There’s an equation that college + homework + lack of sleep = lazy wardrobe consisting of an abundance of yoga pants and oversized sweatshirts. Although this is a generalization, the equation would most likely be 99.9% accurate at many other public university’s where sports are the main attractions. Though being at a college where film, art, and writing are the backbones of the school, students embrace the chic, bohemian or “hipster” look non-consciously. I can testify for Emerson in saying that students’ styles contribute to their unique and individualized identities.
Being at Emerson for nearly two months, I’ve gained a somewhat clear representation of the student body and can safely say that no one has an exact style. Emerson is home to exploring passions, testing new fashion senses, and tasting the colors of multiple hair dyes. Creativity is prominent on and off campus, for it is seen in the anime lovers pinned hats, the rainbow-colored hair styles, the headphones blaring music that are rarely removed, and the band tee-shirts worn under jean jackets and heavy scarves. Because the words “budget” and “inexpensive” act as subtexts in most conversations, thrift shopping and embracing non-traditional styles are popular amongst students.
This “alternative department store” is home to Cambridge and Boston students and locals, and houses over 40,000 vintage and contemporary garments. The Thrift Shop Club at Emerson occasionally sets foot in this store, spending hours and hours browsing through “quality work clothes at low prices.” There really is something for everyone, and because the clothing is recycled amps up the store’s environmentally friendly status.
An example “casual” outfit that caters to students: high-waisted blue jeans, patterned crop top, leather ankle boots, and a floral print jacket. And for guys: dark jeans, a black leather jacket or flannel shirt, and leather shoes or Converse. For a more hip look, vibrantly-colored dresses with black tights and combat boots is prominent, or a button-up shirt and ripped jacket for guys. Well-rounded styles don’t equate to high prices. Emerson students are conscious of their budget and still manage to pull quirky looks.
In high school, I was the “non-traditional” or daring student who sported oversized army jackets, lace skirts and black tights, and wrote “teen angst” poetry in my notebook (that’s partially an overstatement). I wore too much make-up and was told, at times, that my style was “artsy” or Urban Outfitters wannabe hipster. I hardly made a conscious effort when choosing my clothes in the morning. Now being at Emerson, I feel comfortable in saying that most students here would think similarly and approach fashion through their own personal lens.
The distinctive styles of red and purple lipsticks, band tee-shirts, and laid-back, “I don’t give a f***” attitudes are what lacked at my previous school. Emerson students follow non-traditional styles. They are inspired by music, paintings, film, poetry, and runway shows, and they also invent their own individuated, significant looks. Friends of mine buy items from H&M and Nordstrom’s Rack and recreate outfits, showcasing that invention and creation are more important than fitting in and conforming to society’s traditional clothing standards.
Boston Street Fashion
Fashion is found in almost every large, metropolitan area, being in the midst of eclectic clothing shops, costume stores, and inspiring streets of color and noise and liveliness. San Francisco is known for evolved personal styles and Valencia Street (the city’s Mission District) multicolored shops. New York City is known for Fifth Avenue designer brands and Brooklyn art scenes. What’s Boston known for? Embracing nuance. Students and locals take the casual or simple look and individualize it, adding their own special touches.
So what exactly is Emerson style? No definite label can be placed, though each and every student follows their own intimate look, which gives the school its quirky name and characteristic atmosphere. Embrace “The Dark Style of the Moon” every once in a while and let your uniqueness illuminate.*
*(If you caught the reference without the help from your parents, congratulations. You’re already half-way there to being an Emersonian).