She would like to try wearing trousers in fun colors, such as pink and green. These colors could make the business look more casual.
Some students said they enjoy different colors for spring.
“For spring, specifically, it’s always the colors,” Avitia said. “I really enjoy a brighter color palette. I like when people aren’t afraid to experiment with color a bit.”
Avitia likes lime green, light blue, white and pink colors.
Olivia Lynch, a junior in LAS, said she wants to try wearing more flowy maxi skirts and dresses. She also likes pastel colors.
In terms of shoewear, some students said they’ve been wearing platform shoes, like Dr. Martens, boots, platform Converse and platform sandals.
Tate said she likes platform boots and Converse, and she owns a pair of off-white platform Converse. She wants to buy the Converse Chuck ’70s, which is currently her favorite style of shoe.
Emma Haugh-Ewald, a sophomore in FAA, said her favorite shoes to wear are her platform Converse. She’s also interested in buying Dr. Marten platform sandals.
Chakraborti has been sporting the Dr. Marten Adrian Loafers.
Some students say they want to experiment with jewelry and accessories for spring.
“I’m starting to veer more toward wooden beaded jewelry, like bracelets, necklaces (and) rings,” Tate said.
Brightly colored butterfly clips scattered throughout her hair or padded tiara-like headbands are some of the accessories Chakraborti said she likes.
Becker said that since she came to the University 15 years ago, she’s seen a change in how people wear fashion on campus.
“I have noticed in my time here of there being much more variety and much more experimentation,” Becker said. “That is exciting for me as a professor of fashion, it’s super fun to see that.”