From little black dresses to snapback hats, there are a wide variety of clothing items and accessories for men and women. But in Southern California, one of the trendiest places in the nation, there are still a few items that every college student should have in his or her closet.
These essentials can be dressed up or down to match the latest styles and trends. Fashion experts and Chapman students take a look at fun ways to keep must-haves up-to-date.
1. Cozy flannel: The classic flannel isn’t just for farmers anymore. It does justice for any woman, said Michelle Whitaker, department manager for Urban Outfitters in Fashion Island. A flannel can be paired with leggings, thrown over a little black dress, or can provide a colorful contrast against a lace hi-low maxi dress.
“Flannels can be dressed down when worn with cut-off jean shorts and boots, or dressed up over a nice dress with some heels,” Whitaker said.
2. Chucks: Converse’s Chuck Taylors accompany just about any outfit. Freshman psychology major Brooke Martini said she has five pairs of Chucks in white, black, blue, grey and pink.
“They are easy to wear and basically go with everything,” Martini said. “I wear them to a lot of themed events or venue parties.”
It’s not just the low top shoes that are popular, but the high tops are trending right now as well, Whitaker said. Women are spicing up the shoes and wearing them with just about anything this season: floral dresses, cutoff jeans or even military-inspired pieces if going for an edgier look.
3. Dark wash skinny jeans: Even though the dark wash skinny jean is great for any season, this spring it is being worked with sorbet tops and platform heels, said Seven for All Man Kind’s assistant store manager Ralph Rivera.
Dark skinnies are seen all over Southern California paired with bright sorbet blouses and platform shoes. They also go great with spring’s blooming military trend, Rivera said.
Shilpa Prabhakar, InStyle assistant fashion editor, said it’s the versatility that makes this fashion a go-to for women.
“A pair of dark skinny jeans can be tucked into boots, thrown on with sneakers or paired with pumps for a night out,” she said.
1. Polo: In a busy college life full of interviews, fraternity meetings and internships, nothing says put-together better than a classic polo shirt, said Vineyard Vines employee Nicole Macbeth.
“We definitely get a lot of our traffic from college-aged men,” she said. “We sell a ton of polos to our younger customers.”
Senior business administration major Bryce Miller said he owns at least six.
“I usually wear polos for semi-casual events with khakis or even when I go out for drinks,” Miller said. “I will always have a polo in my closet.”
2. Sperry shoes: A classic boat shoe is something every man should own, said Fashion Island’s Sperry store manager Joe Mendoza. The shoes can be worn when attending business functions or relaxing around town, and Sperry recently released a spring line with neon accents that are more up-to-date with the latest trends.
“Sperry’s are timeless shoes that don’t go out of style and can be worn year round,” Mendoza said.
Junior biology and chemistry double major Cody Arbuckle said he has three pairs of boat shoes.
“I have two different leather pairs and a blue pair,” Arbuckle said. “They are comfy and they look good. Mostly all of my friends wear Sperry as well.”
3. Cotton button down dress shirt: This fresh piece can be tucked into khaki pants and shorts, or even worn under a heavier sweater. The look is business casual with a side of prep, said Armand Sawyer, Fashion Island’s Urban Outfitters men’s team leader.
Senior business major Jeri Luntanen was born and raised in Finland, where his family works in the fashion industry.
“I wear the button up because I am used to dressing in Europe, where fashion is more trendy and preppy,” Luntanen said. “It has been colder, so today I am layering it under a half-zip sweater.”
4. Large- faced watch: For some women, wearing a watch is for checking the time between classes, but for others like freshman theatre major Jordana Lilly, it’s a trendy and must-have ornament.
“I wear it as an accessory,” said Lilly, who has a rose gold large-face watch. “It’s like a bracelet and it also serves a practical function. But my phone will always be there to tell me the time.”
Most men don’t take advantage of accessories, Sawyer said.
Senior business major Carter Haslam said he wears his Michael Kors watch everyday.
“My watch is classy and sophisticated but still a little flashy,” Haslam said. “I get a lot of compliments on it.”
Sawyer said the design of a watch matters most in making a statement.
“The style and color of the watch doesn’t matter,” Sawyer said. “It’s all about the big face.”