Toronto is bustling with culture, art, and expression. Considering that UTSG is located in the centre of the city, it is no surprise to see that many U of T students dress stylishly. To dig deeper into where students get their fashion inspiration from, The Varsity interviewed students around St. George Street.
Yueyang: third-year undergraduate, psychology
When picking out an outfit for the day, Yueyang considers two things: the weather and her mood. She likes to spice an outfit up by using various accessories, like her dolphin earrings.
Yueyang likes Japanese fashion and often turns to Japanese magazines and dramas for inspiration. Most of her clothes are purchased online, but she also visits the Eaton Centre to see if anything catches her eye. She leans toward basic items and neutrals but will not shy away from an item with a pop of colour.
Fred: first-year masters, engineering
Fred prefers to have multiple neutral-coloured items in his closet, which he can combine to effortlessly form different outfits.
On some days, Lucas constructs an outfit by putting on some music and letting his mood pick out the pieces he wants to wear. On other days, he keeps it comfortable with sweatpants and a hoodie. He finds his fashion inspiration from apps like Pinterest and TikTok.
Recently, he has begun going to thrift events to find items. He usually goes to them without expectations of what he will find, but he comes out with unique pieces that are great additions to his closet.
Chirag: first-year undergraduate, computer science
Chirag’s biggest fashion inspiration comes from the singer/rapper Jaden Smith. He likes that Jaden Smith is not afraid to express himself or let the opinions of others dictate his fashion choices.
Chirag prioritizes comfort over looks and tends to lean toward baggy clothing. Nike Dunks, baggy jeans, baggy sweatpants, and oversized hoodies are essential items in his closet.
Tokoloko (TK): third-year undergraduate, psychology and sociology
The most significant factor for TK when deciding her outfits is choosing pieces that make her feel empowered. She strives to have her outfits reflect how she is feeling, keep her comfortable, and empower her to be the best version of herself.
TK’s fashion is inspired by the different styles of other students she sees on the U of T campuses. She also likes to find inspiration from online sources like Pinterest.
Matthew: second-year undergraduate, architecture and visual studies
Bold outfits and compliments being exchanged between students are things Matthew has grown accustomed to seeing on the regular as a U of T student. Studying in the Daniels Faculty, Mathew feels like a member of a close-knit community, which makes them more comfortable using fashion as a way of self-expression.
Matthew’s style is a mixture of street style and athletic wear. They find that neutral pants and shoes serve as the easiest starting point for additions of colour and accent pieces. When shopping for clothing, Matthew searches for clothes from the early 2000s era. Matthew draws inspiration from the streetwear/skater style of clothing their older siblings used to wear back then.
Val: fourth-year undergraduate, sexual diversity and minors in environmental science and English literature
On this day, Val wore black pants, a black shirt with ruffles in the front, and a herringbone coat over top. She chose to wear this top because she felt that it encompassed the theme of what she was learning in the British literature class that she attended. With this outfit on, Val felt more immersed in her class and the content she was learning about.
Val looks to different historical eras as a source of inspiration. She likes Victorian gothic fashion, seventies glam rock, and the 1990’s grunge movement. Her wardrobe is composed of soft fabrics, velvet, cozy sweaters, and denim. She tends to gravitate toward darker jewel and muted tones such as emerald, black, and deep red. She aims to always have something in her outfit stand out, so that she is expressing herself every day through her clothes.
Caleb: third-year undergraduate, cognitive science
Caleb’s main source of style inspiration comes from Y2K fashion. He takes inspiration from pictures of what his parents wore during this era. He is also influenced by the simple and comfortable, yet stylish style of Pharrell Williams, American record producer, singer, and rapper.
During the lockdown at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Caleb took the opportunity to explore different styles. He has gone through a few style phases throughout his life — from having to wear uniforms, to having an unsure fashion direction, and to exploring a preppy look. However, over the past few years, he has begun to settle into his own style: the Y2K aesthetic.
Clothing seems to be a common medium for self expression amongst the U of T student community. Clothes are not just items that keep you warm — a person’s outfit can be an indication of their mood, culture, the kind of music they listen to, or even the classes they are currently taking. An outfit can show the world a bit of your personality, without you having to say a word.
What does your outfit say about you?