Fashion says “me too,” Style says “only me” –Lynn Dell
Trash those Lulu Lemon pants, kick off those Sperrys, and say goodbye to Brandy Melville – Chapman students bring a unique style and new meaning to the term fashion.
“My style, like myself, is constantly changing, and people are always evolving,” said sophomore business major Illyssa Le.
Students who call the Chapman community fashion forward are the same students who give meaning to the word fashion. Whether it’s following trends or personalizing looks, the outfit choices students make go beyond pieces of cloth sewn together. It reflects their personality.
“A T-shirt that has a pun on it. That’s Jillian, that’s me,” said senior psychology major Jillian Strong.
Strong is a naturally humorous person, and sometimes her shirt shows it, such as her shirt with the saying “Anything that doesn’t have to do with elephants is irrelephant,” emblazoned across the front.
Usually, Strong is wearing an outfit that mirrors her emotions that day. From wearing cute boots and a dress one day, to wearing a completely relaxed jean and T-shirt look the next.
Freshman business administration major Sienna Duran–Kneip noticed that from high school to college, students went from pajamas to heels. While she doesn’t feel there’s judgment, she admits she could see how students dressed down could stand out.
Chapman students still tend to dress up even when they’re dressing down. Which may just look like an attempt for students to keep up their appearance, but it’s also a small task to make them feel good.
Sophomore psychology major Ariann Ghorbanian said she doesn’t want to be underdressed on campus.
Ghorbanian said she feels more comfortable and happy when she puts more effort into her outfits. She is a strong believer in the saying: “If you look good, you feel good.” However, Ghorbanian realizes that everyone’s idea of good differs.
For Le, feeling good is when leggings and sweatpants aren’t the only option in her wardrobe.
“When I’m wearing sweatpants I don’t feel like I’m up on my game, I don’t feel like I’m 100 percent myself,” said Le.
Le runs two blogs, one that expresses her personal style and another that shares her lifestyle. Like her blogs, her outfits share a little bit about her life too.
Still keeping up with current trends, an unchanging factor is her family’s influence on her style.
“My dad, he’s like an old man. He wears a lot of the Hawaiian print shirts that everyone hates, but I secretly love,” Le said. “I wear a lot of the novelty print shirts, so I guess I’m a mix of old and new.”
While away from their families, professors also seem to inspire some students.
Junior television and writing producer major Cooper Stowers, gets his style from the old 40s looks of Frank Sinatra and classic movies; yet on campus, he admires the outfits of history professor, William Cumiford.
“His pocket square and tie collection is incredible. If you ever see him around, people need to take notes,” said Stowers.
Cumiford was pleased to hear that Stowers was interested in dressing nicer. Cumiford said he would encourage his students not to emulate his style, but to be aware that how they dress will send a message; and dressing nice sends a message of respect.
“I don’t have hobbies, I don’t spend money on cars, or many vacations, I like to spend money on clothes,” Cumiford said.
When it comes to his personal style, Cumiford said that he owns around 200 neckties, 40 pocket squares, 32 fedoras and panamas, 30 jackets, 30 pairs of slacks and 20 pairs of shoes that he mixes and matches.
While he enjoys wearing his casual shirts and cotton pants, Stowers dedicates at least every Wednesday to wearing a suit.
“The frat boy look,” with Sperrys and shorts is a trend Stowers hates. He said it’s the least amount of effort someone could put into an outfit, then just not wearing a shirt at all.
Athletic wear is another trend Stowers has seen, which he thinks is comfortable, but he also thinks Chapman students could step up their game a bit.
However, other students would disagree.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of stepping up your game, it’s a matter of self expression,” said Luis Casavantes, senior creative writing major. “Fashion is a medium through which you can express yourself and your aesthetic.”
Casavantes said many students wear similar outfits, and says that it can get hard to tell the students apart. However, when someone’s outfit pops, that person pops too.
Sophomore friends, English major Jade Boren, and creative writing producer major Abbey Hirsch were students who followed the Chapman trends during their freshman year.
From buying Tory Burch sandals and carrying bags, Hirsch and Boren found their inner Kylie Jenner and personalized their looks.
Walking through campus, you’ll see Hirsch’s athletic leisure outfits, and Boren strutting her knee high boots.
While some students don’t feel comfortable dressing down, Boren and Hirsch don’t feel like they could dress up. Walking around campus Hirsch said she would rather see someone with a crazy style that completely avoids the norm, rather than someone not trying at all.
Junior documentary major Moon Mandel, is someone who could care less about the fashion norm, even if she’s the only one rocking her pajamas.
Mandel loves seeing students expressing their style, but she’s not proud of the competition that comes forward. She believes people shouldn’t cherish brands names or think one is better than another.
“We all make choices as to what we want to put on our bodies,” Mandel said. “My choice is my choice and your choice is your choice. We’re like two ships in the night, you know?”
Multiple subcategories define the norm at Chapman, said Mandel. However, she believes everyone is their own clothing artist.
“Everyone should feel free to do their own freak, just fly their own weird flag,” said Mandel.