August 31st, 2016 at 2:10am

Hi everyone. I’m so hyped to be back for another semester as a Style Guru! To all the new faces, I’m John Wong, and I’m a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I can’t wait to show you guys all the incredible style that exists on my campus, while giving you guys a little glimpse into some of my daily looks as well.

My personal style is very runway-meets-the-street. If I see something that I like on the runway, I’ll do my best to translate that piece into my own closet (typically using cheaper alternatives because there’s nothing better than looking great while balling on a budget). I love combining a mix of high and low, and I always want my clothes to always tell the viewer in a reserved, yet subtly commanding way, “Don’t put me in a box.” But also keep in mind: your clothes can do a lot of the talking, but it’s your inner confidence that will truly bring the look to life.

For this look, it was all about nailing first impressions. Why? It’s the beginning of the new school year, hello! I went for a look that was very familiar to me–hence the black-on-black–but I also needed a look that translated well for the back-to-school vibe. I’m a big believer in throwing in some eclectics into an ensemble. Something that you don’t see in your run-of-the-mill look? Woven mesh. The black H&M netted shirt I’m wearing was no doubt one of my top three favorite shirt purchases this past year for me, because not only does it catch some double-takes, it also looks way more expensive than it actually is! It’s very Alexander Wang, without the Wang prices. My black leather shorts are something that I picked up at a local thrift store in my hometown. Funny story: they were actually long trousers before I had my way with them with a pair of scissors. A hem-stitch job later, and they were the baddest shorts ever.

Something that popped up on pretty much every cool kid’s Instagram this past summer? Rihanna’s faux-fur Puma slides. Trust me, just cause I saw them countless times on social media doesn’t mean I wasn’t hooked the very first time I laid eyes on them. I copped some in the newest color way-grey-to offset the black, and believe me when I saw they are as comfortable as they are stylish.

Lastly, what’s a back-to-school look without a backpack? I’m wearing my favorite gift I received just a few days ago for my 21st birthday-a Raf Simons eyelet backpack with chain strap detail. Nothing beats an avant-garde piece from Raf Simons, and this backpack truly shows it.

Hope you guys stick around, cause I got a few more tricks up my sleeve this semester!