College Style Battle: Athleisure vs. Preppy


Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that the athleisure trend has absolutely taken over the fashion industry (luxury included) and that almost everyone is embracing the trend in one way or another. Now, when defining athleisure, it’s insufficient to say that it’s a blend of leisure and athletic wear as it has transcended the original idea and is now an all-encompassing fashion phenomenon. This is a trend that goes beyond rocking stylish sweats and sports bras on the streets or matching tracksuits with heels. Today, an outfit that contains even just one garment that is deemed ‘sporty’ is considered athleisure as this trend has completed its mission, the mission is becoming almost omnipresent in every outfit we decide to rock.

Why do we love it?

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The answer to this question is quite simple – the trend came to bridge the gap between the overly formal and the overly informal. It came into our lives in order to make them easier, to allow us to simply glide from one errand, arrangement or obligation to another without having to change our clothes (and waste the little time in a day we have). However, with its rise, came numerous variations in which to rock it – now it’s completely acceptable, if not cool, to wear a suit with tennis shoes, to rock evening dresses and romantic tulle skirts with hoodies and sneakers, and to even mix and match – put on a nice crisp white button-up, an oversized blazer and a pair of elegant wide-leg pants and complete the look with, say, a fresh new pair of New Balance sneakers. Essentially, the trend keeps on transforming, and it seems to be getting bigger – from the puffer jackets and slouchy jeans seen in this season’s menswear collections, and the now incredibly trendy pants with the sporty stripe on the side – who knows what the future of athleisure looks like. The one thing we do know is that the millennial generation, as well as this still quite unnamed, perhaps the college-attending Z generation, loves the trend, along with the lifestyle it stands for.

Whatever happened to good old preppy?

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Well, according to both Vogue and numerous lines that came strutting down the runways this year, one thing can be said with certainty – the preppy is back. Now, before you get your pearls and your sensible oxfords and loafers (which you are very welcome to do), you should be warned that, just as any other trend, the preppy has gone through some changes of its own. First of all, it’s become a tad more eccentric and bold, particularly in terms of mixing prints and patterns, which is highly evident in such collections as the Balenciaga spring line. The stripy shirts are still here, along with the conservative and length-appropriate skirts, and even chinos are making a comeback, but we can’t help but notice the ironic vibe in the way the collections have been executed. It’s almost like the cardigans and the crew sweaters tied around the shoulders aim to represent the preppy person as a kind of an old-school, old money stereotype. It’s almost satirical is what it is. As stated by Vogue, the trick to rocking preppy this season is to take a preppy piece (the polo, creased chinos), and then completely dismantle the look with an unexpected silhouette (cropped, oversized) or color – the bolder and more outrageous, the better, and finish the look off with something very street style-adjacent – the cheaper, the better. When in doubt, unbutton the collar or flash a sliver of skin for a dash of sex appeal.

Is there a fight here at all?

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From what we can tell by analyzing the current shape and form of the two trends, in their intentions, they don’t differ much. Athleisure may be the trend de jour while the preppy look may have taken a more subversive route, but they both share one thing in common – a kind of fashion rebellion we’ve been waiting for for quite some time. Now, perhaps not all of the pieces will get along just perfectly, but in the world where fashion has become everything and anything you want it to be, from our perspective, there is no battle – embrace items and garments from both styles, rock them seriously or ironically, and don’t be afraid to mix and match. By the looks of the garments, it seems that they will get along just fine, as long as you get a bit creative.

What we have to understand about the millennial generation is that they’re all about fluidity. Therefore, if you were expecting a fist fight between the two style movements, sorry to disappoint you – nothing to see here but perfect experimentation and harmony. The new generations are all about meshing and blending, and with a little effort, you can rock both styles impeccably, and look super cool even if you throw on a string of pearls – ironically or not.

Summer Fashion Trends for Guys

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When it comes to style, girls usually have their eyes on the what’s new and fresh. But staying up-to-date on fashion isn’t just essential for girls, it’s also a must for guys who want to look and feel their best. Summer break is the perfect time to update an old wardrobe or to refresh your seasonal outfits. We’ve picked out our top eight trends you won’t want to leave out of your beach, dress, and relaxed wear.


8 Summer Fashion Trends for Guys

1. Multi-Colored Collar

This is a total throwback to the ‘80s and early ‘90s — but a multi-colored, wide opening, or “Cuban” collar is killing it this year. It’s casual, edgy, and totally fun to play around with. Rock red-with-black, white-and-gold, or tan-on-brown for color combos that echo back to a riskier style period.


2. Geometric Patterns

In the summer, lazy solids are usually the go-to look, but we’re seeing a huge push for geometrically inspired prints on everything from t-shirts and pant designs to outerwear. It’s especially popular in a video game color scheme such as red, yellow, and blue or white, gray and black.


3. Emerald and Earth

Speaking of color, you’ll want to be sure you’re stocked up on all shades green. We’re talking both tops, bottoms, and accessories. Green is killing it on the runway because it’s both vibrant and bold, making it a good match with earthy pairings such as tans and browns.


4. Distressed Everything

Denim will most likely never go away, especially in American fashion. But we’re sick of clean cut, work appropriate-only looks. Take the scissors and go to town on your pair of old jeans. Beat them up, while you’re at it! Distressed looks are an easy way to mellow-out your style while still staying in the know.


5. Worker’s Hats

In terms of head wear, vintage was all the rage last year. You’ll now want to keep those at home while heading to the beach or commuting to your summer job. Instead, grab a hat that has a wider, less angled head piece. Think construction worker hat (without being shiny and hard) meets the classic baseball cap.


6. Leather Strap Sandals

You may love those sporty sandals you can take to the pool, but they won’t score you any fashion points. What’s hot in footwear for males has to be the leather strap sandals. Black, brown, gray, or tan, you can pair just about any look with the variety of sandals out there. And the higher quality the leather is, the dressier it can get. For the super fashion forward, don’t be afraid to wear some socks with it. Socks and sandals are here to stay for another season.


7. Light Rain Jackets

Who wants to deal with heavy or tight-fitting coats when it’s a monsoon outside? We recommend picking up a light fabric, low-key rain jacket. White or even translucent is really making the rounds, and we especially love a more oversized, anorak look.


8. East Asian Designs

Call this another flashback to the ‘80s: East Asian street wear is coming around again. Dragons, gold, flowers, and lace patterns make huge hits, especially on bomber jackets or silk pajama pants. You’ll need confidence to pull it off, but it’s so worth it for the head turning effect.

10 of Our Favorite Vintage Inspired College Fashion Finds


Vintage chic is always in. Whether you’re rocking your favorite old school hoodie or walking around campus in weathered sneakers, there are so many style choices that fit your lifestyle. If you’re ready to step back in time, this list of ten vintage inspired college fashion finds will help you shop and hunt for the right wardrobe accessory.


  1. Faux Fur Stole

White faux fur is back in, especially when wrapped around the shoulders of a colorful dress or a black blouse. Add a shiny pin at the knot to add a bit of eye-pop appeal. You’ll feel like a million bucks in this rich look. But act quickly! This trend is only appropriate for the cold winter months.

  1. Vibrant Broaches

Broaches were so your grandma’s thing — which means it’s time to raid your grandma’s jewelry collection! Broaches, especially of animals like birds or leopards, are back in! They pair great with a simple dress or sweater when you’re not feeling a necklace or want to try out the scarf trend.


  1. Charlie Chaplin Hats

Hats in general have been slowly making a comeback, but this year is all about the 1920s Charlie Chaplin hat (also known as a bowler hat). You’ll want your hair to be sleek and smooth to pull it off. Add some vintage sunglasses like cat eyes (see #4), and you’ve got a great look for heading out on campus.

  1. Cat-Eyed Sunglasses

Cat eyes are the rage this year. If you’ve got the face to pull it off, this look may become your go-to favorite for all eye wear. Pick out a frame that is bold in color, such as a pastel pink or a lime green. Studs or diamonds only accent this style even more to our liking.


  1. Letterman Jackets

Take off the patches of your high school letterman jacket. It’s time to recycle a look you just wore proudly years ago. Don’t have one? Look for one in black with white or red accents. Pair them with ankle skinny pants and a pair of high top sneakers.

  1. Pleated and Ribbed Skirts

On the softer side is the return of the pleated or ribbed skirt. Go with a longer length (knee is in) and  in a flowing color such as a very light pink or trendy white and match with a pull over sweater. It’s functional, comfortable, and right out of a 1950s Parisian cafe.

  1. French Scarf

Speaking of France, we can’t forget the French’s favorite accent piece — the scarf. A vintage staple piece, just not too long ago everyone tied them big and chunky. This year, you’re going to want to go think and silky (or pleated). Instead of a complicated knot, go with a large bow around the neck or drape it so that it flows down the v-neck like a necklace.


  1. Silk Sheath Dresses

This trend isn’t that vintage. But the early 1990s love of pajama wear is back, especially for dressier looks. Basically, shop for a dress that resembles pajamas. Silk with lace or shiny fabrics should be your go-to. Pair with chunkier heels when taking this out on the town.

  1. 1940s-style Logo Sweatshirts

Nothing says college like your school’s logo or name across your chest. Head to your bookstore or an online shop to find a vintage sweatshirt. You’ll love the brighter colors, the less intimidating fonts, and the lack of hoodie.

  1. Flowy Sleeves

Skip the tight or ¾ sleeve this year and instead look to the ‘60s and ‘70s for your blouse inspiration. Sleeves should be flowy while also draping your arms. Over the shoulder necklines are also super desirable making them the perfect wear for winter changing into spring!

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Top Nine Fashion Trends for College Guys


Okay everybody, it’s time to talk fashion. What you wear can have a huge impact on what others think of you, as well as how you feel about yourself. So stop hiding under baggy sweats and old baseball caps. Up your style game by following some of these top nine fashion trends for guys.

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  1. The Upgraded Sweatshirt

Sure, you love your hoodie with your college’s colors or letters. But instead of wearing it 24/7, turn it in for a sweatshirt with style. In right now are hoodies with cardigan like features (think chunky buttons), those in multi-colors (black and gray ), and sweatshirts that are slim fitted.

  1. The Winter-Proof Sweater

Speaking of hoodies, if you’re heading out on a winter date, try pulling on a heavy sweater. Don’t go oversized or ill-fitted. Instead, pick a sweater that is light enough it can be layered. We love a good knit sweater in a dark gray or a classic v-neck.

  1. The Unique Pair of Socks

Want to make a statement without rocking the boat? Try a pair of socks. Easily covered up as well as shown, men’s socks are huge trend makers. You can get clever ones with pictures and phrases or go for modern, art deco in neon colors.


  1. The Vintage Footwear

Chucks, Keds, and Converse are all coming back this year as the must have-shoe. They are great at taking a dressier look and bringing it back to college level awesomeness. But if you do want something more dressy but still comfy, check out shoe brands like Nike and Adidas twists on their iconic sneakers.

  1. The Classy Flannel

Every college guy has got to have flannel. But don’t stick with that beat up button down your grandpa gave you. Instead, try on a slim or trim fit flannel that hugs your body, rather than covers it up. It’ll turn more heads and can be worn layered without being too bulky.

  1. The Must-Have Accessory

What’s on your body is only half the battle. Your outfit will not be complete without a watch. This year, watches are leaning two ways — high-tech and all-natural. High-tech watches include smart watches and even athletic watches. Find one that’s understated (jet black is best). For the natural look, check out watches made out of real wood. It makes a great, functional statement piece.


  1. The Simple Peacoat

When picking a coat that can transition from day to night, men are unfortunately not left with many choices. That’s why it is essential to outfit your fall and winter wardrobe with a peacoat. For the highest quality, go wool (but check the care label before washing). You’ll want one to wear when out on a date, at an internship interview, or attending a networking session.

  1. The Well-Fitted Dark Suit

Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you should leave the suit behind. You’ll need a well-fitted suit sooner than you think for occasions like fraternity events or meetings with potential employers. To stay ahead of the trend, invest in a dark black or gray suit. Don’t forget that quality and fit mean everything, so if possible, save up for this big expense.

  1. The Comfy, Single Colored T-Shirt

Not everything has to be suits and ties or pea coats and sweaters. If your look is more laid back, don’t forget to stock your closet with the comfy t-shirt. Sure, your band’s logo is killer, but you should also have plenty of single color shirts for layering purposes or to wear around campus. Keep them in great condition and they become a lifesaver when you just need something to toss on over a pair of jeans.