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KELLY & NATHAN / "THE STATE OF WESLEYAN FASHION"

Nathan Kolodney: Writer 

Kelly Nano-Miranda: Interviewer, Photographer

Wesleyan University is a haven for creatives from all varieties, evidenced by our track record: Michael Bay, the Hamilton guy, and Bill Belichek. The fashion scene on campus is equally if not less iconic than these visionary forebearers; from underground streetwear brands like Doctor Martens to the avant-garde cutting-edge here-and-now jeans-so-big-I-trip-on-them, students at Wesleyan provide glimmering examples of what a fashion forward University could theoretically look like. To learn more about our peers' style, we went to one of the cool hang out spots on campus--known to some as “Usdan”--to ask them just how they do it.

First, we wanted to figure out who to blame for the eccentric outfits that everyone was wearing. After a few responses along the lines of

                                               ‘my fashion represents my artistic expression through the medium of fabric,

           we finally found some students willing to get to the point. Our favorite response came from a student who said their fashion was inspired by the terse duality of Adam Sandler and Freddy Mercury, while second place was awarded to FKA twigs and Solange. Another student, who may have thought that they could someday be funny, responded with the name Marc, leaving us unsettled as to whether they meant Jacobs, Anthony--or, realistically, Wahlberg. 

Once Billie Eilish was mentioned for the fourth time, we figured it was time to prompt some self-reflection. When we asked our peers how they would describe their personal style, they all said

                                                    ‘unique.’

                                                                 One wonders if anyone is really distinct in a place where everyone is so

         ‘idiosyncratic.’

                                   We did manage to collect a few more down to earth responses--our favorite being

'grandpa.'

            With a look of sincerity, severity, and even anguish in their eyes, another student explained that they would be a

                       'fashion show audience member, but not a fashion show model.'

Next, we asked students to reflect on the overall state of fashion on campus--and we were shocked to find that not everyone unconditionally loves Wesleyan as much as we do. Responses ranged from students were ferocious, ranging from

                                              'it’s okay to wear things that match'

                   to

                       'people dress super hippy' 

                                                      and entirely unironically

                  'they try too hard and it shows,'

                                                                       revealing a deep-seated mutual contempt that made us momentarily re-evaluate the uniformity that we were pretty certain we'd seen around campus. 

To finally, thank heavens, conclude our questionnaire, we prodded at the interrelation between fashion and the core tenet of Wesleyan’s identity, asking students what drug would best describe their personal style. While most people stuck to

                                           'weed' (lame),

                                                       one student expressed that their

                                 ‘subdued style’

                                          would be better categorized as

                      'a more extreme downer, like some kind of opioid' (concerning).

                                        After making sure this student was using opioids in an exclusively prosaic sense, we slouched on over to some other free thinkers. With some serious soul-searching, like a hemp-hoodie clad freshman trying mushrooms for the first time, we arrived at our favorite comment of the day. This insightful student stated, evoking at once Obi-Wan and that burnt-out turtle from Finding Nemo,

 

'I would say my style is like marijuana, because even though everyone may have similar styles, there's so many different versions, like, in the way that everyone smokes weed, but there's, like, a lot of different strains.'

We learned perhaps too much about the Wesleyan fashion scene over the course of the day. Our peers imparted untold wisdom, from outfit inspo, to harsh criticism friends and family, to the valuable lesson that we should never do anything like this ever again. The good people of Usdan left nothing on the broken, nailed-down table and helped us reach a better understanding of just what it is to get dressed at Wes.