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Finding Your Style: A Guide to Wake’s Top Fashions

Wherever you go on Wake’s campus, you are bound to run into five basic styles: the preppy sophisticate, the big city chic, the bohemian, the chameleon and the classic. Not sure where you fall on the spectrum or how to spot these common themes on campus? Below is a field guide to each group’s telltale signs, their favorite stores, and the style icons they emulate.

The Preppy Sophisticate

We all have that friend whose entire wardrobe seems to have walked right out of a J.Crew Catalogue. The ultimate benefit to this look is the sheer timelessness that seems to say, “I have my life together.” The perfect color for the preppy sophisticate is navy displayed in prints such as stripes or color blocking. The preppy sophisticate loves structured pieces with clean lines and collars. She exudes professionalism and class. 

Common Accessories: monograms, ballet flats, bows

Style Icons: Jackie O, Tory Burch, Kate Middleton

Favorite Stores: J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, Lilly Pulitzer

(Jill Nagle ’15)

Big City Chic

Everyone has that one girl in her class who just oozes style. She looks as if she should be at next week’s NYFW instead of walking around Winston Salem. She is the girl who had a peplum pencil skirt before peplum was a thing and they always seem to know that *insert color here* is the new black. Sometimes, you will wonder how she fits that many clothes into one tiny dorm room closet, as you will never see her repeat an outfit. In order to stay ahead of the rest of the fashion world, the big city chic must watch endless seasons of Project Runway and read Vogue alongside her textbooks. These fashion gurus are often seen in animal prints and in all black.

Common Accessories: sunglasses, heels, statement necklaces

Style Icons: Gwen Stefani, Victoria Beckham, Heidi Klum

Favorite Stores: Michael Kors, Zara, Bloomingdales

The bohemian

Don’t even get me started on the girl in the Pit who seems to effortlessly pull off a maxi skirt, an oversized band t-shirt and the messy braid! This person is anyone who has mastered the art of comfort without looking like they just got out of bed. Typically, anything fringed, oversized, braided or knitted is a safe bet for this group. Earth tones are highly encouraged, if not required. Major benefit: you will always be warm in the winter, as layering is a factor in every outfit.

Common Accessories: nose ring, long wavy hair, leather bracelets

Style Icons: The Olsen Twins, Kiera Knightly, Kate Moss

Favorite Stores: Free People, Urban Outfitters,

(Bridgette Fucigna ’17)

The Chameleon

There is also the elusive chameleon: her wardrobe seems never ending and every day is a new surprise and twist. One day she may give a nod to Zooey Deschanel and the next explore men’s wear mixed with Audrey Hepburn. Overalls? Sure, why not. Leg warmers? Sounds great. It’s this cavalier attitude that makes their outfit work and makes the rest of us jealous. Previous generations, like the 80’s, or childhood characters can often inspire them. No idea or look is off limits and it is impossible for them to stay within the lines.

Common Accessories: glasses, colorful hair, exposed socks

Style Icons: Whoever floats their fancy that day

Favorite Stores: Vintage stores, grandmother’s closet, boutiques


The Classic

And then there’s the Classic WFU uniform. With winter, flannel has inevitably replaced the v-neck; but the leggings, boots, and ponytail still remain a staple. Except on occasion, the majority of us find ourselves in that exact outfit. But who can blame us? Leggings are an amazing invention! There are always new cute t-shirts being ordered by the campus organizations you are involved in that are perfect for being comfortable while showing support. When you wake up for your 8 a.m. at 7:55 a.m., nobody can tell that you forgot to brush your hair, when it’s in a ponytail or bun. Plus with winter still here, it’s cold enough that your most important clothing article is your coat. The Pros are it’s comfortable and classic. Cons are it is likely you will show up to lunch wearing the same outfit as your friend(s).

Common Accessories: boots, scarf, backpack

Style Icons: the girl in your Spanish class, your sorority’s president, lumberjacks

Favorite Stores: WFU Deacon store, your sorority, Frye


No matter what style suits you, don’t let yourself be lost within it: put your own personality into any outfit and own your closet. The compliments and admiration will follow. 


*Article by Corina Wixon

Corina Wixon is a Junior Economics Major at Wake Forest.
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