Thrifty and Gifted: A Look at Campus Looks | Well-being 22


For many of us, “Zoom University” might be the time to create a digital character the size of the rectangular box on the platform. Making sure the background behind your chair was clean – even when the rest of your room wasn’t – and perfecting your adjustments from the chest down have become must-haves for brave students who have chosen to keep their cameras on.

Returning to classes in person unfortunately means that we are going to be seen by others again, a personally upsetting fact apparently only comforted by the fact that at least half of my face is covered in a mask.

Yet students have returned in droves. Some are adopting new looks and some are saying goodbye to fashion fundamentals of the past like skinny jeans and bras. The last 18 months of online school and free time spent mindlessly browsing the internet has also opened up opportunities for exploring self-expression, freeing up many old rigid societal expectations of what style is.

If anything has come in the year and a half of the world crumbling beneath our feet, we’ve had time to reassess what’s important to us – as cheesy as it sounds. After all, as long as someone feels like it, that’s the style.






Tate linden

It’s no surprise that freshman Tate Linden wore her Timberland boots. They are an everyday staple, he said.

Linden enjoys second-hand shopping, and you can usually find it at Goodwill outlets due to the variety of unique pieces available.

Starting college and returning to in-person activities gave Linden more opportunities to plan for fashionable outfits compared to when he was educated online during the pandemic.

“It’s fun to be able to get dressed and finally have things to do,” Linden said.






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An-Doan Nguyen (left) + Hannah Jiang (right)

Grade 1 An-Doan Nguyen sees his style as a form of self-expression. Finding her own fashion sense and choosing outfits that she likes helps build confidence, she said.

Two pieces of Nguyen’s outfit have special significance: her aunt bought the earrings on a trip to Singapore, and her jacket belonged to her mother. While many garments and accessories are mass produced, items like Nguyen’s earrings and jacket are invaluable due to the history and family bond behind them.

Like many of this generation, fellow first-year Hannah Jiang takes inspiration from social media. She follows various influencers and content creators on Instagram and YouTube.

YouTube creator better dressed inspired Jiang to try and explore new fashion looks; bestdressed also designed the earrings Jiang wore.

Jiang enjoys shopping at thrift stores. Her colorful sweater was from Red Light Vintage on the Ave and her undershirt was from Crossroads Trading Co.






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Kaitlyn milliken

Economy and creativity are at the heart of Kaitlyn Milliken’s style in third grade. She prides herself on looking for cheap parts, a practice that benefits the environment and her wallet. She found her pants in the $ 1 trash at a thrift store and borrowed the shirt from her roommate.

Milliken’s outfits exemplify his creativity and self-expression.

“I like to switch between more feminine and more masculine things,” Milliken said.






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Sebastien kuhn

Take a stroll around the campus and you might come across one of the many skaters who take to Red Square on those rare cloudless days. Sebastian Kuhn, first year, in his Carhartt overalls, may be one of them.

From Vans to Thrasher, some brands have long been associated with the skateboarder and streetwear aesthetic. Many passionate skateboarders choose comfortable and practical clothes and light shoes on the feet.

Kuhn mixes and matches her outfits, from sporting goods to thrift stores to family items.

“Most of my fashion comes from my sister,” Kuhn said. “She’s really into it and gives me everything [of] her old clothes that she doesn’t like.

Her ring was from her sister and her sweatshirt from her grandmother, while her overalls were spared, contributing to a personal look that Kuhn calls “skateboard-y”.






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Anna tsou

Like many UW students, first-year Anna Tsou buys most of her clothes at thrift stores. She supports second-hand shopping because it’s better for the environment, she said.

However, not all of her clothes are purchased in a store.

Tsou’s jacket was once worn by her mother when she was her age, which gave it sentimental value.

“I just wear clothes that I find cute to make me feel better,” Tsou said. “I’m doing it just for myself.”






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Indu Natarajan

First year Indu Natarajan’s pants were originally his father’s pants; her bag originally belonged to her mother.

The best way to describe her style? Lots of freebies, she said – and savings.

“Whenever I go out with friends, I look around the neighborhood for little shops or antique shops,” Natarajan said. “I try to limit my wardrobe to things that I think could work well together so that putting together an outfit isn’t too difficult.”






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Thompson’s Wren

For graduate student Wren Thompson, she and fashion have a “love-hate relationship.”

Growing up, Thompson said she was rural and “hippie”. Then she moved to New York.

“I was like, ‘Oh, I have to care about how I look,’” Thompson said.

Over time, Thompson has come to cultivate a personal style that seems to exist alongside the intersection of casual and business casual – a distinct and unique fashion group, she said.






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Julia Thomas (left) + Alex Gonzalez (right)

Second-year student Julia Thomas’ style is what she calls “very chaotic,” shifting from aesthetic to aesthetic seemingly every day.

“Some days I’ll be completely cottagecore,” Thomas said. “Other days it’s Parisian, and other days it’s Gothic.

Alex Gonzalez, also a sophomore, likes to alternate between academic and streetwear.

“It’s a good balance between being a student and spending time with friends,” he said.






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Jonathan Dubreuil

Second-year Jonathan Dubreuil wore a vintage Yankees jersey, a 16th birthday gift from his father’s closet.

Companies like H&M and Uniqlo provide Dubreuil with much of the basics, but you can also find him shopping at thrift stores like Crossroads Trading Co.

His style has evolved – he no longer emphasizes what to wear ahead of time, attributing much of his style to his confidence.

“Half the battle is putting on the outfit and walking in front of the door,” Dubreuil said. “I used to think a lot about what I was wearing. Now I wake up. In shape.”






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Jade dickinson

Outfits layered with black clothes and a plethora of accessories – from chains and spikes to fishnets and leather – that’s how you’ll find freshman Jade Dickinson strolling around campus.

Still, labeling her style is something difficult to do, Dickinson said.

Influenced by the traditional Gothic style of the 1980s, while also drawing on the aesthetics of her favorite bands such as Depeche Mode, The Cure and Vision Video, she ultimately wears what makes her happy.

“I don’t dress for anyone else,” Dickinson said. “And dressing like I do helps my self-confidence and social anxiety.”

Valley of Roses Boutique on the Ave, Depop and Tripp NYC are just a few of the places that provide Dickinson’s growing wardrobe. She alters certain pieces, such as her mask adorned with safety pins and her torn pantyhose.

“I strongly believe in modifying your clothes the way you want, and in some ways I love it more than just buying a piece of clothing,” Dickinson said. “Buying second-hand clothes and modifying items is not only good for the environment, but much more rewarding for someone who loves fashion. “






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John Song

Grade 1 John Song describes his style as a mix of casual and streetwear. He loves Japanese designer Takahiro Miyashita’s The Soloist brand; Song likes to buy expensive clothes, but the prices are skyrocketing. He grew up in Korea where he spent a lot of time in thrift stores.






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Lillian holombo

“I kind of wear what makes me happy,” said first year Lillian Holombo. “I have been told that I dress in blocks of color, much like an old man.”

Holombo likes to buy pants from Levi’s because apparently they are the only brand that looks good on them. They also like to do thrift stores at Goodwill and Crossroads Trading Co.






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Sarah elkan

The best way to describe the style of first year Sarah Elkan is as “vintage rodeo clown,” they said.

“I like to dress in a fun way,” Elkan said. “If that makes me laugh, then I want to wear it.”

Take a walk around campus and you’ll see students finding what works for them. Shopping second-hand, borrowing from friends and family, and getting inspiration from influencers are just a few of the ways students create their own unique style.

Contact reporter Hannah Sheil at [email protected] Twitter: @thehannahsheil

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