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Back to School Street Styles

by Alena Blanes and Ally Buso

Back to school, back on trend.

Curating the perfect first-day outfit can be tricky. After a summer of beach days, internships, or lounging at home, it may feel like a struggle to get back on the school grind. But, a new year can be an opportunity to experiment with style as we transition from swimsuit to study season. So whether you’re all about the patterns, or a neutral enthusiast, get ready, because back-to-school fashion is back in season.

Here are some of the best first-week looks we caught on campus:

Lakeshore student poses on sidewalk
Photo by Ally Buso

Jacob | Advertising and Marketing Communications | Lakeshore

What is your favourite part of your outfit?

“I would have to say my shoes.”

Where do you normally shop?

“It really depends on the piece. To me, the brand doesn’t really matter. It definitely depends on the piece.”

What were you thinking when you dressed yourself this morning?

“I like to organize my outfit based on colour and style. So for today, I had it all ready beforehand.”

How would you describe your style?

“I would say hipster chic.”

Do you have any back-to-school styling tips? 

“Just wear comfortable clothes and make sure you look good because people like to look good.”

 

Student wearing overalls sits on stairs

Kristopher Phillips | Media Studies, Third-Year | UofGH | @kris_p41

What is your favourite part of your outfit?

“My overalls 100%. They’re a pretty rare item so they make me stand out.”

Where do you normally shop?

“I alternate between 3 places – Urban Outfitters sale rack, H&M, and various thrift stores.”

What were you thinking when you dressed yourself this morning?

“Well I started with the overalls as a statement piece and I look for the detailing on it which is: white, black and red. I then looked at the colour that was least used which was the red and picked a sweater that would accent the red on the overalls. I then chose the black low cut suede trainers for texture, and because I’m wearing shorts it wouldn’t make sense to wear high top shoes so I chose a lower cut, also there’s a bit of white on them and a small bit of gold that matches my watch and chain. When I accessorize I wear the silver ring with a black line because I have a silver eyebrow ring and a black nose ring, my bracelet is black as well and so is the du-rag.”

How would you describe your style?

“I’d say my style is a mix between mid and late 90’s with bigger looser fitting clothes and a father at a cookout, who’s on vacation for the first time in ten years.”

Do you have any back-to-school styling tips? 

“Just wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, you don’t have to follow trends to a T, just pick and chose things that you like from different styles and create your own unique look.”

 

Student poses in front of lockers

Jaime Velasquez | Cosmetic Management, First-Year | North | @jaimeevelasquez

What is your favourite part of your outfit?

“Probably my pants or my watch.”

Where do you normally shop?

“I like Topshop and H&M, it depends on the time of year.”

What were you thinking when you dressed yourself this morning?

“I wanted to be comfortable but also put together since it is the first week.”

How would you describe your style?

“I wear mostly neutral colours with a mix of pastels as well. But I can also be dressed in Adidas, so a mix of girly and sporty, I guess.”

Do you have any back-to-school styling tips? 

“Keep it simple and comfortable.”

 

Guelph-Humber student poses in front of flowers

Madeline Ricafort | Media Studies, Third-Year | UofGH | @maddiericafort

What is your favourite part of your outfit?

“My jeans. I like the distressed ends, but they are not distressed anywhere else, I think that makes it a little different. I like high-waisted pants and the fit is a little baggy. It’s different than my usual skinny jean. I got them from Garage.”

Where do you normally shop?

“For pants, Garage or sometimes I go to the Bay and I find Levi’s stuff which is pretty awesome. For tops, Aritzia mostly or maybe Free People.”

What were you thinking when you dressed yourself this morning?

“I wanted to wear pants today. Since it was going to be hot, I knew no sweaters, but I brought a jacket just in case it might be cold in a classroom. I was mainly thinking about being comfortable.”

How would you describe your style?

“Pretty casual I would say. On occasion I will dress more boho but only if I’m feeling it. But mainly casual stuff. Like jeans and a shirt, all the time.”

Do you have any back-to-school styling tips? 

“Honestly just dress for comfort. Especially when you are going to be in class for so long, you want to sit and just be comfortable.”

 

Lakeshore student poses on stairs
Photos by Ally Buso

Elizabeth Swales | Paralegal Studies | Lakeshore | @elizabethswales

What is your favourite part of your outfit?

“My favourite part of the outfit is the pants, I bought them a few weeks ago when I was in Lithuania. I have a really hard time finding business casual pants that I can wear to work and that I actually like so I was excited when I found these ones. Because I bought them when I was traveling they also already have great memories attached.”

Where do you normally shop?

“I usually shop at vintage stores. Mama Loves You is my favourite. There’s also one in London [Ontario] called The Sentimentalist that I go to when I’m there. I buy some basic stuff at Zara and H&M, but I usually try to avoid big fast fashion stores, I prefer buying from small business. I like that you can find weird unique pieces and vintage garments are often manufactured with higher quality construction so they last longer. I also worry about the environmental impact of fashion so I feel like buying vintage can help reduce textile waste a bit.”

What were you thinking when you dressed yourself this morning?

“This morning I was thinking about how hot it’s been and trying to layer since the weather has been a bit unpredictable and I thought the school might have high AC and be too cold. I was just trying to dress for all the temperatures.”

How would you describe your style?

“I would probably say my style is more classic, I like neutral colours and basic shapes, but I also like to add crazy prints or weird jewellery. I like really beautiful unique bags, jewellery and scarves so I try to keep my clothing kind of quiet to accent those.”

Do you have any back-to-school style tips?

“It’s not really a back to school tip, but something I’m trying to think about when I’m shopping is looking for good quality pieces that will last and can be repaired. I like to invest in classic things that I will have forever and usually try to avoid trends. Trying to lower my clothing consumption and choose things more carefully and sustainably is something I am trying to work on!”

 

Guelph-Humber student sits near plant wall

Ben Goz | Media Studies, Third-Year | UofGH | @ben.goz

What is your favourite part of your outfit?

“I’d say my belt. It’s actually made by a small Toronto company called STÖNE and Smokepurpp has the same belt in red, but this belt buckle is unique because there was only a handful of them made. ”

Where do you normally shop?

“I normally shop brands from Instagram, Supreme is probably my favourite.”

What were you thinking when you dressed yourself this morning?

“I wanted to be comfortable so that’s why I chose these pants.”

How would you describe your style?

“Bright, very bright.”

Do you have any back-to-school styling tips? 

“Look what other people are wearing and put your own style into that. That’s kind of what I do every year.”

 

Student poses in hallway near lockers

Taleen Bedrosian | Computer Engineering Technology, Second-Year | North | @curls.tb

What is your favourite part of your outfit?

“My favourite part of my outfit is the fact that this top looks like a tank top but it’s actually a bodysuit. It’s really hot outside so I’m wearing something open. My other favourite part would probably be my shoes because I really like sneakers.”

Where do you normally shop?

“I actually stopped going out to buy clothes. I literally only shop on Fashion Nova now. Fashion Nova is an online shopping website, that is strictly online, there are no physical store. I think they are meant for women who are a bit shorter and a little bigger in some areas because their clothes go to 3x. It’s really a brand that fits all sizes.”

What were you thinking when you dressed yourself this morning?

“I want to look a little stylish and a little chic for back to school. Everyone is wearing their cool new outfits, and I’m just trying to put something nice on.”

How would you describe your style?

“My style is very all over the place. I can go from wearing all solid colours, dark colours, to only nudes and whites. I also really like patterns, stripes and floral.”

Do you have any back-to-school styling tips? 

“I would say if you’re ordering clothes online to make sure you order everything before school starts. I have a Fashion Nova order that still hasn’t come in yet. And I would say dress comfortably, because when we’re sitting for like three hours, you don’t want to worry about being in pain or thinking your pants are too tight.”

 

Student poses in hallway

Paul Loggia | Project Management, First-Year | North | @paulloggia

What is your favourite part of your outfit?

“My Bob Marley shirt.”

Where do you normally shop?

“I like American Eagle.”

What were you thinking when you dressed yourself this morning?

“I wanted to wear my denim overshirt, but I didn’t want to wear blue jeans with it.”

How would you describe your style?

“A rock star wannabe without being too edgy.”

Do you have any back-to-school styling tips? 

“Try not to wear your ripped jeans on the first day, so you can make a good impression.”

*These interviews have been edited for clarity and length 


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