U of T Fashion File

During my first year at U of T I learned a lot. I learned that if P then Q, and I also learned to never wear sweatpants on Bloor Street West. People always associate U of T with stress and Starbucks. The new “s” in town should be STYLE. U of T has such a diverse array of fashion hotspots that you get a different vibe from East to West.

Before coming to this school I was like “OMG I so need to buy adult clothes” … so I went to H&M and bought anything that screamed “I listen to obscure bands and don’t eat meat.” That was my first impression of U of T students (I’m from New College, which is at the heart of hipster central). However, after the first semester, I realized that there were SO many different environments here and there is still room for my own style. So I thought it would be fun to put to test the critical reasoning skills I gained in my first year and use them to map out 5 fashion hot-spots on campus.

Methodology: I don’t intend to stereotype by localizing the styles. Rather I created outfits based on observation, empiricism. I have established the following dichotomies according to my observations:

Victoria College (plaid skirt on map) : Rugby-inspired looks. Oxford meets Robert Pattinson. Hey, I ain’t complain’. The highlight of my day is bumping into a Vic boy with Raybans and a classic blazer. It gives me hope that one day I will find my very own Nick Jonas. Vic looks often include Keds, Boyfriend Blazers, Raybans, crests, Rugby stripes and a coffee mug, of course.



Bloor Street West (pencil grid on map): Lady Gaga meets everyday. Where every latest fashion trend can be spotted. I love window shopping on Bloor during classes. Well actually I don’t really go into the high-end stores…I just like to people watch. Bloor West outfits give me couture-in-the-city fits. You know that feeling when you see a classic Chanel bag paired with breathtaking Yves Saint Laurent heels? A rare sight in suburbia.

Hipster Central (pink zone on map): U of T hipsters are not negative soul drainers like average Toronto hipsters past the age of 25. U of T is home to intellectual hipsters: a new cross-breed which has an amazing taste in music and tells the most interesting tales.


Drama Club (theatre masks on map): This area has many refined badasses and caged explorers — you know, those who have dreams to TRAVEL the world, learn to ride a motorcycle or learn the secrets of a language for fun WITHOUT being tied down by school commitments. Their style is so eclectic that it makes you wonder what they are doing in school.

St. Mikes at Night (disco ball on map): St.Mikes is known for many things, especially their parties. But not many people realize that St. Mikes consists of many fierce nocturnal fashionistas. They only come out at nighttime after studying. Decked in sequins, colour and dramatic angles, these ladies are the queens of the club!

Now that I’ve completed my first year I have learned to appreciate the diversity of styles rather than try to assimilate. The key to fitting in at U of T (fashion-wise) is ironically not blending in. Theres nothing wrong with buying carbon copies from H&M and Forever 21 as long as you add your own spin to your outfit. Don’t feel shy to wear a crazy headpiece or hat! If it catches attention, chances are that it’s FIERCE. Fashion is subjective. An objective fashion code does not exist. So make it your own and have fun with it! Feel free to play around with the famous U of T looks above to create a very own “adult” look of your own, future first years! :)

For all the current U of T students, try out these summer outfits! They totally complement the greenery on campus:

11 comments for “U of T Fashion File

  1. April 27, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I loved this post. It made me laugh. I’m from Vic, and I have to say I agree with your “label”.

    I felt similar when I started U of T, about needing to dress older and what not, but I’ve always had my own spin on fashion, so I like how being in downtown Toronto means you can wear whatever you want and the looks you get aren’t always OMG WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WEARING, they’re more like, OMG WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT.

  2. Anon.
    May 10, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    LOL I love this- and agree! I’m from Vic and I def. like to dress like that…guilty!
    What about MedSci/Bahen…..sweats all the way LOL

  3. May 11, 2010 at 12:09 am

    honestly….im an arts student so i know these areas realllly weelll “fashion wise” :P i actually have NO clue about the med sci bahen areas :S

    do Uoft arts students dress differently than Uoft science….commerce students?

    Thoughts?

    • May 11, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      I am in the Bahen Centre all the time. It is full of CS, Engineering and Math students so yeah I would say the primary fashion staples there are sweatpants, jeans, hoodies, sneakers aka no style. The worst are cross-trainers! I hate those.

    • KC
      June 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      yes what is the commerce students look? very professional and sophisticated I am guessing.

  4. May 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Crosstrainers and sweats… a significant part of university. they should be burned as soon as a diploma is achieved. omg there should be trainer sweat burning parties after grad!

    ****do not try this at home!

  5. Angie
    October 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I used this as my shopping guide before I started my first year at UofT! :) Thanks 4 the advice blogut!it definitely helped me water down some of my insecurities and fears about university.

  6. Peter
    November 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    This guide was hilarious!

    But you totally forgot all the trendy Asian fashions from HK/Korea/Japan. And not to mention all the men’s handbags! Definitely not a suburban thing.

  7. July 13, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    i’m from smc and i’ll say it’s so true!! smc has the italian euro clubber scene. guys wear supra high tops, skinny jeans and bright v necks with ridiculous glasses, and the chicks are always jersey shore to the max =)

  8. Kelty Campbell
    November 11, 2011 at 7:26 am

    One of the reasons I picked UofT was its avoidance to sweats. Even the word sweats means it is only to sweat IN hence the gym. But even at hart house you get a myriad of characters who don’t know what gym clothes are. No your chucks are not running shoes and your board shorts are not running shorts. Go to Guelph to wear sweat pants.

  9. Kylie
    June 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Hey, I’m going to Trinity College (the ring on the map). What is the look there? I heard that is very high fashion and preppy. I also was told that if you are not wearing the hottest (often most expensive) styles on the runway, you will be looked down upon. What to you think? Thanks.

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