Your BU Fashion Lookbook for the Fall Semester, According to BU Students

One of the first things I noted about fall at Boston University was how well students dressed for it. BU students dress to impress in all seasons, but autumn is really when Comm Ave turns into a catwalk. So when I flew back to Boston for my first fall semester on campus, I knew I had to assemble a fall wardrobe that could rival even the chicest of Pinterest boards. But as a South Florida native who has never experienced real fall weather, I knew that I needed a little help figuring out what styles worked best. I looked through magazines, browsed the “fall arrivals” page on my favorite online retailers, and even went to Her Campus Fashion Week. However, I still felt like my wardrobe didn’t quite capture that laid back yet well-tailored silhouette that has become an iconic part of contemporary New England fall fashion. Ultimately I realized that if I wanted good pointers, I would have to go straight to the source. So armed with my camera and notebook, I took to the streets to find real BU students and interview them about fall style trends.

1. Andy Xu

Credit: Madeleine Salman

For class in CGS, Andy was decked out in a pair of black cargo pants, a black crop top, and some silver and gold Nike Air Max sneakers. She accented her hip look with a nylon belt, silver belt chain, and blue & gold winged eyeliner. Andy's look was effortlessly chic and expressed her personality, all while still being comfortable. 

Q: What do you love most about fall fashion?

A: I like being able to dress cozier and wear pants.

Q: What is your go-to clothing item for fall?

A: A big fluffy jacket.

Q: Do you think being a student at BU makes you want to dress better?

A: Not really, I feel like being a student gives me an excuse to dress bummy and wear sweats every day, but I do like to try to dress nice sometimes.

Q: What is your philosophy on fashion?

A: Do whatever you want! Don’t be afraid to wear that outfit! Life is too short to be afraid of "questionable" fashion choices. 

2. Kim Zogg 

Credit: Madeleine Salman

I interviewed Kim on her way to study at the Student Union. She was wearing a pair of flowy green pants, a black tank top, an oversized khaki button-down, a black Nike baseball cap, and some Nike Air Force Ones. She accented her look with earrings she scored on Etsy, a gold nose ring, and a couple of layered dainty necklaces. The combination of delicate jewelry and earth-toned clothing puts a feminine twist on this season’s popular utilitarian look.

Q: What do you love most about fall fashion?

A: I like that the weather is cooler, but not below freezing like it is during the winter. So I can still wear a dope sweater without having to cover it up with a coat.

Q: What is your go-to clothing item for fall?

A: An oversized jacket.

Q: Do you think being a student at BU makes you want to dress better?

A: At BU, I feel free to express myself through clothes. I think that students at BU don’t really judge me based on what I am wearing, so I feel free to wear whatever makes me feel good. When I get to wear clothes that I like, I tend to put more effort into dressing well.

Q: What is your philosophy on fashion?

A: I like to wear clothes that make me feel physically comfortable and confident– things that look good, but don’t require a ton of effort to wear. But, overall, you should wear things that make you feel like you. 

3. Alexa Sy 

Credit: Madeleine Salman

I struck up a conversation with Alexa outside of the Student Union after her plaid coat caught my eye. Alexa looked smart in a pair of black skinny jeans, a black turtleneck, some platform Doc Marten boots, and of course, that awesome grey plaid blazer. She topped off her look with a messy bun and simple makeup. Most importantly, Alexa's bubbly attitude made a neutral, tailored, ensemble look youthful and fresh.

Q: What do you love most about fall fashion?

A: I love outerwear. Back home in Manila [Philippines], I don’t get to wear outerwear often because of the heat. I also love that I can layer clothes in the fall. Layering makes an outfit more interesting.

Q: What is your go-to clothing item for fall?

A: A blazer you can wear on top of a sweater. I also like to wear anything plaid with a simple silhouette.

Q: Do you think being a student at BU makes you want to dress better?

A: We go to school on a city campus, so we are incentivized to dress better. I also think that BU is a well-dressed school. So seeing other students look put together makes me want to dress well.

Q: What is your philosophy on fashion?

A: It's kind of cliché, but I believe in "less is more.” Looking good boils down to clean lines, well-tailored pieces, and nice outerwear. A good silhouette and a dash of confidence can take you anywhere. Just embrace your monochrome self!  

4. Kate Sandhee 

Credit: Madeleine Salman

I chatted with Kate while she was passing out flyers for BU student government in the GSU link. She looked funky in a pair of white jeans, a leopard peplum top, an oversized denim jacket, and a pair of classic Doc Marten boots. She finished her look off with a bright pink scrunchie and a pair of gold hoop earrings. When I asked Kate about her outfit, she said that this was her "laundry day look." Kudos to her, because I never look nearly as fashion-forward and confident when I run out of clean jeans.

Q: What do you love most about fall fashion?

A: I love the color palette in fall fashion. I'm inspired by the burnt oranges, emerald greens, and deep reds that you see in a lot of fall clothes. I also love that I can layer all these colors together in one outfit.

Q: What is your go-to clothing item for fall?

A: A vintage burnt orange corduroy jacket that I thrifted. I literally wear it every day. 

Q: Do you think being a student at BU makes you want to dress better?

A: Everyone at BU has nice outfits that they wear to class. When I was a freshman, I was inspired a lot by the upperclassmen. I would try to emulate the trends I saw them wearing.

Q: What is your philosophy on fashion?

A: For me, sustainability in fashion is most important. I buy clothes from brands that are ethical or I buy clothes from thrift stores. It's important that you feel good about where your clothes are coming from. Plus, thrifting is always fun because you never know what you are going to find.

5. Janette Frazier 

Credit: Madeleine Salman

I talked to Janette just outside of the Student Union after I spotted her distinctive green makeup and the silver stacked rings that glinted on each of her fingers. Janette's fall look consisted of a colorful striped sweater layered over a black turtleneck, a pair of green high-waisted pants, a silver belt chain, and some platform Doc Martens. Janette's outfit stood out in the crowd while still keeping her warm and cozy.

Q: What do you love most about fall fashion?

A: Layering! I'm from Florida and it's too hot to experiment with layering different pieces for an outfit. Fall in Boston is my chance to have fun with the items in my closet. 

Q: What is your go-to clothing item for fall?

A: I don’t think I have a single item I wear more than others. I just like to put on whatever is fun and fresh.

Q: Do you think being a student at BU makes you want to dress better?

A: Yeah, I think the way other people at BU dress makes me want to present myself nicely on Comm Ave.

Q: What is your philosophy on fashion?

A: Tailor your look to represent your best self and wear clothes that make your body look like it does in your head. 

6. Nicole Bell

Credit: Madeleine Salman

Nicole is one of my close friends here at BU and I always enjoy seeing the original and fashionable ways that she styles the same basic pieces. For this fall outfit, she is wearing a Free People bralette, jacket, and belt, a Fiorucci crop top, some distressed skinny jeans, a Free People belt, and lace-up ankle boots. Her outfit is a great example of how you can style pieces in many different ways and make it look like you bought a new wardrobe every season. 

Q: What do you love most about fall fashion?

A: I love that I can wear huge fluffy sweaters to cover up my chub but also call it fashion. They're also super comfy, but stylish at the same time.

Q: What is your go-to clothing item for fall?

A: My go-to item is always a good belt for my jeans. The belt is almost always from Free People.

Q: Do you think being a student at BU makes you want to dress better?

A: Not really, I feel like everyone here dresses how they want to. Some prefer to be casual and some are done up, but nobody actually cares.

Q: What is your philosophy on fashion?

A: I think you should do whatever you want and wear whatever you want as long as it's not outright offensive. I shouldn't care what others think about what you put on your body. After all, it's just clothes.

To sum up all of my findings, what BU students love most about fall fashion is the layered looks, cozy sweaters, and rich colors that characterize the season of pumpkin spice. The must-have fall essential is a toss-up between a comfortable, oversized jacket and a fun accessory that expresses your individuality. When I put all these ideas together I was able to assemble a wardrobe that will keep me looking and feeling good on even the chilliest autumn day. My results about fashion culture at BU are less clear-cut. Most of the women I interviewed said that the way people dress at BU inspires them to dress better, but none said that they ever felt there was an expectation to dress a certain way. More importantly, the women I interviewed all agreed that BU is a place where people are free to express themselves through clothing without fear of judgment. This concept goes hand-in-hand with their philosophies on fashion. Student fashion at BU has never been dictated by the current trends. Instead, it's about creating an atmosphere in which everyone can wear outfits that make them feel beautiful in every season.

The students I met all had drastically different approaches to fall fashion, but all of them emphasized the importance of feeling confident in whatever you wear. When it comes down to it, I think that’s what is special about fashion at Boston University.

 

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