Universities have never been immune to fashion trends. And today is no exception. College campuses are turning into virtual fashion runways. Students trampse around campus sporting the latest in fashion, from Uggs and hoodies (relatively fit for campus wear) to stiletto boots and skin-tight skinny jeans (not so fit for campus life). Trends toward high fashion on campus are surprising as often college students are poor; struggling for income, trying to pay rent for the first time, and having the looming cost of tuition and books. Yet, they some how tend to keep up!
The practicality of student fashion varies depending on the trends. One would think with all of the walking a student has to do around the campus of a university going from class to class that students would dress in relaxed-fit and comfortable clothing. Not the case. You have some women who are turning out college campuses by throwing on heels and enough accessories to make music as they walk. Heeled boots, sandals and pumps are seen year-round despite the harsh weather conditions of some college campuses.
Depending on location and type of school, students may dress more casually, urban, sophisticated or different in some way than the community surrounding the college. General fashion wardrobes differ as much from campus to campus as it would from city to city. Schools seem to have different norms when it comes to fashion. Students could be used to just walking out of the house with jeans and a t-shirt whereas other students may typically get more dressed up just for class.
Of course, a large portion of the student body could probably be caught spending multiple hours in the library with sweatpants, sweatshirts, oversize sweaters or any other cozy outfit. Those students, however, are also often finding trends of their own taste in casual wear. Many popular all-American designers such as American Eagle, Juicy Couture and Hollister are branding their own sweat suits in an effort to create wearable fashion for college students as well. With the democratization of fashion and the increasing accessibility of shopping, students are able to follow the trends when they care to do so.
Dressing more stylishly and fashionably brings something fun and exciting to the college environment. It adds an aspect of aesthetics that makes campus enjoyable. Gone are the days of uniforms, conservative wear or more formal apparel for structured university classes. Some may argue that classes could be more professional and enjoyable if students attire fit the scholastic scenery. To those who believe this way, my guess is that fashion will become more a statement of the burgeoning independence of the youthful college student. Say hello to the trendy campus; its here to stay.