Sunday, August 9, 2020

Q&A: Fashion on campus

November 21, 2019
Journalism Senior Chiehyi Tsui poses for a portrait on Novemebr 19, 2019.
Journalism Senior Chiehyi Tsui poses for a portrait on Novemebr 19, 2019. —
Photo by Connor Desilets | The State News

Walking Michigan State’s campus, there are students dressed in leisure, high-end and even pajama-like apparel. Every day, students express themselves through what they wear. 

Six MSU students discuss their take on fashion, their personal style and how their peers dress. 

Akshit Bansal, computer science freshman

He describes his style as “subdued.”

Bansal is new to East Lansing. He said the only mall he has been to is the Meridian Mall. 

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How would you define your style?

I prefer to wear subdued clothes, not too much design. In the winter, I prefer darker clothes. In the summer, I prefer lighter colors. I always wear jeans.

Why does dressing as such matter to you?

I believe that the kind of clothes you wear enhances your physique, and if you wear wrong-fitted clothes, you can look way worse.

What does fashion mean to you?

I don’t think too much about fashion, and I don’t spend too much time trying to change my look. ... I  spend a lot of time looking for good clothes, but other than that, I don’t care too much about fashion.

Lina Jebara, computer science senior

She describes her style as “comfy.”

Jebara said her mom once told her she dressed like a grandma. She normally wears high-waisted jeans and looser-fitting clothing. In the winter, she said she avoids wearing jackets and prefers to layer her clothing. 

Define your style, in general.

I am really forward about my sustainability, so I try to thrift as much as possible. ... Most of my sweaters are thrifted. I like wearing usually band tees for my T-shirts. Jeans and pants, usually those are harder to thrift because I am short.

On average, how much do you think you spend at the thrift store?

Not much, I think this sweater was four bucks, which is tight because I feel like a regular price would be around $30. This still had the tag on it when I got it, too, which is great. Relatively, maybe 10 to 15 bucks per trip ... for three or four pieces.

What does fashion mean to you?

I feel like it is definitely a form of expression. Throughout high school, I normally tried too hard to get a look going. I feel that sometimes I can look at someone and see what they’re wearing, and just know what kind of person they are or have an idea of what they’re into. I feel that it’s definitely how you can express yourself without talking.

Chiehyi Tsui, Journalism senior 

She describes her style as “positive.”

Tsui said she wants everyone not to follow trends, but instead to find their own sense of style. 

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Why do you dress the way you do? What motivates you to get up in the morning and put on the outfits that you put on?

I think when I wear (my) outfits, I am more comfortable and I am more confident. When I face others, I’m more comfortable, and I’m more willing to have a positive attitude during the day.

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Where do you normally shop? What stores are your favorite? Do you online shop or go to department stores? 

I do both of them. When I go online shopping, there is a website called Net-a-Porter, and other than that, I shop Zara and H&M. 

I don’t usually ... shop here because there isn’t a lot of clothing stores near East Lansing.

What does fashion mean to you?

I think fashion means (something different) to every person. It may be different in my mind and in other peoples’ thoughts. 

It looks nice. It makes you feel confident, it makes you feel happy and have a good mood. That’s what fashion means to me.

Eryn Savage, arts and humanities freshman

She describes her style as “chill.”

Savage said she normally shops at TJ Maxx and Forever 21. Her average outfit costs around $30. She’s into catching deals. 

Savage said she also went to a high school where she had to wear a uniform.

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How did you see the change of clothing from high school to college? Was there a shock factor to see how everybody dressed in college?

I expected it, honestly. I went to a high school where we wore uniforms a lot, but it was new to me to wear something other than my school colors every day. But I have gotten used to it since then.

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Did you face any challenges with that?

When I first got here, I pretty much would plan out what I would wear. I would put a lot — a lot — of thought into it. I would wake up extra early trying to figure out what I am going to wear for that day. But now, I still pick out what I want to wear and plan it out, but I just don’t put as much thought into it. It just comes out.

Why do you think that some people on campus dress “better” or “worse” than others?

Sometimes money plays a factor in how people dress “better” or “worse.” Not everyone has a lot of money, and they don’t have money to walk around in Huaraches or Gucci. Also, accessibility. Some people may not have access to really good clothing stores.

John Okoniewski, neuroscience freshman

He describes his style as “simple.”

Okoniewski said he buys one quality piece every now and then to have something that will last. Adidas and Lululemon are some of the quality places he goes to, or he’ll go to Plato’s Closet or the Salvation Army for something cheaper. 

How do you think other people on campus dress?

That’s a good question. I think everybody has their own sense of personal style. For me, I don’t really try to judge people by how they dress, but I know some people do, and it’s a superficial way of looking at somebody. 

Overall, I would say not that many people put a lot of thought into it. Or as much thought as others do, but there is definitely a majority of people (who) don’t put as much into it as others — how much time you spend thinking about what you are going to wear. For me, maybe it is a guy thing. I don’t really know the gender differences, but I do know my sisters are always worried about what they are going to wear. I’ll wear the same thing three days in a row.

How would you define your fashion style?

Whatever is easiest. I don’t really try. I put a little bit of thought into it, but I try to keep it simple. I wear a lot of the same stuff — minimalistic. I like keeping it black or neutral colors like black, brown, white, grey, blue. I don’t really go graphic T-shirts. ... It is more just plain and simple.

What does fashion mean to you?

Basically, just my outward portrayal on how I show myself to the world. 

First impressions. People see what you’re wearing. They will not always judge you based off of that, but it’s something you can notice. Those things do matter in some settings. That’s why it can be helpful to be your best person in job interviews, dress up nice ... and try to portray your best side. 

You don’t have to do that every single day — that’s my discrepancy. I don’t want to have to worry about it every single day when I walk outside. Once in a while for job interviews, a date or something important, I’ll actually put time and effort into it. Otherwise, I try not to let it control what I am going to be doing because if I’m just going to class, then I’m just going to class. I don’t care what the other kids think of me for what I am wearing. If I’m going somewhere important or if it matters, then I’m going to dress up and be put together.

Agbele Dagbovie, education sophomore

He describes his style as “unique.” 

On average, Dagbovie said his outfits would cost him around $500. He normally shops at Ssense or StockX, which sell brands such as Balenciaga, Gucci and Fendi. StockX sells different streetwear brands. 

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Why does dressing like you do matter to you?

I feel you can have your own personality in the way you dress, and I think I try to be unique with my fashion. 

I try to dress different than everybody. I think that really shapes my personality.

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Is fashion anywhere in your future?

I’ve just liked dressing up ever since I was 10. ... I am not saying I was so much different than everybody, but everybody thought I had style different from everybody else. 

In the future, I really don’t see myself doing that much in fashion, but I always like dressing up.

Why do you think some people dress better than others on campus?

Well, I think it’s all about their personality and how they really want to express themselves. Some people just like going to class wearing whatever. Some people like dressing nice. I think it’s all about how somebody feels that day.

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