College students' fashion borrows from earlier decades

Emily Artus, Staff Writer

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Photo credit

When todays college student was 10 years old, she never would have imagined looking at picture of her mother in the 90s and thinking, I wish I had those jean overalls with floral knee patches.

But now shes here, flipping through the Miracle Hill racks in search of the same pair her mother wore 20 years ago.

And North Greenville University students find themselves in similar pursuits of unique fashion.

Though NGUs college style has evolved over the years, todays fashions do owe themselves in part to past decades, especially from the 70s and forward.

In 1976, the floral prints were funky, the hats were floppy and the skirts were suede. And the decades fashions and trends have trickled into the closet of todays NGU girl.

Marketing major Abbee Kenney, whose closet is a jumble of embroidered cotton, cuffed denim and ornate paisleys, appeals to vintage fashions ––such as the 70s­­–– in an interesting way.

I try to pull off personas, says Kenney, who owns her fair share of wide-brim felt hats and suede miniskirts. If I wanted to be a girl from the 70s, I would wear my bell-sleeved dress with brown shoes and straight hair.

Loose, paisley bell sleeves and woven, camel-colored sandals ––like the ones Kenney mentioned–– comprise the majority of Targets 70s spring collection. The 70s have made a comeback all the way to major clothing stores like Belk, Urban Outfitters and Old Navy, all of which have slid the vintage styles back onto their racks.

Jump a decade further into 1986, and color blocking, shoulder pads and teased hair could be seen around campus. Today, 80s fashions like patterned headbands and leggings have cycled back into college style.

With a head of voluminous, 80s-esque curls, elementary education major Ellie Medford says she knows she would have been right at home 30 years ago, and Medford pulls style queues from the decade of Aquanet and acid wash jeans.

I like big floral prints, says Medford, who loves fit and flare dresses, a popular 80s style. I have to be big and bold!

The 80s was not known for its subtlety, and when it comes to fashion, neither is Medford, who says she loves to wear patterned leggings and colored tights, both 80s throwbacks.

One decade later in 1996 the year Vans opened and later became an NGU staple female students could be seen in plaid skirts, funky patterned sweaters and high-waisted jean shorts.

And many of the trends from 96 are making a comeback at NGU as students raid the Travelers Rest Miracle Hill for oversized sweaters, jean overalls and plaid button ups.

English Education major Bree Joplin is an avid fan of the classic 90s sitcom Friends, from which she draws fashion inspiration.

I just want to live like them [the shows characters] and dress like them, says Joplin. Like the cuffed jeans thing. If you cuff them at the bottom, it makes them look a little tighter, and they [the characters] do that in the early episodes of Friends.’”

And so, on an average school day, Joplin grabs her cuffed jeans, her Vans and her faded red, cropped t-shirt from a defunct brand called Produce Company. All in all, the look is very 90s inspired, and Joplin follows the current revival of trends from the era of her beloved Friends.

At NGU today, college fashion mixes retro influences with extreme comfort, and such comfort is seen with the rise of the college girl uniform: leggings, an oversized shirt and Chacos.

Psychology major Kaitlyn Robinson wears the uniform regularly, pulling out her opaque, black leggings and well-worn Chacos most mornings before school.

Robinson says she chooses her outfits so she will be be comfortable in her classes ––especially her chemistry lab–– and leaves her elbow-length, straight blonde hair down for minimal effort.

The first semester I curled it, says Robinson and begins to laugh. And then I decided Nope, not before my 8 a.m.s!’”

Robinsons bias for comfort is a growing college trend, and at NGU, the standard college girl outfit is a practical choice with all the uphill walks, three-hour labs and blocked classes.

But even this modern college style echoes the trends of the 80s and 90s when leggings were everywhere and shirts were oversized as well.

The revival of retro fashions seen around campus proves 2016 is a year of eclectic fashion, and at NGU, eclectic and quirky fashion is never a bad thing.

Editor's Note:  The Vision magazine, our sister publication, is on stands around campus now.   We are publishing shortened versions of some of the best Vision magazine articles, so be sure to check out the full-length stories of these are other items of interest to students at NGU.