There's something to be said for individuality in the modern age of fashion. It's too common to see herds of students wearing variations of the same “trendy” outfit over and over, with the only individual factor being picking plum pants over maroon or army green Toms instead of black ones. Especially during midterm season, one could glance around and find ten of the same pair of Queen's sweatpants on any given afternoon on campus. So when I spotted this Fashionisto long boarding down University, I couldn't help but be inspired by his fresh take on cut, fit and use of colour, not to mention his eye-catching accessories. Ever wonder what the balance between mainstream trendy and personalized swag looks like? Check this guy out.
Name: Tom Yeates
Major: Computer Science
CollegeFashionista: What are you wearing?
Tom Yeates: This toque, I have no idea where it's from, my sister got it for me somewhere in Amsterdam. I'm wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses. My baseball shirt was like, two dollars from Valu Village and it's become a staple that I wear a lot. My cardigan is from Joe Fresh. Jeans from H&M, standard stuff. My watch is from a company in New York called Mishka who make a lot of hip hop and skater apparel, and Vans are Vans.
CF: How would you describe your personal style?
TY: That’s tough. I feel like I go back and forth between stuff. I really like the worn-in look, where it looks like I slept in my clothes because I probably did. I like what Alexander Wang started with the really baggy T-shirts with the fitted bottoms. I think it’s really cool and it’s really comfortable for campus, going to class and stuff.
CF: What would you say is your style Do and style Don’t for university students?
TY: I guess for don’t, I’ve made this mistake, don’t try too hard. I mean, you can try to be really stylish and it often looks like you’re trying to be really stylish. Wear what’s comfortable, but make it cool. A big do is have personal pieces and they can become staples. This baseball shirt, for example, is not a particularly anything shirt, but I wear it all the time just because I really like it. People always comment on it saying, “That’s your shirt”. You could wear your beat-up fedora, whatever, just don’t be afraid to wear it every day. People say not to wear stuff like that all the time, but it ends up becoming this weathered thing and this uncontrived, cool staple.
CF: What are your budget-friendly tips?
TY: Watch the Macklemore video “Thrift Shop” and he’ll teach you everything you need to know (laughs). But for real, go to thrift shops. That’s where you get the things that no one else has, and you kinda feel like it’s your thing because you put in the work to find it. The Valu Villages are the way to go. I just get clothes as presents and the only clothes I buy myself are from Valu Village. Also you can pull off something that isn’t “cool” if everything else you’re wearing is cool. So if you’re wearing skinny jeans, cool shoes and funky socks then you can wear an old, baggy flannel zip-up and it looks sweet because everything else is put together. People know already that you know what’s up, so you can wear something really crazy.
CF: What do you think makes your style different than everyone else’s style?
TY: I do different things for different occasions; I’m not exactly one style. Things that people have said to me about my style is that I can “pull things off” that other people can’t, and what that is I guess is confidence. If I like something, I’m going to wear it for myself. Wear what you think is cool because the confidence that you exert while you’re wearing it will make everyone else think you’re cool in a polarizing way. Not in a way that conforms to everyone else, but in a way that’s really unique. As long as you confidently like everything you’re wearing, they’ll like it too, even if it’s something they would never think to wear themselves.
How To: To achieve this Fashionisto's look, head to your local thrift shop and get hunting. Take quality basics like a pair of Vans or grey skinny jeans and mix and match these with vintage T-shirts, old wool sweaters or a worn-in leather jacket. Throw out the magazines and follow your own style compass to ensure maximum results. Top off with tiny, yet vibrant, accents like a colourful pair of socks or a bright statement watch. Most importantly, don't take yourself too seriously and embrace your own definition of “cool”.