Case in point: it’s probably best that stylish coeds not take a page from my former fashion book and promenade the quad in my “uniform”—which was pleated/pegged jeans, jackets with shoulder pads, Keds, slouchy socks, hair scrunchies and purse, circa 1987. Instead, pair one perfectly tailored piece of distressed or acid-washed denim—such as skinny jeans, mini-skirts or form-fitting shorts in updated hues like light blue, gray or black—with monochromatic shirts, sweaters or leggings. Black and white are always right for these basics, but both girls and boys will also look pretty in pink, specifically hot pink or fuchsia as well as other candy colors like lemon yellow, cherry red, lime green, electric blue and bright purple.
Although it’s best to stick to a single shade when paired with acid-wash, the ladies shouldn’t be afraid to sport splashes of color or bold patterns on tights and leggings (zebra print, anyone?). Immensely popular right now, leggings are worn with everything from midriff skirts to sweater dresses, or underneath oversized white T-shirts. Tube dresses and skirts are another stylish way to wear both color and pattern, and show off a rockin‘ bod.
Obviously, baggy clothing is mostly out right now, but chicks who don’t look like toothpicks might prefer a pair of boyfriend jeans—worn-in, men’s-style jeans that sit low on the hips and are cut straight and loose through the leg, but not wide a la “U Can’t Touch This”-era MC Hammer. Roll up the cuffs and pair them with a belt and skintight tank-top or tucked-in frilly blouse for a look that’s sexy and slinky but also laid-back. If you like the long and loose boyfriend jacket, slip on skinny jeans and belt it or wear it over tailored trousers.
As to the boyfriends themselves, hip men are also wearing skinny pants and shorts, either in denim or a lightweight corduroy. Top them off with screen and novelty T-shirts and Ray-Ban sunglasses, and slip on a pair of retro Nike Blazers, Vans or Chuck Taylors or Judd-Nelson-in-The-Breakfast-Club-esque Doc Martens boots. Ladies can get in on the same look with chain-covered booties or boots of the patent leather and mid-calf riding variety. Michael Jackson is probably moonwalking across heaven to know that his military style, complete with studded belts, buckles and chains, is once again all the rage.
But don’t fret if all-out ’80s just ain’t your thing. The mod squad will dig the new Oxford loafers (opt for cheeky mixes of black and white or red), fedoras, suspenders, V-neck T-shirts and cardigans. Or give a shout-out to the “recent” ’90s with beanies and skullies or tailored, two-tone flannel or plaid shirts paired with denim shorts or pencil skirts. Girls can soften the look by wearing their hair loose with hippie braids and opting for dangly earrings that feature turquoise and other semi-precious stones.
Don any of these trends when you return to school this fall, and you’ll be sportin‘ a style that’s, dare-I-say, totally rad.