At 715 North Avenue stands the brick opening to Iona College. The walk ways are lined with trees of the changing fall leaves, and the midday sun shines on the many buildings across campus. Sidewalks are bustling with students going in every direction trying to arrive at their desired destinations. A slight fall chill hovers in the air with the changing of the seasons, which means the shorts and tank tops are packed away while sweaters, sweatshirts and boots are the new style for the time of year.
With each student passing by, a new combination of clothing is put into view creating a different look than the person before. There is more variety of fashion styles on today’s college campus than in a high school environment. According to students on campus, the difference between the two is no one cares about the diversity of fashion in college and the variety is good, whereas in high school there is a need to fit in with everyone else.
Iona College Junior Gabby Cocco believes there is a difference between college and high school fashion, especially from what she sees on the Iona campus.
“It’s college,” Cocco said. “Like if you were in high school obviously everybody would be like, oh that’s so weird why are you wearing that? Nobody, I feel like, really gives a crap in college.”
Choosing an outfit for the day in college has less to do with what other people are wearing and trying to fit in with the crowd and more to do with the weather outside and how the individual feels that particular day. One student can decide that it is a sweater and sweatpants day, while another decides to put more effort into an outfit as a whole. According to Cocco, there are times when she cares more about her make up than the clothes she decides to wear, and that is good enough for her.
Fashion Club President Jenny Aquino sees the mixture of fashions on the Iona campus as an interesting way for people to express themselves. According to her, a person’s outfit can seem awkward at first glance, but it is interestingly awkward. The clothes an individual decides to wear shows other people how that individual wants to express themselves and they won’t be judged for it.
“Fashion is a way to express yourself,” Aquino said. “I feel like the way somebody is wearing something that’s how they feel that day. That’s a way people can be interesting in their own way even if it’s something weird, like they put it together wrong or it doesn’t match or you’ve just never seen it before at the end of the day to that person that’s how they feel and I feel like that’s their way that they can express themselves and be comfortable with it.”
College is a more open environment where students can experiment with appearance, but avoid judgement.
“I feel like it’s more open, so here you can wear it and people don’t judge; this is like a judge free environment,” Aquino said.
With the acceptance of diverse fashions on campus, a sense of art is put into the styles worn around campus. This means more colors and patterns are used in everyday wear such as bright or neon colors according to Shadeana Lamby, treasurer of the Iona Fashion Club. Outfits don’t rely purely on black, white and grey. Instead there is an increase in color usage in the everyday clothing worn around campus.
Jasmine Lauture, secretary of the Iona Fashion Club, sees Iona as a form of expression because of the assortment of styles ranging from artsy to biker chick and everything in between.
“Fashion is overall an art, so I feel like being on campus everyone has their own type of fashion,” Lauture said.
The schedule of a student is another factor that is part of the decision process of students when deciding what to wear for the day. Iona College student Kerri Mattei has student teaching, classes, and works three jobs during the week. This impacts her outfit choice for most of the week because is required to dress a certain way for student teaching, and makes the choice to keep a similar appearance for class and work.
“Generally, I try to look nice for work and for my education classes because it sets a good tone since I’m supposed to be taking it seriously,” Mattei said.
An effect of the variety and individuality that comes from the ability to wear any style of clothing, whether it is because of a student’s schedule or simply by choice, is a level of confidence that students feel from their appearance. According to Mattei, she feels confident in herself the more she decides to dress up for in a day. The more effort she puts into the day’s outfit, more confidence she feels.
“Especially when I wear a new shirt, I tend to have really high self-confidence,” Mattei said.
Experiencing an open environment without judgement on campus also endorses a type of motivation as well as confidence, according to Cheslea Sambula Iona student and vice president of the Fashion Club. The more effort that is put into an outfit each day creates incentive to go out and make more out of the day, or to mingle with more people in order to show off the pieces of clothing that were put together.
“It’s kind of like a motivation,” Sambula said. “It’s just a motivation to do anything I have to do, or just to speak to more people or even just to go to the library for longer. It’s more motivation to just be myself and be out there and communicate and just be more on campus.”